Horse Sport Ireland have expressed their dismay at the amount awarded to the equestrian industry from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in Wednesday’s Budget 2023 announcement.
The national federation for equestrian sports in Ireland had outlined in detail the need for massively increased funding in the face of spiralling costs for its community – equine farmers, breeders, producers, athletes and beyond.
The funding awarded was on a par with the allocation of 2022, and Horse sport Ireland believes, as a result, it will apply huge pressure to an already struggling community, leaving many facing into an uncertain future.
Responding to Budget 2023 and the funding allocated, Chief Executive of Horse Sport Ireland, Denis Duggan said:
“A sum of €5.2m has been allocated to the Sport Horse Sector for 2023. It is disappointing that DAFM have not provided any increase in funding at a time when rising costs and inflation are running 10 per cent at least ahead of last year.
“Horse Sport Ireland had sought increased funding for integrity measures, breeding & production schemes, high performance sport and coaching, capital investment in equestrian centres, and new funding for feed and fodder schemes and sales incentives.
“Despite this underwhelming budget for the equestrian industry, Horse Sport Ireland will continue to engage with officials and the Minister for Agriculture to press upon them the importance and the needs of the sport horse industry.
“For an industry that generates almost €1bn annually into the Irish rural economy and supports 14,000 jobs this has been a disappointing budget.”