Funding to improve Ireland's eventing courses

January 6, 2009

Several Irish horse trials venues will receive €60,000 in funding under a pilot scheme to improve the standard of events in the country.

Courses at Ballinacoola, Ballindenisk, Camphire, Killmanahan, The Northern Region and Tattersalls, were selected from 18 applications under the scheme, developed by Horse Sport Ireland in conjunction with Eventing Ireland.

Eventing Ireland will be adding a further €60,000 towards improving event venues, giving a total of €120,000, which Chairman of Eventing Ireland John Wright said was "without precedent" in Irish eventing.

All applications were submitted to Horse Sport Ireland through Eventing Ireland's Competitions Team. Applicants were required to outline, in detail, their plans for improving the standard of their event and how the changes would contribute to Eventing Ireland's Competition Development Plan.

Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walsh said that the funding would improve the standard of events for participants and spectators and that people should notice a difference from next season.

When this funding is placed alongside Horse Sport Ireland's funding for the High Performance Programme, the World Cup qualifier at Tattersalls and other international events, the Future Event Horse League, the Stepping Stones programme and Lions d'Angers it represented a substantial investment in Eventing by Horse Sport Ireland.

"The profile of the sport was greatly enhanced by our Senior Eventing team's participation in the Olympics and Capt. Geoff Curran's terrific win at the World Cup Qualifier at Tattersalls. The Junior Eventing Team won silver at the European Championships and Irish Sport Horses again topped the world breeding rankings. Overall it has been a good year for the sport of Eventing," he said.

However, Mr Walsh acknowledged that it had also been a tragic year for the sport with the deaths of Karen Rogers and Stephen Moore.

"Everybody associated with the sport is very focused on safety and we need to have it as a priority at all times," he said.

The Chairman of Eventing Ireland John Wright acknowledged Horse Sport Ireland's support for the sport and said that Eventing Ireland looked forward to continuing their strong working relationship with Horse Sport Ireland.

"This has been Horse Sport Ireland's first year in existence and great progress has been made. The key to making progress is working together and the initiatives this year have been achieved in a spirit of partnership with Eventing Ireland. On behalf of Eventing Ireland I look forward to this continuing into the future," he said.