A new series for all breeds of young Irish showjumping horses is under way with six events being held throughout Ireland before the final at Tattersalls in July.
The Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) 2022 Studbook Series is open to horses from all Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)-approved studbooks, and with €80,000 in prizemoney on offer HSI is expecting a strong entry as crowds return for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new series provides a platform for younger horses to compete and develop in classes for five, six and seven-year-olds and offers them an opportunity to progress towards competing at the FEI WBFSH (World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses) Jumping World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken, Belgium, in the autumn.
The series was announced on Friday at the Sport Ireland Campus, Blanchardstown in Dublin, by HSI officials and DAFM minister Charlie McConalogue.
McConalogue said the series has a major role to play in supporting and promoting breeding success through the industry.
“It is extremely important that we showcase these young horses, their breeders, riders, and owners because they are the bedrock for the industry as we look to create champions of the future, but also that those connected to them have their time to shine in the limelight.
“My Department is delighted to work alongside Horse Sport Ireland to help develop the sector and industry through initiatives like the Studbook Series. With the crowds back in as normal to watch these stars of the future it really promises to be an exciting event,” he said.
Horse Sport Ireland Chief Executive Denis Duggan said it was the first time that the Studbook Series has been opened up to all of the DAFM-approved studbooks, not just the Irish Sport Horse, and HSI was pleased to open the series up to the other studbooks.
“I am delighted that HSI have been able to open the competition up this year to horses from any DAFM-approved studbook within the age categories. Competitions, such as the Studbook Series, are great opportunities for all breeders, regardless of what book they have registered horses with to showcase their horses in competition.
“The equine industry is a thriving and vibrant industry. I am hopeful now that this is the beginning of some exciting times ahead for the industry as a whole.”
Sonja Egan, Interim Head of Breeding, Innovation and Development at HSI, said the series was an opportunity for breeders and producers nationwide to campaign Ireland’s showjumping champions of the future. She said the series is designed in incremental stages to challenge young horses as they develop and gain experience throughout.
“It has been leveraged by Irish breeders, producers, and riders to successfully prepare and campaign Irish-bred showjumpers to compete on the world stage at the FEI WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championships in Lanaken, Belgium.”
The HSI Studbook Series started on April 23 in Meadows Equestrian Centre, Lurgan, and runs until July 24, in counties Wexford, Cavan, Westmeath, Mayo and Cork before the finals in Tattersalls, Co. Meath.
• The Studbook Series is restricted to registered horses measuring above 148cm. Ponies, 148cm or below, are not eligible to compete. The 5-year-old, 6-year-old and 7-year-old classes are restricted to horses registered in a Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) Approved studbook and recorded as bred on the island of Ireland.