Horse breeders to benefit from Ireland’s rural infrastructure scheme

Scheme to assist farmers with improvements to their property has been extended to horse breeders in Ireland.
A mare and foal in Kildare. Photo by Damork

Ireland’s Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) has been extended to include equine farmers, which is expected to be a massive benefit to horse breeders across the country as it opens the door for them to improve and modernise their facilities.

TAMS provides grants to farmers to build and/or improve a specified range of farm buildings and equipment on their holdings, under seven schemes.

The addition of horse farming to the scheme from January 2023 was announced this week by Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and The Marine Charlie McConalogue.

Horse Sport Ireland (HSI), as the national governing body for equestrian sport in Ireland, had lobbied for the inclusion of equine farmers to the scheme.

HSI Chief Executive Denis Duggan said more than half of all horse breeders had fewer than five mares.

“Some equine farmers and breeders may not have previously had the financial capabilities to make investments in their facilities, so the confirmation of equine inclusion in TAMS by the Minister is a welcome development.

“We look forward to continuing to engage with Minister McConalogue and his officials over the coming weeks and months as the Department of Agriculture work to finalise what measures and funds will be made available over the lifetime of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) from 2023 to 2027 for equine measures.”

Horse Sport Ireland has recently commissioned a survey of equine famers nationwide and the results of this will form the basis of further proposals to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as to where funds from within the scheme can be spent within the equine industry.

Duggan said the results make interesting reading and will be revealed at the Dublin Horse Show next month.

“Horse Sport Ireland will continue to liaise with Minister McConalogue and his department regarding equine measures within the Common Agricultural Policy schemes.

“Equine farmers will need to ensure that they are ready for any future investment schemes as part of the CAP.”

The announcement comes just weeks after HSI announced over half a million euro in breeding grants to 55 shows and initiatives nationwide.

The Horse Sport Ireland Breeding Grant offers support for breeding and production initiatives, classes and competitions at various equestrian shows and events throughout the country.

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