Ireland’s governing body for horse sport has given grant aid to the tune of €2.5 million to its affiliates since 2022 following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The last installment of €285,000 has been paid by Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) for Area 3 – Return to Sport, with the combined state-supported financial resource provided by HSI benefitting 13 HSI affiliates and six member clubs of affiliates.
From the pandemic’s onset in 2020, HSI’s endeavours in supporting the equestrian sport community were bolstered by the backing of Sport Ireland, safeguarding and championing the revival of equestrian sport activities across Ireland.
In July 2022, HSI, working hand in hand with then Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, TD, announced a package of €2.14m in grants and financial aids benefiting 19 organisations since 2020. This strategic investment fortified the Irish equestrian landscape, allowing it to thrive even in unprecedented challenging times.
Major beneficiaries of the overall €2.5m in public funding include Showjumping Ireland, Eventing Ireland, Dressage Ireland and the Association of Irish Riding Establishments (AIRE). Collectively, they have received over €1.4m in grant aid to ensure a robust future for equestrian sport in Ireland, starting at the grassroots level.
While Showjumping Ireland did not benefit in this final round of funding, they did receive €553,854 between 2020 and 2022. Eventing Ireland received €85,632 in this final tranche, topping the list of recipient organisations at €669,364 in total. Dressage Ireland received a total of €189,481 including €32,961 in this last allocation.
AIRE received €57,500 in this round, bringing their total allocation to €387,250. Other beneficiaries include the Hunting Association of Ireland, along with six individual hunt clubs, the Irish Pony Club, the Irish Pony Society, the Association of Irish Riding Clubs, and Trec Ireland. The Royal Dublin Society received €30,000 to progress the National Equestrian Education Pathway programme.
HSI Chief Executive Denis Duggan said the organisation’s duty as the National Governing Body was to remain steadfast in its support for our affiliates and the larger equestrian community.
“I am immensely grateful to the team in Sport Ireland, and the Department of Sport for the financial support provided to HSI for onward distribution into equestrian sporting bodies. I want to convey my appreciation to colleagues in HSI too, for the tremendous efforts they undertook at that time supporting affiliates through a very difficult time for our sport, our volunteers, and participants.
“Support from HSI wasn’t merely monetary. We aimed for sporting stability, operational resilience, and a resurgence in competition and participation. The HSI Covid Grant Scheme was paramount to these ambitions,” Duggan said.
“This final allocation of Covid-19 supports is the final allocation to support the continued return to participation which has been challenged in many of our equestrian organisations.”
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