IN the recent HSI/ifac ‘The Business of Breeding’ report, 78% of breeders stated that recent increases in running costs are their greatest challenge, most notable in feed, fuel and fertiliser. Breeders were asked to provide an estimate of cost changes over the previous 12 months across a range of essential equine farming expenditure (see graphics opposite).

The publication is HSI’s first report to examine the investment plans of sport horse breeders for the coming three years. ‘The Business of Breeding 2022’ provides an in-depth look into equine breeders’ prior on-farm investments and their intentions. It identifies a plan by the country’s 9,000+ active sport horse breeders to invest €342 million over the next three years.

It is evident that breeders have and will continue to face cost increases, most significantly fore fertiliser, diesel and equine feed. Increases are also evident in overall insurance costs with 47% of breeders experiencing insurance between 11-50%. There were generally lower cost increases associated with equine bedding, livery and land rental costs, the majority coming below 25%.

The report reflects that overall, these cost increases are a significant burden on Irish breeders and suggests with the absence of TAMS II support these costs will challenge their ability to invest in farming infrastructure.

The report was based on investment sentiment analysis and surveys carried out during June 2022 of sport horse breeders nationwide. The survey was shared with breeders registered in the Irish Horse Register, sport horse breeding groups, breed societies and other Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine approved studbooks. The research was conducted at a time when the challenges of Brexit, climate change and rising inflation were well known. A full copy of the The Business of Breeding 2022 report can be viewed at