HORSE Sport Ireland and the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. (FF) this week formally opened the applications process for the 2022 national breeding initiatives in 2022, worth almost almost €2 million in industry funding.

The Minister, DAFM officials, and HSI have collaborated on schemes to ensure monetary backing for breeders of sport horses nationwide. Minister McConalogue said: “We are fully committed to breeders in Ireland, whether they run small operations or on a larger scale, and I firmly believe that through this funding Irish-bred horses can continue to excel, at home and on the international stage.

“Breeders can be safe in the knowledge that my Department and HSI have their best interests at heart, and we will continue to have open discussions as to where we can ensure funding of these kind of initiatives for our breeders. It is very important to me that we ensure that the grassroots of the horse sport sector is financially supported and I will continue to endeavour to making sure they receive the best of help.”

HSI Head of Breeding, Innovation and Development, Dr Sonja Egan added: “The breeding team have worked to diversify schemes terms, conditions and eligibility to support breeder inclusion. I would like to recognise and thank the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for their support of Irish breeders and horses through various initiatives available for 2022. This facilitates those striving for high performance, market purposes of the Irish horse and the preservation of rare breeds and bloodlines. It engages breeders from foal to young horse development, equine health, beginning ridden work through to the various production classes such as the HSI Development and Studbook Series.”

Breeders are encouraged to promptly apply for grants available under schemes such as the Mare Upgrade Scheme, Mare X-ray Screening Scheme, Thoroughbred Percentage Scheme, Breaking and Schooling Scheme, Embryo Transfer Scheme and Stallion Health Screening Scheme. While the application deadline is September 30th, these schemes largely operate on a ‘first come first served basis’ and may reach capacity before the deadline expires. (For a full list of schemes, visit

Stallion screening subsidised

As the safeguarding of the equine national health status and the reproductive health of stallions is of vital importance, subsidised screening in a HSI-designated clinic is being offered for all active stallions in the sport horse sector.

This scheme includes screening for stallions standing in Ireland for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA), Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), (CEM) and Fragile Foal Syndrome (FFS).