Urgent funding needed to navigate cost of living crisis - Duggan

HAVING hosted a pre-Budget submission day in Buswell’s Hotel, Dublin, last week, the management of Horse Sport Ireland continued to lobby Ministers, TDs and Senators over the last seven days, with encouraging results.

Issues such as the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), increased funding for equestrian centres nationwide and the implementation of a Feed and Fodder Scheme are at the heart of HSI’s submission, and feedback from politicians has been largely positive.

HSI CEO Denis Duggan said: “HSI is acutely aware of the economic challenges across all industries - equine farmers, breeders and the Sport Horse sector is no different.

“We have put together a comprehensive 10-point submission for the Budget and all discussions we have had with politicians from all parties has been very encouraging. We have engaged with a considerable number of TDs, Senators and government officials on behalf of the equine industry.

“During the course of our dialogues, it was clear that our politicians, across all parties and none, have an understanding of the challenges that face the industry. We hope that these efforts reap rewards on Budget day next week.”

Duggan added: “Irish teams, at both junior and senior level, have enjoyed great success in the arenas and on courses this year but we must ensure that our equestrian centres are supported so they can continue to develop the next generation of talent coming through, while also maintaining the standards they already deliver.

“Our research also tells us that there is an urgent need for funding towards TAMS, as well as the need for a new Feed and Fodder scheme, so that small equine farmers can sustain their businesses and navigate through this current cost of living crisis.”