THE Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD (FF) today (Wednesday) announced Budget 2021 funding of €5 million for Horse Sport Ireland.
It represents an increase of €1 million, or 25%, bringing HSI's allocation from €4 million to €5 million under the DAFM.
Speaking at a press briefing this morning, McConalogue said: "The €1 million increase reflects our commitment to developing the sport horse sector for the years ahead and comes off the back of funding in recent years as well. I know Horse Sport Ireland have a strategic plan in that regard and we will work with them closely on that."
The increase of €1 million is the same as what was allocated last year in Budget 2020.
The Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund has received an extra €12 million to bring the funding to €96 million. Horse Racing Ireland's grant will increase by €9.6 million from €67.2 to €76.8 million. Additionally, the DAFM have allocated €1.5 million for the development of the Irish Equine Centre.
Comprehensive Budget submissions were drawn up by Horse Sport Ireland this year and last, seeking significantly increased public funding for the Irish Sport Horse industry which supports 15,000 full-time jobs and is worth almost €1 billion to the Irish economy per year.
For Budget 2020 Horse Sport Ireland looked for €10 million - double their allocation - while this year's detailed Budget 2021 submission set out a multi-tiered case for funding of almost €15 million.
Much work was put into Budget 2021 by the board of HSI, under Joe Reynolds as acting CEO and Mary Lampkin-Coyle, acting chair of the Naas-based organisation.
Horse Sport Ireland is also funded by Sport Ireland, the authority tasked with the development of sport in Ireland, which received a welcome Budget boost of an additional €36 million yesterday (Tuesday).
An additional €9.7 million will be pumped into the next phase of the development of the National Sports Campus. It's very much expected that there will be additional funds for Horse Sport Ireland from Sport Ireland as the Tokyo Olympics loom although the final details may take some time to be distilled down and released.
More on the Budget in this week's The Irish Field.