IF British Prime Minister Liz Truss did not appreciate the true meaning of that old adage, ‘a week can be a long time in politics’, she now knows it well after a tumultous week that saw sterling shake and totter on the international markets.

Here at home, our Government announced an €11 billion social welfare giveaway Budget in a bid to alleviate the cold winds of winter that are starting to whistle through all sectors of society, amid soaring energy costs and general rising inflation.

However, there was absolutely no bounce of the budget ball for the sport horse sector which received the same funding as last year, some €5.2 million, announced at Wednesday’s Budget briefing by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Horse Sport Ireland’s ambitious pre-Budget submission of €33.5 million completely fell on deaf ears this time around. However, with inflation galloping at around 10%, that ‘same’ public funding level of €5.2 million actually represents a significant drop in real terms.

For an industry that pumps almost €1 billion into Ireland’s economy annually, and accounts for jobs across nearly every parish nationwide, the Irish sport horse industry has always delivered a multiple back into the public coffers for every budget euro allocated to it. Framed against those stark terms, there’s no way other to look at this other than a worrying kick in the teeth for an industry that continually delivers above its weight.

Love me tender?

While the Budget figures were being drawn up at DAFM, applicants for the three tenders, initiated back in February, were informed of the outcome on September 22nd. A 14-day period follows for evaluations before contracts are formally signed and issued. While there is no official confirmation at this point, reliable industry sources say the Irish Horse Board was awarded the tender for the Marketing Services for the sport horse sector while Horse Sport Ireland retains the Studbooks and National Breeding Services.