IF there’s one thing that’s evident this weekend, it’s the enormous and very welcome public appetite for country shows and equestrian events of all disciplines. This weekend’s shows stretching from the capital right across the regions, have at their heart our national collective inherent interest in horses, ponies and sport.

Equestrian sport encompasses an unrivalled range of disciplines to suit people of all ages and abilities. What other sport can truly say that? We tend to take that for granted without really actively exploring ways to throw our industry net out to widen participation.

Our urban towns are swelling and we have to be inventive to bring those who would like to give equestrianism a go into the fold but for whatever reason have not had the chance to do so.

Widening participation automatically pays dividends to our industry. There’s plenty of small ways to harness untapped potential. After all, what helps one helps others.

White books

Although there is thankfully less ‘white books’ in general circulation than in previous years, a Kerry reader highlighted to us this week the recent numbers of lots going through sales houses with unrecorded breeding.

From February to June this year, a total of 146 equines with no recorded breeding went through various sales rings. Recorded breeding adds value to animals, so let’s hope the downward trend continues when it comes to these white books and they become a thing of the past.