CHRIS Ryan’s suggested support of breeders for one foal per mare per lifetime could surely be funded by the wider breeding industry in Ireland.
As Chris notes (in The Irish Field November 13th issue), the Irish horse is unique to this country so why wouldn’t the industry here want to get behind it, given the country of origin of our bloodstock industry’s output is intrinsically linked to our horse heritage.
If this heritage is lost then we just become another “me too” producer of sports horses on the edge on Continental Europe that we can tell future generations of the class, cunning and all round genius of the Irish horse with its fifth leg and amazing intelligence, will be just a dim and distant warm memory of those like me who have experienced the high of “sailing” over the countryside with the confidence that only an Irish Horse can engender.
With industry sales of €350 million p.a., a levy of just 0.1% would fund 70 foals p.a. at €10K each which over time, with attention to breeding lines, would sustain the Irish Draught breeding stock for future generations to breed the half/three-quarter bred horses, that will always have worldwide demand from riders looking for that bit of magic that only a well made Irish horse can provide.