OVER 20 prominent figures from the sport horse and thoroughbred industry gathered in Dublin this week to discuss action points arising from the Equine Summit staged in Kildare last November.
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, attended the meeting which featured a passionate discussion on the issues of funding and facilities for the sport horse sector.
Among those who took the opportunity to get the Minister’s ear were Horse Sport Ireland chief executive Ronan Murphy, HSI board member Joe Reynolds, international event rider Joseph Murphy, consultant and former Minister Lucinda Creighton, and economist Jim Power.
Leading thoroughbred industry players, such as trainer Jim Bolger and Horse Racing Ireland board member Meta Osborne, also spoke in support of the sport horse sector and identified possible areas in which both sides of the industry could work together.
The two-hour meeting was jointly-organised by Alltech, Gain Equine Nutrition, Grant Thornton and The Irish Field – the four partners who staged the Equine Summit in the Keadeen Hotel last year.
Gain Equine Nutrition’s Mary Delaney, who acted as facilitator during this week’s meeting, explained: “The Equine Summit broke new ground by bringing together the sport horse and thoroughbred industries to discuss shared challenges and opportunities. Feedback from the event was very positive and the four organising partners felt it was important to pursue some of the topics discussed with industry leaders.”
Sasha Kerins of Grant Thornton added: “This week’s round table discussion was a really worthwhile initiative. The Minister was clearly impressed with a lot of what he was hearing. He gave those present some strong pointers on where he felt the equine industry should focus its efforts in order to increase its chances of winning more Government support.”