IT’S emerged that substantial Showjumping Ireland funds, believed to be a six-figure sum, are being withheld from Horse Sport Ireland. Asked about these funds, there was no confirmation from SJI on the amount involved, amid speculation of it being approximately €100,000.

An SJI statement to The Irish Field said: “Currently there is no funding agreement in place for High Performance (HP) between SJI and HSI. SJI has, since early 2022, requested a budget submission from HSI relating to HP funding to allow SJI to allocate monies in line with SJI budgetary policy and protocol. This was not provided when requested.

“SJI were informed of significant budget cuts to HP programmes for 2022 and were requested to query these cuts with HSI. SJI appointees have met the HSI CEO, CFO and Chair numerous times to address these cuts and usage of funding to HP programs. It was established during these meetings that figures provided to SJI by HSI were erroneous and SJI requested that this be addressed and accurate figures be provided. This has proven difficult to finalise.

“To assist, SJI suggested that HSI review 2018/2019 Budget as a base for the 2022 allocation to HP programs and have the HP managers and committees agree and sign off on spend and allocation - this would allow SJI to ensure parties who raised concerns were now satisfied. This has not been done to date by HSI.

“SJI has, at all times, stated that it is willing to support all athletes and allocate monies to do so. To this end, it has stated that it must see spending and support plans to enable this. SJI is aware of a potential deficit in HP funding and had also indicated it might consider additional support but it would have to be assured that information being provided was accurate and agreed before any such undertaking could be confirmed.

“SJI has also suggested that there should be a program plan put in place for HP funding based on a multi-year model. SJI is responsible to its members and is required to ensure expenditure of members monies are scrutinised and in line with member expectations. At this time, HSI have yet to provide SJI with confirmation that the HP Managers and Committees have agreed that they are satisfied and have agreed with the budgeting process and spend relating to their allocated budgets,” concluded the SJI statement.