HORSE Sport Ireland (HSI) is seeking to gain a new perspective on the equestrian industry with the launch of their latest survey last week. The Equestrian Industry Sentiment Survey is aimed at those involved in equine farming and breeding practices, with the intention of understanding the sentiment of those in the industry, particularly around the people and staff employed.

Last year, HSI ran ‘The Business of Breeding 2022’ survey, which looked in-depth at previous on-farm investments of equine breeders and their future plans; identifying that the 9,000+ active sport horse breeders in Ireland planned to invest €342 million over the next three years.

That survey was based on investment sentiment analysis and the audience was specifically equine breeders, with the survey being shared with breeders registered in the Irish Horse Register, sport horse breeding groups, breed societies and other Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine-approved studbooks. The challenges of Brexit, climate change and rising inflation were well-known when the research was carried out.

By contrast, this year’s HSI Equestrian Industry Sentiment Survey is more focused on the personnel requirements of equine businesses around the country and intends to assess the overall sentiment towards the equine industry here of those taking part, as well as analysing any expectations and concerns that Ireland’s breeders may have, along with any challenges faced by individual businesses.

Its aim is to produce an analysis of businesses within the equine industry, with a view to assisting in seeking further support for them, enabling operations to manage, upskill and retain staff in the current thriving employment market.

HSI Chief Executive, Denis Duggan, said: “Off the back of last year’s ‘The Business of Breeding 2022’ report conducted on behalf of the equestrian community in Ireland, with TAMS in mind, we are urging all stakeholders to take part in this research survey so we can provide supports to breeding operations big and small.

“The results of this survey will provide HSI with an in-depth look at operations across the country, with particular focus on how these operations can support their own staff, keep staff in their employ and help them upskill.

“We are delighted to be working with the team at IFAC again, whose hard work enabled us to lobby Government for further funding to equine farmers through TAMS in 2022 and we hope that uptake for this survey is as strong as that for ‘The Business of Breeding 2022’.”

This survey is being conducted independently by IFAC on behalf of HSI, is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine under National Breeding Services.