DISAPPOINTMENT and anger has greeted Horse Sport Ireland’s announcement of sharp prices increases in the new year that will affect Irish Sport Horse and Irish Draught breeders.

A new pricing structure for HSI’s Studbook and Registration services will come into effect from January 1st 2023, inclusive of 23% VAT. Significantly, discounts previously in place for members of the Irish Horse Board will be discontinued from that date along with discounts for other membership structures, including the Northern Ireland Horse Board.

In a press release this week, Horse Sport Ireland defended the increases as its first in 17 years, adding, “The new pricing structure reflects the impact of increased operating costs and a move to a more sustainable operating model for Studbook and Registration services. The IHB discounts had meant that the Studbook and Registration services of HSI had been operating on reduced income that has impacted upon service levels and investment programmes. The cost of providing Studbook and Registration services has been increasing and until now, these additional costs had been absorbed and had not been reflected in HSI’s prices.”

No prior consultation

Chair of the Irish Horse Board Tiernan Gill told The Irish Field: “It is with great disappointment to read yesterday’s press release from HSI stating the significant price increases for breeders across Ireland. Gradually the benefits provided by the IHB for breeders have been eroded under HSI. Now during a financial recession where feed, fertilizer and bedding costs have soared, breeders are being hit again with more adversity through unrealistic price increases to provide basic studbook services and passports.

“I wish to confirm that unfortunately this pricing structure was implemented by HSI without consultation or discussion with the mandated breeders representatives within Horse Sport Ireland. The IHB have called an urgent meeting to discuss the impact on breeders and will raise the breeders deep concerns with the appropriate channels. We are available for any breeders to raise their concerns through Irishhorseboard@outlook.com.”

Breeder Liam Lynskey commented: “As a member of the BPAC with HSI, I’m very disappointed that such fundamental decisions that will affect all the Irish breeders would be taken without any consultation with the Breeding and Production Advisory Council. The Dowling report that established HSI ensured that the breeders were in control of the decision-making regarding studbook and breeding matters. Why has this changed with the new board and new management in recent times?

“Who has approved the monumental price increase? Have the long term implications been considered and who is advising and briefing the new board?”

Thorough review claim

Meanwhile, breeders of Kerry Bog Ponies and Irish Cobs will be unaffected by the price hikes, according to CEO of Horse Sport Ireland, Denis Duggan.

“This is our first change in pricing for the last 17 years. We did a thorough review of the marketplace before this new pricing structure was put in place. We have sympathy for people with rising costs but we are all experiencing it, our electricity bills trebled in the last 12 months. This is about making sure we can run a sustainable business and our business model must reflect this.

“We have increased staff levels in our registration unit, we have extended its opening hours, we have issued over 8,000 passports this year for the first time in our history. We had over 1,500 passports issued in the month of November alone. When we look to the future, with e-passporting and so on, it is unsustainable without putting it on a more financial footing.

“We would not be able to make the significant improvements that need to be made in the future which will require significant investment.

“We would hope that our 50% reduction on every fifth passport issued within the year of birth would bring costs down for breeders. We would encourage breeders not to wait. We want to reward good behaviour, for example anyone registering yearlings, two-year-olds, etc., that won’t count for this discount as they should have registered the animal before. The vast number of breeders do register animals in the first year of their birth, as per the law, and they will get the reduction on the 5th, 10th, 15th foal,” said Denis Duggan.

HSI Increased Fees

(January 1st 2023)

Reg. foals up to Oct 31st incl DNA typing €98

Reg. foals after Oct 31st incl DNA typing €129

Reg. yearling incl DNA typing and naming €299

Reg. older animals, incl. DNA typing and naming €357

Add pedigree to existing passport of un-DNA typed animal €307

Non-pedigree passports/ID document €50

Change of Ownership €30

Duplicate replacement passport €150

Upgrade to new passport €30

HSI current fees (to end of 2022)

Reg. foals up to Oct 31st €62/IHB member/non-member €98

Reg. foals after Oct 31st €80 IHB member/non-member €117

Reg. yearling incl DNA typing and naming €111/IHB member/non-member €148

ID document/Non-pedigree passport €43

Change of ownership €15

Update to new passport €15

Duplicate replacement passport €65/IHB member/non-member €102.