THE Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has allocated the sport horse sector €5.45 million in Budget 2024. This is an increase of €250,000 on the 2023 funding.

Answering a question from The Irish Field at the DAFM press briefing in Government Buildings this morning (Wednesday), Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue confirmed the figure, commenting: “In relation to Horse Sport Ireland and the sport horse sector, there are tenders in place in relation to services and that funding for next year will be €5.45 million.”

Horse Racing Ireland’s allocation from Government in Budget 2024 is up 4.4% to €76 million from €72 million last year.

Minister of State at the DAFM, Martin Heydon, added that the Budget reaffirms the Government’s commitment to the racing and breeding industry. “We have seen that commitment in the last year in terms of the equine sector now coming in under TAMS for the first time which has been very welcome.”

Pre-budget submission

Horse Sport Ireland sought an increase of €1.5 million in Budget 2024. The governing body outlined four key investment objectives in their submission.

They included an increase in funding for HSI’s National Breeding Services schemes and initiatives, including new schemes (€500,000); its Integrity Programme, including National Anti-Doping Programme for young horses (€150,000); Genetic Improvements in the Irish equine industry (€250,000) and Grant in Aid (€600,000).

Horse Sport Ireland is also funded by Sport Ireland, the authority tasked with the development of sport in Ireland.

DAFM funding

2024 - €5.45 million

2023 - €5.2 million

2022 - €5.2 million

2021 - €5 million

2020 - €4 million

2019 - €3 million

2018 - €2.5 million