HORSE Sport Ireland [HSI] has performed a U-turn on a decision to depart from the norm and run the upcoming DAFM show jumping studbook series under FEI rather than Showjumping Ireland [SJI] rules.

Last week, Irish Horse World carried a report on the clash between SJI and HSI over the move, detailing a number of concerns the national governing body had about running a national event series outside of SJI rules.

At the time, HSI CEO Denis Duggan seemed confident the decision to run the series without SJI would not be a problem. It was noted at the time that the clash likely centered around the fact the series would be live-streamed on Clipmyhorse rather than SJIlive.

In a press release posted on its website this week, but not circulated or flagged with this publication, HSI stated the series would, in fact, be run affiliated with SJI.

Irish Horse World understands HSI capitulated after getting feedback from venues that they were not prepared to run events without SJI being involved. It is further understood that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine became involved to resolve the matter after SJI informed the Department of their concerns.

The press release, dated April 10th, carried the following information:

  • The 2024 DAFM Studbook Series begins on April 13th in Tipperary Equestrian Centre, entries are now open on SJIlive and will close at 8pm on Thursday (last).
  • The 2024 DAFM Studbook Series will run affiliated with Showjumping Ireland and as per the rules and articles linked (see HSI website to access link).
  • The series will not be livestreamed on clipmyhorse as stated in prior press releases however HSI will continue to pursue this as a possibility for the industry.
  • The series will be livestreamed via ShowjumpingIreland, Irish Horse Board and HSI websites.
  • SJI response

    In a lengthy response from SJI, the body pointed out what it saw as a number of inaccuracies in Duggan’s comments last week including about SJI not being recognised by ‘any higher authority’.

    To this, SJI responded: “HSI currently has responsibility for international teams but has no remit in relation to any national showjumping competitions, the members of the affiliate are the ultimate higher authority. SJI is also recognised by all other national showjumping organisations and many national federations. SJI is also recognised by a significant number of statutory bodies as being the responsible entity for national showjumping.”

    In response to the issue of the live-streaming of the studbook series, SJI responded: “The reality is that any activity taking place at an affiliated event is subject to the national rules and this includes the broadcasting of classes.

    “SJI will continue to provide the shows, members, producers, riders and sponsors with free-to-view content and, provided a platform is willing to make the footage available in accordance with SJI rules, there is an option to facilitate such an option. HSI has never attempted to have discussion to achieve this requirement.

    “Coverage of the 2023 DAFM Series was provided free-to-view by SJI. We are aware that HSI did advertise that live-streaming was being sponsored by Redmond Property Management. SJI did not receive any contribution toward this coverage from HSI or any other party in 2023. Is it acceptable that HSI would use state funding to at any stage place state funded activities behind a paywall platform where a third-party entity will be the beneficiary? Furthermore, is it even the remit of HSI to be carrying out such activity?

    “The Irish Horse Board are, as we understand, the entity responsible for marketing and promotion of such activities and should it not be their remit to work with either ShowjumpingIreland, Eventing Ireland, Dressage Ireland where appropriate? As IHB are state-appointed and funded in this regard are HSI merely overstepping their remit?

    “Mr Duggan’s comments are extremely ill-judged and unfortunately inaccurate and will further inflame a situation that should never have arisen had HSI carried out its duties correctly.”

    HSI was contacted for comment but did not respond.