A NEW member-based insurance scheme offering public liability cover up to €6.5 million will shortly be unveiled by Horse Sport Ireland.

The final details were signed off on yesterday (Friday) and it’s understood that Horse Sport Ireland will be in a position to officially unveil the new insurance cover scheme in about two weeks’ time. Brexit difficulties effectively ended the popular British Horse Society insurance cover scheme to the ROI, leaving many in the equestrian community here without handy cover.

“We have a membership scheme ready to launch including the operational side of it. I would think it will be ready on our website in two weeks or so. The whole point of the BHS scheme was that you had to be a member to get the insurance cover. Briefly how our new scheme will work is you’ll select the level you want, you will be buying public liability cover.

“When it comes to trekking and leisure riding on Coillte- or State-owned land, riders have to be able to show evidence of having €6.5 million public liability cover and this scheme covers that. We will have this level of cover and people can also opt for personal accident insurance up to four or six horses and it gets cheaper with the more you put on.

“We are ready to go, it is at an advanced stage and we have been working on it for a long time in response to people’s concerns. We talked to the same (insurance) party about our affiliates and the indication is that we might be able to offer a wider package for affiliates further down the road,” said Acting CEO of Horse Sport Ireland Joe Reynolds.

Not poaching people

He stressed: “We are not trying to poach members from the affiliates, least anyone out there thinks we are, we are not. To get this scheme up and running with the insurers, it has to be a membership-based scheme, that’s a requirement of it.

“We are doing this in response to a real need in the horse world for such a scheme to be available to people. It is personal accident and public liability-centred so I don’t really think that the product is appropriate for the hunting community. Once we get it established, we can build on it going forward,” said Joe Reynolds.