HORSE Sport Ireland (HSI) has welcomed funding of €1.07m from Sport Ireland through its 2024 Core Funding Budget and outlined where the money will be allocated.

Initiatives, including the HSI Participation Grant, the Human and Equine Anti-Doping Programme and Coaching Programme will receive a valuable injection this year, as well as supporting the organisation’s ongoing commitment to Child Welfare and Safeguarding.

Supported by Sport Ireland, Core Funding to the HSI Participation Grant is entering its fifth year, with over €300,000 spent to date on grassroots equestrian activity by supporting projects being delivered by HSI Affiliates.

These projects provide educational supports for volunteers, access to high quality training for members and opportunities to attract new people to equestrianism.

HSI’s Equine Anti-Doping programme, supported by key affiliates, ensures there is a consistent focus on clean sport and equine welfare. Sport Ireland Core Funding, along with financial contribution from Affiliates, ensures this programme continues each year.

The organisation’s commitment to a clean sport also includes Human Anti-Doping, and the funding supports delivery of educational webinars for equestrian athletes, as well as providing individual support for High Performance athletes, which is especially important in an Olympic year. HSI’s commitment to Athlete Welfare also extends to offering Impact concussion testing, along with concussion education.

Sport Ireland Core Funding is key to the delivery of HSI’s Coaching Programme, ensuring that high quality coaches are available for equestrian participants at all levels. HSI delivers regular coaching courses for new coaches, with the support of a network of Coach Developers and supports qualified coaches with ongoing Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities, ensuring that a high standard of coaching is available to members of all HSI Affiliates.

HSI’s commitment to Child Welfare and Safeguarding is matched by their Affiliates and, to ensure that relevant legislation is adhered to, HSI provides a Garda Vetting and Access NI service to Affiliates, as well as delivering regular Safeguarding Training for those involved in youth equestrian activities.

HSI’s Sport Department supports approximately 1,000 athletes and approximately 2,000 equines every year, who participate in international equestrian events run by the FEI. HSI’s High Performance Programme is supported by a network of key staff.

HSI Chief Executive, Denis Duggan, said: “We are very grateful to Sport Ireland for continuing to support Horse Sport Ireland activities through Core Funding in 2024.

“I would like to thank Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, and the Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne for their commitment to national governing bodies. I also wish to thank Sport Ireland for administering this funding, which enables HSI to continue to support the Irish equestrian industry.”