HORSE Sport Ireland (HSI) has awarded Weatherbys the contract to design, develop, and implement an equine electronic passport (ePassport) solution. This project aims to transform the management, tracking, and welfare of Irish Sport Horses across the country.

Speaking at the announcement yesterday, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, said: “The development of an ePassport solution will enhance digital services available to breeders and horse owners alike.

“My Department, through the Brexit Adjustment Reserve has made funding available to support the development of such systems, which ultimately will assist Irish breeders and owners with easier movement notifications in the future.

“The implementation of an equine ePassport system is a significant step forward in the modernisation of equine management and welfare practices. It reflects a growing recognition of the importance of digital solutions in enhancing the health and welfare of horses.

“HSI have chosen a passporting system with a proven track record within the Thoroughbred industry, which I am confident will also bring enormous benefits to the Sport Horse sector.”


After an EU-wide tender exercise undertaken in 2023 by HSI, Weatherbys won the contract, believed to be worth around half a million Euro, for the ePassport solution for HSI operated studbooks – Irish Sport Horse; Irish Sport Pony; Irish Draught Horse; Irish Cob and Part-bred Cob. As HSI also provide the passport administration to the Kerry Bog Pony Society, KBPS breeders will also have access to the ePassport system.

Chief Executive of HSI, Denis Duggan, added: “Horse Sport Ireland is delighted to announce Weatherbys as our winning bidder for the highly anticipated ePassport solution. This significant achievement underscores HSI’s commitment to innovation, security, and excellence in the digital passport space.

“We look forward to the development and roll-out of a comprehensive ePassport solution which will leverage state-of-the-art technology to enhance both security and efficiency of passport operations. It includes a user-friendly interface that ensures a seamless experience for our breeders, owners and veterinarians.

“We are thrilled to have been chosen to deliver this groundbreaking project, with the support of our technology partner, TEKenable,” said Russell Ferris, Chief Executive Officer at Weatherbys.

“We believe that our equine ePassport will set a new standard in the care, management and traceability for the Sport Horse community, offering unparalleled security, accessibility and efficiencies.”

The project commenced early last month, with the first phase of implementation focusing on the development of the ePassport’s infrastructure and migration of data from with existing databases.

Stakeholders from various sectors, including veterinary medicine, equine sports and regulatory agencies, have been involved in the planning process to ensure the system meets the diverse needs of the equine community.

It is expected that the new ePassport system will go live during the summer of 2024 and breeders will be encouraged to use it. It will not replace the paper passport system, paper passports being a legal requirement, but it is hoped the digitization of the process will streamline passport workflows.