Eventing Ireland (EI) has unveiled a three-pronged proposal to help it defend its position as the world’s leading breeder of top eventers.

The Reid Report — Breeding for Success is the culmination of two years’ work by a 10-strong taskforce comprising breeders, producers, riders and others involved in Irish eventing.

John Reid, taskforce chairman, said: “We’ve looked at the ‘packaging’, marketing and production of the Irish eventer — the ultimate equine athlete.”

The recommendations include recognising and rewarding breeders’ success and creating new incentives and educational opportunities for breeders.

EI also wants to improve access to statistical information, so it can identify successful eventing mare families and study the percentage of thoroughbred (TB) blood in sport horses.

John Wright, chairman of EI, said: “The point of the exercise is to encourage co-operation between the many groups, individuals and organisations involved in the creation of our stock of Irish event horses.

“Only through joined-up thinking by all the disparate groups can we expect to maintain our position as world leaders.”

William Micklem, a member of the report’s working party, believes the continuing influence of TB blood in eventing must not be underestimated, despite the change to short-format.

“Many of today’s eventers are labelled as Holstein or Trakehner, but if you take a deeper look at the bloodlines, you invariably find huge percentages of TB blood,” he told H&H.

An EI meeting later in the year will decide how to take the report’s findings forward.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (26 May, 2011)