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Events in Ireland are to benefit from extra prize money thanks to Horse Sport Ireland’s Innovation Fund.

The funding for the scheme came from the additional €600,000 allocated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to HSI, announced by Minister Simon Coveney in the 2015 budget.

Eleven programmes were chosen from 68 allocations.

HSI finance committee chairman James Kennedy said that it was very positive that so many project applications had been received, but unfortunately it meant that difficult decisions had to be made.

“It’s encouraging to see so many applications, and it shows that people in the industry have great ideas to develop the sector,” he said.

“We are very pleased that Minister Coveney provided the sector with this extra funding. This allowed HSI to have a fund like this as well as setting up an international marketing division and funding a number of
other competitions in line with the recommendations of the industry strategic plan ‘Reaching New Heights’.

“I am confident that the Minister will see positive impact from these projects in 2015.”

A 10-year “roadmap” to help to secure the future of the Irish sport horse industry was launched in Dublin earlier this month (3 March).

A wide range of issues, including enhancing quality through more focused breeding, improving marketing and sales capacity across the industry and increasing participation in the sector are in the strategic plan.

The shows that have secured funding are: Ballina Agricultural Show (three-year-old sport horse futurity competition)

Prize money allocation: €2,000

Connemara Pony Breeders Society (Connemara pony performance mare championship)
Prize money allocation: €5,000

Dunmanway Show (All Ireland young show person championship) Prize money allocation: €1,500

Eventing Ireland (Eventing Ireland national championships)
Prize money allocation: €20,000

Millstreet Equestrian Services (pony owners charity show/Millstreet International pony and young rider show 2015)
Prize money allocation: €20,000

Mullingar International Horse Show (Bet showjumping live)
Prize money allocation: €20,000

Oughterard Show Society (Irish draught all Ireland performance championship)
Prize money allocation: €9,000

Royal Dublin Society (Connemara performance nations cup)
Prize money allocation: €4,400

Tattersalls International Horse Trials (CCI YH 1*)
Prize money allocation: €7,000

Traditional Irish Horse Association (TIHA hunter equitation class at Limerick Show)
Prize money allocation: €4,500

Waterford Sport Horse Breeders Group (Breeder to buyer competition)
Prize money allocation: €4,500