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Six eventing venues will receive a share of €60,000 (£52,900) under the event improvement programme, Horsesport Ireland (HSI) has announced.

Under the scheme, run jointly with Eventing Ireland (EI), Ballinacoola, Ballindenisk, Camphire, Tattersalls, Kilmanahan and the Northern Region venues were selected from 18 applications made.

HSI chairman Joe Walsh said the funding would improve the standard of events with immediate effect.

“I hope people will notice real improvements at these venues from 2009,” he said.

Irish eventer Austin O’Connor hoped the funding would provide a well-needed boost for Irish eventing: “It’s a step in the right direction.

“Irish eventers have been a bit short on competitions at intermediate and above, but with this input standards will now start to improve.”

The event improvement programme is added to HSI’s funding of the Eventing High Performance Programme, the eventing World Cup qualifier at Tattersalls, the Future Event Horse League, the Stepping Stones programme to identify potential top-class horses, and represents a significant investment in Irish eventing.

EI chairman John Wright said that a further €60,000 will be put forward for improving event venues in the future.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (18 December, ’08)