Breeding Initiatives

Young breeding horse breaking & schooling for competition scheme
 

This scheme is now fully subscribed and is therefore closed for further applications. Thank you for your interest.

 

Mare Upgrade Scheme
CLICK HERE to apply online. All forms are available in paper form. Should you require a paper form please contact adoran@horsesportireland.ie

CLICK HERE for details

 

X-Ray Screening Scheme
Click here  to apply online. All forms are available in paper form. Should you require a paper form please contact info@horsesportireland.ie

CLICK HERE for details

 

National Warmblood Fragile Foal Testing Scheme
Just complete the terms and conditions at https://www.horsesportireland.ie/breeding/breeding-initiatives/  and request a hair sample kit.  Key dates (Samples must be submitted by 30th November 2020)

All forms are available in paper form. Should you require a paper form please contact info@horsesportireland.ie

 

Thoroughbred Percentage Scheme 2020
CLICK HERE. to apply online (for foals born in 2021).All forms are available in paper form. Should you require a paper form please contact adoran@horsesportireland.ie

CLICK HERE for details.

 

Embryo Transfer Scheme for 2020
ENTRIES CLOSED

Horse Sport Ireland Breeder Producer Schemes 2020

Horse Sport Ireland Breeder Producer Schemes 2020

ATTENTION BREEDERS – don’t miss availing of these opportunities

Horse Sport Ireland launches two more schemes to assist breeders and advance the breeding industry in this most challenging year; a Breaking and development scheme and Mare upgrade scheme.

Director of Breeding & Production Alison Corbally says, “we have just completed a benchmarking exercise on the active broodmare herd from our HSI database and some of the key findings confirm our concerns, that there are not enough proven performance families currently in the active broodmare population. To address this, we are increasing the emphasis on performance testing mares prior to breeding and promoting the use of proven performance damlines to ensure faster genetic progress and a better economic return for breeders.  A summary of the statistics below illustration the necessity.

  • Only 67 (0.6%) of active broodmares, have show jumped at the highest level SJ (1.40m/CSI2* or more).
  • Only 60 (0.5%) of active broodmares, have evented at the highest level
  • Only 169 of recent ISH foals had a granddam who competed at any level.
  • 74% of active broodmares had no known sport registration for themselves or their progeny.

We have already supported this strategy with significant the HSI Autumn Development series through significant prizemoney for young horse classes and previously launched breeder schemes. These two new schemes are designed to assist breeders to further reverse this trend, by providing more information for better decision making and therefore enhanced future economic return.”

1.    Young breeding horse breaking & schooling for competition scheme.

The first scheme is a breaking and schooling for competition grant for breeders/owners of future breeding performance sport horses. The aim of this scheme is to incentivise Irish breeders to produce young breeding stock (fillies and stallions) and in so doing add value to them, provide additional information to their owners and breeders as to their positive and negative traits and ultimately to ensure that more informed breeding decisions are made. If mares are not good enough, that too will be identified early. By assisting breeders to have the mares started appropriately, there is a greater incentive to continue to produce the better stock into competition through Horse Sport Ireland’s young horse pathway competitions.

This Horse Sport Ireland scheme is open to Irish breeders and owners with three to four-year-old (for the breaking section) and four-year-old to six year old (for the schooling for competition) fillies and stallions registered in a DAFM studbook. HSI will provide breeders with funds towards six weeks training with a producer to break their young horse, or proven competition rider for schooling for competition, up to a maximum of €1,600 per horse. Following receipt of a valid application which is subsequently approved prior to the training period. Prior to reimbursement, the following must also be supplied: an invoice from the owner/breeder, video evidence of the filly’s or stallion’s progress (before and after videos). Ponies are also eligible to receive funding under the scheme but must be registered in a WBFSH/DAFM Approved Pony Studbook.

Please CLICK HERE to make an application. All forms are available in paper form. Should you require a paper form please contact adoran@horsesportireland.ie

Please click here for full terms and conditions.

This HSI scheme has a number of objectives:

  1. Allow breeders to make more informed breeding decisions;
  2. Add value to three and four-year-old fillies with performance potential, and develops older fillies for competition;
  3. Increase the numbers of performance mares in the future breeding population in Ireland;
  4. Support producers whose season and employment has been disrupted due to Covid restrictions;
  5. Establish pathways and a knowledge base to encourage breeding from performance horses.

The second scheme is a mare upgrade scheme and is equally appropriate for new entrants into sport Horse breeding and those breeders who wish to upgrade their breeding stock. It is particularly targeting breeders with a breeding goal of producing top-level show jumping or dressage horses. Dressage is the fastest growing equestrian discipline in Ireland and the number of breeders with an interest in emulating Heike Holstein who breed bred her top dressage horse “Sambucca” here in Ireland is also growing.

What better way to kick start the process than to consider investing in performance fillies or mares from abroad?

2.    Mare Upgrade Scheme

Horse sport Ireland (HSI) are delighted to offer a mare upgrade incentive scheme for breeders. This scheme will facilitate breeders who wish to purchase performance damline fillies or retired performance mares from abroad for breeding purposes. Through this scheme HSI will cover the cost of the veterinary screening and transport back to Ireland up to a maximum of €1,800 per horse (in accordance with scheme criteria) or a filly/mare that is purchased by a breeder.

Please click here to complete an online entry. All forms are available in paper form. Should you require a paper form please contact adoran@horsesportireland.ie

Please click here for the terms and conditions of the schemes.

This scheme has three objectives:

  1. Increase the numbers of performance dam lines in the active broodmare herd in Ireland;
  2. Incentivise the veterinary screening of mares and fillies imported into Ireland for breeding purposes;
  3. Establish pathways and a knowledge base to encourage further importations of suitable mares into the active broodmare herd in Ireland.

The HSI scheme is open to Irish breeders who intend to purchase a mare or filly meeting the following specific damline performance and other requirements.

If you are considering such a purchase apply online for the scheme and provide verified results demonstrating the performance of the foal/mare you are considering meets the criteria outlined below:

  • 1st Dam (or sister), 2nd Dam and/or 3rd Dam of the young horse for show jumping must have either jumped double clear at 1.45m or have bred at least 1 progeny that have jumped double clear at 1.45m. 1.50m performance damlines will be given preference. For eventing, the criteria is performance at CCI4*-S with preference given for CCI4*-L. For dressage, the criteria is performance at CDI3* with preference given for CDI4*.
  • Sires must have competed successfully at 1.50m and be Approved/Preliminary Approved or Recognised/Preliminary Recognised classification in a WBFSH/DAFM-Approved studbook. For eventing, the criteria is performance at CCI4*-L and for dressage, it is performance at CDI4*.
  • Or the foal/filly/Mare has a genetic evaluation in the top 10 percentile of their studbook of origin;

Ponies are also eligible to receive funding under the scheme but must also meet the performance criteria and be registered in a WBFSH/DAFM Approved Pony Studbook. Breeders can apply for up to two fillies/mares to be included in the scheme. Please click here for the terms and conditions of the schemes. These scheme operates on a first come first served basis up to the maximum allocation facilitated by the existing budget allocation.

HSI, Director of Breeding & Programmes, Alison Corbally had this to say of the scheme:

“HSI are delighted to offer this incentive scheme to breeders who wish to import fillies or retired sport mares from high performance damlines. This scheme will make it easier for breeders to invest in performance damlines by providing funding for veterinary screening and transport and access to a dedicated breeding scheme advisor. In combination with the other HSI schemes encouraging the breaking and production of fillies for sport in Ireland, this will increase the numbers of potential broodmares competing in sport, improve the prevalence of performance dam lines in the Irish active broodmare herd and accelerate the rate of genetic improvement in the Irish breeding population.”

Don’t forget the other HSI Breeding schemes already launched by the HSI Breeding Department in 2020.

3.    Warmblood Fragile Foals Syndrome

Have your foal tested free of charge for Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome. Just complete the terms and conditions at https://www.horsesportireland.ie/breeding/breeding-initiatives/  and request a hair sample kit.  Key dates (Samples must be submitted by 30th November 2020)

4.    X-ray screening scheme

Have your young fillies/mares aged 2-5 years old who meet performance/progeny performance requirements x-rayed free of charge. Click here to apply online.
Key dates: Closing date 6th November

5.    Embryo Transfer scheme

The scheme is open to mares that are three years or older, are registered/endorsed in a DAFM approved studbook and meet the performance or progeny performance. This initiative has been developed to encourage usage of AI and ET in order to accelerate the dissemination of superior genes.

6.    Thoroughbred Percentage scheme

Have you bred a foal with more than 70% thoroughbred blood?  Horse Sport Ireland launched the thoroughbred percentage (TB%) scheme to incentivise the breeding of sport horse foals with greater than 70% thoroughbred blood. Analysis of foal registration between 2015-2019 demonstrated that only 5% of foals produced in Ireland are more than 75% Thoroughbred (TB) blood.

Key dates: Payment will be made in 2020, to the breeders of qualifying foals, on registration of the foal with a DAFM studbook by 30th October 2020.

Breeders can apply to participate in all these schemes by completing the online application forms at https://www.horsesportireland.ie/breeding/breeding-initiatives/

 

Horse Sport Ireland are delighted to launch the 2020 3 & 4-year-old filly loose jumping competitions

These competitions are for three and four-year-old fillies and aims to identify young performance fillies that may be suitable for the broodmare herd.  The competitions are open to any three and four-year-old horse that is registered in a DAFM approved Studbook or WBFSH Studbook and the pony competition is open to any pony registered in a DAFM approved Studbook or EU Studbook.

The first competition will be for the pony entries only taking place in Creagh Equestrian centre on Monday 12th October and the next three competitions will be for horses only, these will be at Tubberbride Equestrian Centre on Tuesday 13th October, Cavan Equestrian Centre on Tuesday 20th October and Top Flight Warrington Equestrian Centre on Monday 26th October.

The closing dates are listed below:

Competition Venue Competition Date Closing Date
Creagh (PONIES ONLY) Monday 12th October 2020 Wednesday 7th October 2020
Tubberbride (HORSES ONLY) Tuesday 13th October 2020 Monday 5th October 2020
Cavan (HORSES ONLY) Tuesday 20th October 2020 Friday 9th October 2020
Top Flight, Warrington (HORSES ONLY) Monday 26th October 2020 Friday 16th October 2020

 

CLICK HERE to enter the loose jumping competitions. Payment to be made directly to the venue.

CLICK HERE for a detailed information note including prize money, pedigree points and the scoring system

X-ray screening scheme

Horse Sport Ireland are pleased to announce an upgrade to the terms and conditions of the HSI X-Ray Screening Scheme. These terms a have been adjusted to account for equine breeding values and to support breeders making consistent efforts to upgrade the quality of their broodmare herd. All existing pending submissions will also be assessed against these criteria.

  • Dam, sister or granddam of the young horse must be a 3-star or above mare based either on her own performance or on the performance of her progeny.
  •                                                                     Or
    Young horse has a HSI estimated breeding value or pedigree index for show jumping of 130 or above. Breeding values for mares are available to their owners and breeders on request from HSI by emailing genetics@horsesportireland.ie.
  • Horse Sport Ireland reserves the right to use performance equivalents and will consider breeding values from other studbooks on a case-by-case basis.

Please note the application deadline for this scheme is the 6th of November where all screenings must be completed and returned to HSI before the 13th of November. These changes are an addition to the existing advertised terms; thus, applications must align to all terms detailed in the document.

Please CLICK HERE to complete an online application.

Please CLICK HERE for the terms and conditions.

Horse Sport Ireland launch X-ray screening scheme

Are you unsure of your fillies/mares’ x-ray health status? Would you like to complete a free x-ray screening to inform your breeding and performance decisions?

Horse sport Ireland (HSI) are delighted to offer an x-ray screening scheme for breeders/owners of fillies/young mares. This scheme will provide breeders/owners with an accessible pathway to completing a full set of x-rays for their own personal use (benchmarking their breeding herd/breeding decision making and sire selection, etc).

The scheme is open to fillies/mares who are registered/endorsed in a WBFSH/DAFM approved studbook and meet the performance requirements.  The mares/filly’s eligibility status will be determined based on dam line performance or the dam’s progeny performance record. Following a valid and approved online application, HSI will cover the cost of the screening and notify the selected approved veterinarian.

Breeders/owners may apply for up to four fillies/mares to be included in the screening. This scheme operates on a first come first served basis up to the maximum allocation facilitated by the existing budget allocation. Deadline for applications is the 6th of November.

Please CLICK HERE to complete an online application.

Please CLICK HERE for the terms and conditions.

Hugh Suffern, HSI Breeding Veterinary Advisor had this to say of the scheme:

“This is superb initiative from Horse Sport Ireland, it will provide individual breeders with invaluable information on their fillies and will be a rich source of research data for the industry.”

HSI, Director of Breeding & Programmes, Alison Corbally:

“HSI are delighted to expand our existing young horse health screening programmes to include an x-ray scheme for fillies/young mares. Currently the HSI suite of health screenings include Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome (WFFS) testing and an extensive research project investigating worming resistance in sport horses in IrelandThis x-ray screening programme will allow breeders to gain insight into any bone related changes in their breeding stock which can be used to inform breeding and performance decisions. These health schemes combined will provide HSI with a robust dataset which will be used to benchmark the health of the Irish breeding population.”

Horse Sport Ireland Launch National Warmblood Fragile Foal Testing Scheme

Horse Sport Ireland are delighted to announce the launch the first of several nationwide equine health screening tests in 2020. The first health screening scheme is for Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome (WFFS) testing, it is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and supported by the HSI board.

WFFS is genetic condition, typically found in Warmblood horses, which effects the foals’ connective tissue. The condition is characterised by fragile skin and mucous membranes causing painful skin blistering; hyperflexible joints, floppy ears, excess fluid in the foetus, potential abortion and premature birth. There is currently no treatment or cure for the syndrome, thus, effected foals rarely survive and are euthanised after birth, if born alive.

Currently, there is no clear understanding of the prevalence of the gene in Ireland. However, HSI has tested Stallions as part of their inspection process for the past two years and some other studbooks and stud owners have begun testing their own stock and detailing stallion carrier status to their clients and on the horses records. Much of the renewed focus on WFFS is due to widespread coverage of a case in Texas in 2018. The incidence of WFFS carrier status in the global warmblood/sport horse population is estimated at 9-11%. However, research has suggested that the percentage of carriers is likely to be higher due to the lack of widespread testing schemes. Further to this, it is relatively unknown if and how much this genetic mutation effects other breeds; a small percentage of carriers have been identified in non-sport horse populations.

To improve understanding of the condition and incidence in equine populations, several studbooks and breed societies, such as the KWPN and Westfalen studbooks, require genetic testing and disclosure of a horses’ WFFS status. HSI began compulsory WFFS testing of all stallions undergoing HSI studbook inspection two year ago.

Currently the only way to prevent the breeding of WFFS effected or carrier foals, is to test the proposed mating pair (sire and dam) prior to covering and determine the carrier status of both equines (see figure).

⦁ The condition may occur when both the dam and the sire of the foal are WFFS carriers. The foal has a 25% chance of being born normal; a 25% chance of being born with the fatal condition and a 50% chance of being a carrier of WFFS.
⦁ If only one parent is a carrier, the foal has a 50% change of becoming a carrier pf the condition to.
⦁ If both parents are normal, i.e. do not carry the condition, there is a 0% chance of the foal being either a carrier or effected by the fatal condition.

Alison Corbally, HSI Director of Breeding & Programmes said:

“This is the first of a number of national health testing schemes to be implemented by Horse Sport Ireland this year. An improved awareness of the level of genetic carriers will allow Irish breeders to minimise the risk of breeding a fatally infected foal and the associated economic impacts. Given that is not feasible to test all breeding equines at this time and in order to utilise these testing regimes to benefit all Irish breeders, HSI are now offering free WFFS testing for 2020 foals of interested breeders/owners. This scheme is open to all DAFM approved studbooks. We hope as many breeders as possible avail of the scheme.”

 

The result of these tests may also help Irish breeders to discern their mares WFFS status. Such that, if mares are bred to a stallion with a known negative WFFS carrier status and the foal returns a positive WFFS results, the gene has been inherited from the mare.

There are no health implications for carrier horses, the risk of contracting the fatal WFFS condition occurs only when both the dam and sire breeding pair are carriers of WFFS. However, nationwide testing would, in the first instance, improve our understanding of the incidence of WFFS carrier status in Irish equine populations. It is important to gather this information on WFFS incidence to support Irish breeders in preventing further transmission of carrier status to foals and potential breeding equines in Ireland. More importantly, the results of this testing scheme can be used to empower breeder decision making by avoiding the mating of two carrier animals. This will effectively eliminate the risk of breeding a fatally effected foal.

Applications to the scheme should be made directly online at Horse Sport Ireland. Please CLICK HERE to apply online or scan the QR code below.

Thoroughbred Percentage Scheme 2020 – Online Application

Horse Sport Ireland launched the thoroughbred percentage (TB%) scheme to incentivise the breeding of sport horse foals with greater than 70% thoroughbred blood.  Analysis of foal registration between 2015-2019 demonstrated that only 5% of foals produced in Ireland are more than 75% Thoroughbred (TB) blood. Padraig McCarthy and Chris Bartle emphasised the need for greater than 80% thoroughbred blood for the top 4* event horse. When Michael Jung was in Ireland recently, he too was looking for horses with 80% blood, outlining that they are increasingly difficult to source in Europe.

One of the Breeders who utilised the scheme last year was Mary Rothwell, from Tinahely, Co. Wicklow.  Mary told us that ‘This was my first year doing this scheme and we had three mares for it. I think it’s an excellent incentive for the breeders and breeding in Ireland. Over the years Ireland’s bloodlines have become diluted with the increased use of popular foreign stallions while we have lost some of our own Irish horse traits and characteristic. This scheme also helps the traditional breeder aiming for the event market, which is a longer road when going to the sales versus the produce from warmblood stallions which can usually command good prices as foals.”

She continued “It is a really worthwhile scheme introduced by Horse Sport Ireland because it encourages breeders to inject thoroughbred blood back into our lines and also the progeny from this scheme are predominantly aimed at the eventing discipline where we have been so well recognised in the world rankings for years. I definitely intend to use this scheme in the future and look forward to it being reintroduced in 2020.’

Horse sport Ireland are providing a grant of €300 to the first 200 breeders that register a foal with more than 70% Thoroughbred blood in 2020. Payment will be made in 2021, to the breeders of qualifying foals, on registration of the foal with a DAFM studbook by 30th October 2021.

To check the schemes terms and eligibility criteria please read this Information Leaflet.  Please click here to apply online.

Mary Rothwell with Millennium Cruise (ISH) by Cruising (ISH) out of Greenhall Cailin Deas (ISH) by Mister Lord (USA) Picture by Susan Finnerty

If the scheme is oversubscribed, mares that have a significant performance record (meet HSI 2* or above criteria) or mares that have produced performance progeny will take priority in the scheme. Breeders can check their foals TB% using the IHR online hypothetical mating platform. Please click here to go to the IHR online log in page. Once you’ve logged in you can then type in the stallion/mare’s name in the horse search box and her details including TB% are detailed (see below).

Horse Sport Ireland would like to remind and encourage breeders to continue to apply for our existing breeding schemes and Registration services which remain open and unaffected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mary Rothwell with Greenhall Wishing Well (ISH) by Crosstown Dancer (RID) out of Greenhall Miss Cruise (ISH) by Cruising (ISH) Picture by Susan Finnerty

Horse Sport Ireland continues Embryo Transfer Scheme for 2020

Horse Sport Ireland is happy to announce the continuation of the Embryo Transfer Scheme for 2020, following its success over the previous three years. This scheme, which is being funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), aims to increase genetic improvement by maximising the genetic potential of Ireland’s top-class performance mares.

The scheme is open to mares that are three years or older, are registered/endorsed in a DAFM approved studbook and meet the performance or progeny performance requirements (see application form for details). The embryo transfer must take place at a designated clinic after the 1st March 2020 and an application must be submitted before the 28th August 2020. A payment of €600 per embryo will be payable to the owner upon submission of a veterinary declaration confirming that the recipient has been scanned in foal and a receipt from the clinic. Ponies are also eligible to receive funding under the scheme but must also meet the performance criteria and be registered in a WBFSH/DAFM Approved Pony Studbook.

A specific Traditional Irish Horse (TIH) category was introduced in 2019 and is offered again this year. The scheme for the TIH is open to mares that are 3 years or older, are registered in a DAFM approved studbook and recorded as a Traditional Irish Horse. The stallion must also be a Traditional Irish Horse or Thoroughbred and Approved either a WBFSH or DAFM Studbook.

We spoke to Pat Kehoe, breeder of ABC Quantum Cruise (ISH) and ABC Private Jet (ISH) who has availed of the initiative since its inception and he told us why he applied.

“I have been availing of Horse Sport Ireland Embryo Transfer Scheme for the last 3 years. I think it is an excellent initiative by Horse Sport Ireland’s breeding department. I honestly don’t think I would do embryo transfers without this fund being available. Embryo transfer can be quite expensive, and this definitely makes life a little bit easier for breeders.  I am lucky enough to have a couple of good mares that qualify for this scheme, but it also encourages and educates breeders on the type of mare and performance history necessary that we should be trying to breed from using modern technology.”

Harry Charles on ABC Quantum Cruise (ISH), GCT London 2019, photo:.Stefano Grasso

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants must comply with Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine legislation for equine foal passport registrations to be eligible to participate in future Embryo Transfer Schemes. All foals must be registered within 12 months of birth where proof will be required.

Mare owners can apply for funding for up to four embryos under the scheme in 2020. Semen used for the embryo transfers must be from stallions which are Approved in either a WBFSH or DAFM horse /pony studbook.

This initiative has been developed in line with recommendation R.1.2 from Reaching New Heights which advocates the increased usage of AI and ET in order to accelerate the dissemination of superior genes. The scheme will benefit the owners of performance mares, or mares that have already produced top class performance horses, through the support of the Embryo Transfer process. Many of these mares may not otherwise be available to contribute to the breeding of sport horses in Ireland as their owners may wish for them to remain in competition or they may be incapable of carrying a foal to term. We are very grateful to the Department of Agriculture for their support with this initiative.

For an online application form for mare owners wishing to participate in the scheme please CLICK HERE for further information on terms and eligibility criteria please CLICK HERE.

For further information on the Embryo Transfer Scheme please contact Lorraine Mc Mahon on 045 854517. Email lmcmahon@horsesportireland.ie