Breeding Initiatives

ATTENTION BREEDERS – don’t miss availing of these opportunities
Please note, all schemes operates on a first come first served basis up to the maximum allocation facilitated by the existing budget allocation.

Breeding Initiatives: Notification Request


1. Thoroughbred Percentage Scheme for 2021 Foals

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 2021, to the breeders of qualifying foals, on registration of the foal with a DAFM studbook by 30th October 2021. This scheme will be offered for 2022 foals, applications opening later this year. If you wish to be notified please provide your email address in the notification box above.

CLICK HERE. to apply online (for foals born in 2021).
CLICK HERE for details.
All forms are available in paper format, should you require one, please contact

2. Mare Upgrade Scheme 2021

Horse sport Ireland (HSI) are delighted to continue to offer a mare upgrade incentive scheme for breeders in 2021. This scheme, which is being funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), will facilitate breeders who wish to purchase performance dam-line 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.
Please click here for the full terms and conditions of the scheme.
All forms are available in paper format, should you require one please contact

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.
Closing date: 31st October 2021

3.    X-Ray Screening Scheme 2021

Horse Sport Ireland are delighted to re-launch the mare/filly x-ray screening scheme for 2021. The scheme proved hugely popular with breeders in the 2020 season where over 200 mares/fillies were screened. The earlier launch date aims to increase the reach and benefit of the screening to all eligible industry stakeholders.

This scheme, which is being funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), will provide breeders/owners with an accessible pathway to completing a full set of x-rays for their own personal use:

  • Bench-marking the breeding herd
  • Support breeding decision making
  • Support performance decisions

Please note the full details of terms conditions and eligibility and click here if you would like to apply online.
Closing date: 31st October 2021 

4.    Embryo Transfer Scheme

Horse Sport Ireland is happy to announce the reinstatement the Embryo Transfer Scheme in 2021 following its success over the previous four 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. This initiative has been developed to encourage usage of AI and ET in order to accelerate the dissemination of superior genes.

The scheme is open to mares that are 3 years or older, are registered/endorsed in a DAFM approved studbook and meet the performance or progeny performance requirements. Please click here for full details regarding terms conditions and eligibility & click here to apply online. All foals must be registered within 12 months of birth in order to draw down funding, where proof will be required.

For further information on the Embryo Transfer Scheme please contact Lorraine McMahon:

The embryo transfer must take place at a designated clinic after the 1st March 2021 and an application must be submitted before the 27th August 2021.

5.    Breaking and Schooling Scheme

Horse Sport Ireland are delighted to announce the return of the HSI Breaking and Schooling Scheme for 2021. The HSI Breaking and Schooling Scheme aims to incentivise Irish breeders to produce future breeding horses through a designated training pathway and in so doing add value to them, provide additional information to their owners and breeders as to their negative and positive traits and ultimately to inform breeding decisions. This initiative also seeks to stimulate economic activity in equestrian communities nationwide and identify and support talented Irish producers. The timing of the scheme reflects its aim of targeting young horses before breeding and at a time of year when producers may have additional capacity.

This scheme is open to breeders with young horses intended for breeding aged between three and six years of age. The breaking option within the scheme is open to breeders with young fillies and stallions born in 2017 or 2018. The schooling for competition option is open to breeders with mares and stallions born between 2015 and 2017.

  • Breeders may apply for up to two horses but only one option (breaking or schooling for competition) may be selected for each horse
  • Preference will be given to mares/fillies who have completed the HSI X-Ray Screening Scheme in 2020/2021; a waiting list will operate for all other entries
  • Horses who were broken/schooled under the 2020 scheme are not eligible for funding under the 2021 initiative

Please click here for further information with regards terms, conditions and eligibility
Please click here to apply online

Entry deadline is the 11th of October 2021 and all invoices must be returned before the 23rd of November 2021

6.    Stallion Reproductive Health Screening Scheme

Horse Sport Ireland are delighted to offer free reproductive health screening/sampling in a HSI designated clinic for all stallions active in the sport horse sector in advance of 2022 covering season. This DAFM funded scheme will include screening for sport horse sector stallions standing in Ireland for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA), Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) and Contageous Equine Metritis (CEM).

The safeguarding of the equine national health status and the reproductive health of stallions is of vital importance. As part of the Horse Sport Ireland Code of Practice, this reproductive health screening should be undertaken annually. Further, an increasing number of breeders (mare owners) have been requesting stallion owners for this information. Therefore, Horse Sport Ireland is now assisting all stallion owners to fulfil their recommendations for the 2022 breeding season.

Please click here for further information with regards terms, conditions and eligibility
Please click here to apply online