Cian O’Connor joins Minister to launch €200k Show Jumping and Eventing HSI Studbook Series

  • 27 April 2023, 21:30

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, T.D, joined Irish Olympian Cian O’Connor and two of Ireland’s performance studbooks at Karlswood on Thursday morning to launch the 2023 Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) Studbook Series in both show jumping and eventing disciplines.

Minister McConalogue officially opened the series at O’Connor’s Karlswood base in Co. Meath alongside breeding directors from HSI and the Warmblood Studbook of Ireland (WSI), with the competition open to all Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)-approved Studbooks for the second year running, and for the first time ever in eventing.

In an important show of solidarity within the sector, HSI Head of Breeding, Innovation and Development Sonja Egan and Chief Executive Denis Duggan were in attendance alongside O’Connor, Minister McConalogue and WSI Breeding Director Thomas Reed to launch an important event for the production of young sport horses in Ireland.

Running from May through to September, the HSI Studbook Series will run in the disciplines of show jumping and eventing and has proven invaluable to breeders, producers and owners of young horses. The series is a platform for young horses as they develop towards elite level with a particular focus on representing Irish Studbooks at the WBFSH World Breeding Championships in Eventing, Le Lion D’Angers in France and for Show Jumping in Lanaken, Belgium.

At the launch of the Horse Sport Ireland Studbook Series, supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, at Karlswood in Meath, home of Irish Olympian Cian O’Connor, is Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, second from right, with, from left, Breeding Director of Irish Warmblood Studbook of Ireland Tom Reed, Horse Sport Ireland CEO Denis Duggan, Cian O’Connor, Horse Sport Ireland head of Breeding, Innovation and Development Sonja Egan and Robyn Moran on Cushlas Fryday (WSI). Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

The Department of Agriculture has dedicated a fund of €200,000 to support the series across disciplines, an increase of €15,000 on the show jumping series in 2022, and a welcome re-introduction of the series for young event horses. Breeders’ prizes will be awarded for leading performance in each class and overall league results. A new prize for 2023 includes recognition and support for leading young riders in the form of league prizes.

“I am very pleased to be here in Karlswood to help kick off this year’s Studbook Series. The series plays a vital role in supporting and promoting equine breeding success through the industry through young horse competition as they learn their trade,” Minister McConalogue said at the launch.

“My Department is delighted to work alongside Horse Sport Ireland to help develop the sector and industry through initiatives like the Studbook Series and we are also very happy to have increased the prize fund by €15,000 this year in show jumping and open an eventing-specific series to the tune of €65,000.

“It is great to see Horse Sport Ireland and the Warmblood Studbook of Ireland here, as it is important to publicise the fact that Ireland’s studbooks are working together for the benefit of breeders. I hope it is a huge success again.”

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, left, and Aga Khan winning rider and Irish Olympian Cian O’Connor with Kilkenny in the Aqua Therapy suite

HSI Head of Breeding Sonja Egan added: “The 2023 HSI Studbook Series represents another lift in support of the industry by HSI and the Department of Agriculture.

“This series will help to maintain Ireland as a leader in the production of eventing and show jumping horses. In 2023 the series commands a total fund of €200,000 dedicated to the production of young eventing and show jumping horses.

“We took a lot from last year’s success at Lanaken and have implemented small changes which will contribute to production of show jumping horses. That includes the introduction of an open water fence, first as an option and later as a mandatory fence and ground lines in the first three phases in the five-year-old section.

“HSI, WSI and DAFM welcome the return of an eventing specific series to support Irish eventing breeders, owners, and riders. This facilitates these Irish-bred eventers to be produced nationally through a bespoke series which targets Le Lion selection and a future career in eventing.

“I am delighted that breeders will now receive recognition and prizes for leading performance in each class, not just the finals, and the introduction of leading young rider league prizes for each age category.”

WSI’s Breeding Director, Thomas Reed added: “It is very important for WSI to be here at Karlswood and I am grateful to Cian for allowing us to bring a WSI-bred horse to his magnificent facility as we help launch the series alongside HSI. This is the second year that the series is open to other studbooks, and it is a crucial development for Irish Warmbloods, one of two breeds of sport horses in Ireland.

“It is a very positive step that we are here today, working together to launch the series and I’m hopeful and confident that WSI and HSI can work very well in tandem as we move forward.”


The dates for the 2023 Studbook Series are:

Date Venue
Leg 1: Saturday 10th June Clonmahon House 2, Co Meath
Leg 2: Saturday 17th June Rosanna 2, Co Wicklow
Leg 3: Sunday 16th July Ballindenisk 2, Co Cork
Leg 4: Sunday 20th August Tattersalls, Co Meath
Leg 5 (FINAL): 9th -10th September National Championships, Castle Irvine Necarne, Co Fermanagh


Show Jumping
Date Venue
1st May Galway Equestrian Centre, Athenry
6th – 7th May Barnadown Show jumping, Wexford
19th – 20th May Cavan Equestrian Centre, Cavan
2nd – 3rd June Mullingar International, Westmeath
17th – 18th June Cork Summer Show, Cork
7th– 8th July National Balmoral Championships, Down2
18th – 19th July Tattersalls (Final), Meath