Horse Sport Ireland Breeder Producer Schemes 2020

  • 2 October 2020, 18:26

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

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.

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  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



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