Horse Sport Ireland continues Embryo Transfer Scheme for 2020

  • 19 August 2020, 15:10

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

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