Horse Sport Ireland welcomes announcement on extension of TAMS to equine farmers

  • 23 July 2022, 10:26

Horse Sport Ireland has welcomed the announcement from Minister for Agriculture, Food and The Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, regarding the extension of the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) to equine farmers.

Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, during a recent visit to Horse Sport Ireland in Naas, Kildare. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Minister McConalogue committed to extending the scheme to equine farmers at the launch of the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS this week, a decision, it is believed, will be of massive benefit to equine farmers and breeders across the country as it opens the door for them to improve and modernise their facilities.

Horse Sport Ireland Chief Executive Denis Duggan said: “As National Governing Body for Equestrian Sport in Ireland, Horse Sport Ireland has lobbied for the inclusion of equine farmers to the scheme and we welcome the Minister’s announcement that from January 2023 certain equine measures will be included in the next iteration of TAMS.”

Horse Sport Ireland Chief Executive Denis Duggan

Speaking at the launch, Minister McConalogue acknowledged the efforts of Horse Sport Ireland in working closely with his Department on TAMS and Duggan added: “Over 50 per cent of equine breeders have fewer than five mares.

“Some equine farmers and breeders may not have previously had the financial capabilities to make investments in their facilities, so the confirmation of equine inclusion in TAMS by the Minister is a welcome development.

“We look forward to continuing to engage with Minister McConalogue and his officials over the coming weeks and months as the Department of Agriculture work to finalise what measures and funds will be made available over the lifetime of the CAP from 2023 to 2027 for equine measures.”

Horse Sport Ireland has recently commissioned a survey of equine famers nationwide and the results of this will form the basis of further proposals to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as to where funds from within the scheme can be spent within the equine industry.

“The results of our survey, which are being independently compiled by IFAC Accountants, make interesting reading and will be revealed at the Dublin Horse Show next month,” continued Duggan.

“Horse Sport Ireland will continue to liaise with Minister McConalogue and his department regarding equine measures within the Common Agricultural Policy schemes.

“Equine farmers will need to ensure that they are ready for any future investment schemes as part of the CAP.

“For some that will mean that they need to be in receipt of existing payments from the Department of Agriculture.

Any equine farmers not already in receipt of a basic payment (BPS, previously Single Farm Payment); ANC/Area of Natural Constraint (previously, disadvantaged area payment), or environmental schemes such as ACRES, or its predecessors REAP, GLAS, AEOS – we would encourage them to begin the process of seeking advice from their local agricultural advisor or Teagasc advisor,” Duggan said.

The announcement comes just weeks after Horse Sport Ireland announced over half a million euro in breeding grants to 55 shows and initiatives nationwide.

The Horse Sport Ireland Breeding Grant offers support for breeding and production initiatives, classes and competitions at various equestrian shows and events throughout the country.

The 2023 HSI roadshow included a presentation from Laura Johnston of Clone Agricultural Consultants Ltd. to discuss the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS II) which includes equine infrastructure.  Laura discusses the key criteria equine breeders and producers should be aware of, and how they can apply for the TAMS II scheme to support their equine farming enterprise.