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Sport horses worth €708m to Ireland’s economy

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney T.D., centre, with Joe Walsh, Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland, right, and Dr. Alan Fahey, Lecturer in Genetics at UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, left,  in attendance during the launch of the UCD Study of the Sport Horse Sector with Minister Simon Coveney. Department of Agriculture Food & the Marine, Agriculture House, Kildare Street,  Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

From left, Dr Alan Fahey, Lecturer in Genetics at UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walsh, at the launch of the UCD Study of the Sport Horse Sector. © Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Ireland’s sport horse industry contributes €708 million a year to the country’s economy, a report by the University College Dublin has revealed.

The report, titled Economic Contribution of the Sport Horse Industry to the Irish Economy, was unveiled this week by Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The report was commissioned by Horse Sport Ireland, funded by the National Development Plan 2007 – 2013 and was prepared under the guidance of Dr. Alan Fahey, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.

The report highlights the importance of the Irish Sport Horse sector and revealed that:

  • The sport horse industry contributes €708 million per annum to the Irish economy.
  • The sport horse population in Ireland was estimated to be 124,000 equines.
  • More than 47,000 people are estimated to be involved in the industry
  • Some 29,295 individuals derive all or part of their income from the sector
  • Total full-time employment in the sector was estimated to be more than 12,500 people

“The Sport Horse Sector is an important part of the economic and social fabric of rural Ireland,” Coveney said.

“This report confirms that fact and also provides a very useful source of up to date information in terms of devising policy for the sector. I am very pleased that my Department was able to fund the project through the National Development Plan and I want to compliment UCD and Horse Sport Ireland for the professional way in which the project results were presented.”

Dr Alan Fahey from UCD said: “There are many facets to the Sport Horse sector and when you pull them all together in a study such as this it demonstrates that it is a sector which has very important part to play in our economy. For a relatively modest Government investment it makes a very significant impact.”

Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walsh thanked the UCD and HSI’s affiliate bodies for their assistance with the project, which he described as a comprehensive and detailed piece of work.

“It will be very helpful in demonstrating how important the sport horse sector is to every parish and village in Ireland,” he said.

» The full report (PDF) can be downloaded here.

 

 

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