Coveney launches sport horse plan aimed at de­vel­op­ing com­mer­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties

Irish Independent - Farming - - Horses - Ann Fitzger­ald

A STRATE­GIC plan­ning process aimed at de­vel­op­ing the com­mer­cial po­ten­tial of the horse sport sec­tor by im­prov­ing ex­port-led growth and in­creas­ing em­ploy­ment has been launched by the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture Si­mon Coveney.

The process will be un­der­taken by Horse Sport Ire­land, Tea­gasc and the Royal Dublin So­ci­ety, and will be over­seen by a steer­ing group chaired by Pa­trick Gib­bons, pro­fes­sor of Strate­gic Man­age­ment at UCD's Smur­fit Busi­ness School.

The mem­bers of the steer­ing group are: Prof Pat Wall, HSI; Damian McDon­ald, HSI; Prof Cathal O'Donoghue, Tea­gasc; De­clan McAr­dle, Tea­gasc; Michael Duffy, RDS; and Pat Hanly, RDS.

A con­sul­ta­tion process seek­ing sub­mis­sions from in­ter­ested par­ties will be an­nounced shortly.

It is also in­tended to hold a num­ber of re­gional meet­ings to seek in­put from par­tic­i­pants in the sec­tor.

Min­is­ter Coveney high­lighted a re­cent UCD study which found that the sport horse sec­tor is worth over €700m to the Ir­ish econ­omy, with over 47,000 peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, mak­ing it “cru­cial.”

Prof Wall added the group catered to the dif­fer­ent seg­ments of the sec­tor: “We will hope­fully come up with a road map to a com­mer­cial in­dus­try that will un­der­pin suc­cess in all as­pects of eques­trian sport.”

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