All equestrian disciplines hold their appeal, but for me, there is nothing that can top eventing. It truly is the ultimate test of horsemanship. The Irish circuit is populated with wonderful people and exceptional horses, and I look back on my time as a groom, rider and reporter with the fondest memories.

Ireland is renowned worldwide for breeding and producing outstanding event horses. In 2023, the Irish Sport Horse again came out on top in the World Sport Horse Breeding Federation rankings for eventing horses. One of our largest export markets for event horses is the United Kingdom. However, the British eventing scene is facing a series of unforeseen challenges which may go on to impact Irish breeders and producers.


At the beginning of 2023, British Eventing transferred responsibility for event abandonment insurance to the organisers of each individual event. Additionally, British Eventing transferred responsibility for paying scorers at events to competition organisers, suggesting an 8% increase in entry fees to absorb the additional cost. The result has been an alarming increase in events choosing to cancel, due to these changes. Upwards of 35 separate fixtures have been lost from the British Eventing calendar for the 2024 season. British Eventing is also experiencing an overall decline in membership.

Irish breeders and producers may need to prepare for the potential consequences of this reduced demand of event horses across the pond.

Olympic news

In Olympic news, the Paris 2024 Olympic cross-country course designer Pierre Le Goupil has delivered an upbeat report regarding the progress of the course build in Versailles. Working with the Versailles park team and using 3D imaging to bring his vision to life, Pierre is making the most of the parkland and is preparing for all eventualities.

He says of the job: “It has been a great honour, and there’s still a lot to do. It is a particular showcase that gives us an extraordinary opportunity to show our sport at its best.”

Ireland is renowned worldwide for breeding and producing outstanding event horses

FEI Eventing Director Catrin Norinder broke the news at the FEI 2024 Online Eventing Seminar that eventing has not yet been confirmed in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic sports program.

The International Olympic Committee is prioritising controlling costs for the 2028 games, as well as reducing the complexity of presenting the sports to the public. A single venue able to host all equestrian disciplines is being sought, and a change to the traditional eventing format is apparently under consideration.