Horse Sport Ireland estimates that equine farmers will spend €342m over the next three years on infrastructure.

Many of these horseowners have never claimed grant aid before. The large crowd who turned out to learn more about the application process at an IFA meeting in the Horse and Jockey Hotel on Tuesday was therefore not unexpected.

Seventy-nine per cent of those surveyed by Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) in 2022 had never heard of the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) and 85% had not heard of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), revealed Denis Duggan, CEO of the organisation.

In terms of demand for infrastructure, the HSI survey also revealed that 51% of breeders wanted fencing, 49% all-weather turnout, 39% young stock housing, with 35% and 36% looking for stables and arenas respectively.

In advance of the full eligibility criteria being released, agricultural consultant Tim Bourke outlined the potential opportunities for equine farmers under the scheme based on previous schemes and available information.

Bourke said applicants must have a minimum of three equines recorded on last years equine census to qualify. However, Denis Duggan did give cause for hope for those who didn’t register, saying that correspondence with the Department of Agriculture indicated that there may be some opportunity still to register.

Similar to all schemes, applicants must have applied for the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS), which replaces the BPS in the new CAP, before applying for a TAMS III grant. An equine premises number will be required and there is a minimum land requirement of 5ha, which can be owned or leased.

Bourke closed with two notes of warning.

First, he said that if planning permission was not already granted, it was unlikely that development would be completed this year.

Second, he said that although every item listed as eligible has a reference cost associated with it, these reference costs have in many cases not kept pace with the actual costs.


On Wednesday 22 at 8pm the Irish Farmers Journal will host a webinar in which the Department of Agriculture will outline the full TAMS III eligibility for equine farmers.

Watch here: