There’s been a distinct smell of ka-ching in the air this last week with cash being at the centre of much of the equestrian news.

Setting the atmosphere for the week on Wednesday in Belgium, a record prize for a foal was given at the Equbreeding Auction where the only full-brother of international superstar sire Emerald was bought for €360,000.

Closer to home, the results at Cavan Equestrian Elite Foal Sale were record-breaking too, with a daughter of the mighty Cornet Obolensky bringing home €36,000 for breeder Declan Phelan.


As Budget Day approaches, Wednesday saw more than record-breaking foal sales. It was also the day that Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) asked for €33.5 million for the sport horse industry in the next Budget, alongside an €80 million request from the CAP 2023-2027 pot for equine infrastructure.

The hefty appeal is multiples of what has been requested previously or allocated to the industry.

However, with Government focus firmly on the energy crisis and cost of living, it’s a brave ask from HSI who have long been lobbying for greater investment in the industry.

Whether it’s a “shoot for the moon to land among stars” result remains to be seen, but if you don’t ask you don’t get, and all that.


Two schemes which I imagine will garner positive support are the welfare-focused €9 million winter fodder and feed scheme, plus an anti-doping programme.

HSI chairman, Joe Reynolds said: “We are asking for this Budget funding as a business, there is a return on this money, it does lead to a growth in jobs, a rise in economic activity.

From the Aga Khan win - where we had three Irish-breds on Ireland’s winning team - down to the underage equestrian team medals, I believe we are in a golden age of Irish equestrianism.

This industry filters down to every parish in Ireland.”

CEO Denis Duggan commented: “The ask is substantial but so is this industry. There are 14,000 full-time jobs and it is generating over €1billion into the Irish economy. That’s the key message we are saying to Government. The industry needs support.”

Impresive victory

Across the pond on Friday, Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and The Irish Sport Horse James Kann Cruz scored a huge win last night in the $405,300 five-star American Gold Cup Grand Prix at the Traverse City Show in Michigan, USA.

Out-jumping the other nine finalists, James Kann Cruz is one of the most talked about horses in the world at the moment, the nine-year-old gelding by Kannan out of CSF Telly Cruz (ISH), was bred by Patrick Connolly.

I’d say there isn’t a purse big enough to buy that handsome grey lad just yet, there’s much more to come from this thrilling combination.