Having read the Equine Farming Task Force’s submission regarding funding for the sector under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) I am convinced that it is the best advocacy for horse breeders I have yet witnessed. It is factual, focused and fervent in making its case for parity within Irish farming. I caught up with Michael Doherty, who along with fellow west of Ireland breeders Noel Kilroy, Patrick Hester, John Murphy and Joseph O’Brien was one of its authors.

Having studied equine business at NUI Maynooth and worked in Horse Sport Ireland for eight years, Michael is now back helping to run the family’s Quarryfield sheep and horse farm in Sligo. Michael is well versed in both the technical and practical side of the issue, commenting: “I have my own show jumping-orientated sport horse breeding programme, with one to five foals a year.”