The Equine Farming Taskforce (EFT) is a group of industry stakeholders from the west of Ireland, established in order to seek parity with other agricultural sectors, particularly in relation to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes II (TAMS II).

In TAMS II documentation, DAFM’s definition of farming states: ‘Farming’ includes dairy farming, livestock production [including deer, goats, (pig and poultry production which is subject to calculation of production units)], the training of horses and the rearing of bloodstock, the cultivation of grass and tillage crops, including horticultural crops whether under protected cropping conditions or in the open.

Despite this definition, horse stocks were the sole equine specific item funded by DAFM under TAMS II in the most recent Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Over the past year, EFT members have engaged with industry stakeholders in an effort to raise awareness of equine farming in Ireland.

The efforts of the EFT culminated in its submission to DAFM during the public consultation process conducted for the CAP 2023-2027 Strategic Plan.

In designing Ireland’s new CAP strategic plan, DAFM published a detailed document titled Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 - Public Consultation on Proposed Interventions. In order to achieve the proposed interventions, nine specific objectives were outlined in the strategic plan. The EFT’s CAP submission highlighted how equine farming is extremely complementary to, and in line with, those nine specific objectives, and demonstrated the need for significantly increased support of the equine sector.

EFT member Michael Doherty explains: “Our primary aim with this submission is to ensure that the equine sector receives favourable inclusion in any revised TAMS schemes and in the proposed new knowledge transfer programme. We hope that future support is more in line with the significant contribution that we all know the equine sector makes to Ireland’s economy. ”

To receive a copy of the EFT CAP submission, email Michael Doherty at