Rainwater use and sustainable transport among recommendations in environment report for equine sector

Series of 28 recommendations stemmed from report, which Horse Sport Ireland hope to collaboratively introduce industry-wide

Ireland’s equine industry will look to scale back the use of unsustainable modes of transport for horses and take advantage of the Irish climate to embed sustainable practices such as the gathering of rainwater, according to a new report on the issue.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue on Friday released a new report on environmental sustainability, focusing on equestrianism, equine breeding and equine sport.

The joint report, which was supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, was undertaken in tandem by Horse Sport Ireland and British Equestrian. The aim of the report was to better understand sustainability within the equine industry, by identifying best practices and how best to implement them.

A series of 28 recommendations have stemmed from the report, which Horse Sport Ireland hope to collaboratively introduce and initiate industry-wide change. These recommendations include the creation of a dedicated learning platform to house sustainability resources and support information sharing, and also to ensure the topic of sustainability remains to the forefront of government policy.


Speaking at the launch of the Insights report at the Dublin Horse Show on Friday morning, Mr McConalogue said, “The protection and enhancement of our equestrian industry across every parish and community, while ensuring that equestrianism plays its part in mitigating climate change, environmental sustainability and social license is a priority for this Government.”

“The insights in this report are the result of dedicated research and collaboration between experts, industry stakeholders and environmentalists. We must view this report as an opportunity for growth, not as a critique of past practices,” said Mr McConalogue.

“We have a responsibility to act decisively, to protect our natural resources, and to ensure that the industry thrives without compromising the environment it sustains. Our practices must adapt with evolving times, embracing eco-friendly technologies, promoting sustainable land management, and reducing carbon footprint,” he added.

Horse Sport Ireland Chief Executive, Denis Duggan, also spoke to the reports findings, saying, “The publication of this insights report will create additional awareness within the equestrian sector about the challenges and opportunities that we face.”

“There is very strong support within the sector for taking action to improve sustainability ... 68 per cent of those surveyed for the report said that sustainability was ‘very important to them’,” he added.