Good news for all followers of the sport throughout Ireland came with the news at the weekend that following an Extraordinary General Meeting last week, Northern Ireland Horse Board will affiliate to Horse Sport Ireland from January 1st next year.
At the announcement, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Horse Board Sam Smyth said:
“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Horse Sport Ireland. Breeders in Northern Ireland will now receive the same benefits that Horse Sport Ireland is providing to members of the IHB. Our members are particularly excited about having access to CapallOir as we have been hearing great reports of it from our colleagues across the border,” he said.
“The fact that our breeders will be dealing directly with Horse Sport Ireland in relation to registration matters will also improve efficiency. The NIHB office will remain open and we will be focusing on recruiting new members and providing seminars and other services to our members,” he went on.
Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walshcalled the NIHB decision “an historic development for the sport horse sector.”
“The NIHB is the democratically elected representative body for breeders in Northern Ireland. Horse Sport Ireland has already been recognized as the Governing Body by Sport Northern Ireland,” he added.
“Since Horse Sport Ireland was established our modus operandi has been to work with the democratic bodies within the sector to try pull the sector together. The only way to move forward is by working together. I am particularly pleased that this decision was approved unanimously at an EGM of the NIHB. The real challenge now is to secure more funding for our sector so we can have improved prize money, an aggressive marketing programme and new training and education programmes at grassroots level,” he said.
The NIHB have also agreed to support an additional leg of the Irish Sport Horse Studbook Showjumping series, which will be held in Northern Ireland, as well as joint initiatives in other disciplines.