Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Ceisteanna (122)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

122. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the estimated cost of purchasing six extra horses for the Defence Forces equitation school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29895/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The Army Equitation School was founded in 1926 to promote Ireland and the Irish horse.

I can assure the Deputy that the Army Equitation School continues to source suitable Irish-bred horses, acquired through either purchase or lease agreement, that meet the required standard as judged by the School’s Horse Purchase Board.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the purchase price of any horse varies depending on a number of factors including age, ability, temperament etc. The School’s budget allocation in 2019 for horse acquisitions is €350,000. While it is difficult to predict the number of acquisitions this year, the Deputy might note that in 2018 four new horses were acquired by the School.

I am satisfied that the current arrangements allow the School to maintain its competitiveness at national and international events.