Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Ceisteanna (99)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

99. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of horses attached to the Defence Forces equitation school in each of the past four years to date in 2019; if funding is being provided in 2020 for the provision of extra horses in the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51649/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The mission of the Army Equitation School is to promote the Irish horse through participation in international competition at the highest level. The Equitation School has discharged this task with considerable distinction down through the years and, through its participation and numerous successes in equitation events at home and abroad, it has successfully promoted the qualities of the Irish horse.

The Army Equitation School continues to source suitable Irish bred horses that meet the required standard as judged by the School's Horse Purchase Board. Horses are acquired through either purchase or lease agreement.

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 2020 for horse acquisitions is €350,000. The Deputy might note that in 2019, the School has acquired two new horses with plans for further acquisitions before the end of the year.

The number of horses attached to the Equitation School in 2019 and the previous four years are listed below:

Year

Number of Horses

2015

33

2016

37

2017

34

2018

39

2019

39

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