Mtg with HSI & Owners Group

Note from Head Office

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Author: Alison Packman/Friday 7 January 2022/Categories: General News

meeting was held for Event Horse Owners represented by Richard Ames to discuss the High-Performance Programme and related items with the acting CEO of Horse Sport Ireland,   Joe Reynolds.  For transparency, it was agreed to publish the Minutes of the meeting which took place on 17 December at HSI's offices.

 1.    HSI

JR Explained how HSI is operated including its link to Sport Ireland and Eventing Ireland.


2.    Owners

  • RA said that owners are the most important people in Equestrian Sport, No Horses No sport. Owners felt completely left out and these is absolutely NO communication or liaison from HSI.   Owners get no recognition; although if attending a championship, they might be given a wrong size Polo Shirt.
  • JR acknowledged these issues and accepted these needed to be changed and would work with owner's representative to do this.
  • It was hoped that HSI have a staff member who could be moved to the front line  and become ' liaison officer'

3.    Transparency HP Programme

  • JR agreed that this would be done and his door was always open to further questions.

4.    HP Programme and Team Integration

  • RA said that other countries had far better programmes and gave illustrations.
  • The present systems work to a point, however a change to such as HP/ Potential HP/Young Rider HP etc, would include more owners and help identify future senior team members who could then be brought on in the company of experienced riders.
  • JR agreed that potentially these were alternative systems and HSI would look at this.

5.    Selection Procedure

  • JR said that this is carried out on instruction from Sport Ireland and it is the same
  • throughout all HP disciplines, i e., the High-Performance Director is the sole selector.
  • RA said all interested parties feel that for our sport of Eventing this needs to be changed.
  • From experience the majority of Top Eventing nations have a se lection panel, which
  • obviously works as they are the best in the World.
  • Irish present system is open to abuse, which has manifested in the poor results in
  • championships in 2021.
  • JR took on board what was said and asked that it was not able for HSI to change, could  owners and riders come up with a list of criteria for selection that would satisfy both parties?
  • RA said he would discuss this with owners and riders and revert.

6.    Setting goals for 2021 and beyond

  • RA said it would be great for all concerned to have targets to aim for going forward, success breeds success and that is where we want to be.
  • JR totally agreed and as part of the transparency would let all know what the goals were. This would also be included in the HP Directors remit.

 7.    Eventing Ireland  & HSI

  • RA there appears to be very little integration here with the exception of finance.
  • JR Eventing Ireland is extremely important to HSI regarding funding and explained Funding
  • Mechanism.
  • RA having learnt how the Funding Mechanism works, it is right and proper that Eventing Ireland members are made aware of this
  • Once there is an understanding it will be far easier to raise funds.
  • This should be on the proviso that as Eventing Ireland provide a significant amount of  finance, a seat on the HSI Eventing Board is given.
  • This would also give the integration that is lacking.
  • JR was understanding of the request and subject to further discussion agreed this could be possible.

 8.    Training for Riders HIP

  • RA training is obviously paramount to success but has to be done within budget.
  • The present system works but it does mean riders travelling all the time.
  • Would it be possible, with the exception of a limited number of team training camps, to carry out training at the rider's base?
  • Saving time and money for owners and riders.
  • This again is carried out by most other top international teams.
  • JR thought this is a very good idea, and agreed to take this forward.

 9.    Horse Power

  • RA reiterated that without best horse power we will not win medals, we have some great owners but always need more.
  • Would it be possible for a fund to be made available to riders to acquire horses?
  • Other countries have done this successfully and maybe a way forward?
  • JR was interested to hear this and said he would look into this and report back.

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