Performance Breeding Stock from abroad welcome at the 2012 Show

The RDS has decided to widen the current ‘Irish-bred’ restriction for its 4 to 6 year old show jumping classes, so that non Irish-bred horses capable of making a contribution to the Irish breeding herd, may be permitted to qualify and compete at the 2012 Dublin Horse Show.

This widening of the entry criteria will apply to non Irish-bred entires (mares and stallions) only, and only on the premise that they are registered in an Irish studbook. 

The move follows recommendations from the RDS Breeding Group which held a ‘Breeding Workshop’ in the RDS, last December. The Group, through the workshop sought the views of show jumping breeders to investigate how the RDS might lead or support those individuals or organisations committed to the breeding of elite, Irish-bred, showjumping horses. The workshop was attended by over ninety delegates and a selection of invited speakers presented position papers on pertinent sport horse breeding, and showjumping competition issues.

It is believed that this initiative will encourage, and help fast track the breeding of
internationally competitive show jumping horses in Ireland, by permitting Irish breeders to source suitable performance genetics abroad. It will provide the progressive breeder who chooses this route with an opportunity to compete his/her animal against the best home bred stock.

The requirement for all entire horses competing at the RDS to be eligible for breeding within an Irish studbook serves to encourage lasting genetic improvement for the Irish breeding Industry. In addition, the exposure of these animals to the high level of competition at the Dublin Horse Show, will serve to quickly determine whether or not they have the potential to make a contribution to the Irish breeding herd. Simply excluding such animals is no longer sustainable in the view of those who attended the breeding workshop.
It will also encourage those who purchase non Irish-bred horses for the sport of show jumping to consider the animals in terms of their breeding potential, given that this will be a criterion for entry into Ireland’s only 5* Show.

The RDS continues in its mission to support the Irish breeder and producer by excluding geldings and breeding animals that are not registered for breeding with an Irish studbook.

The Breeding Group made a number of other recommendations such as the establishment of a ‘Showjumping Breeders’ Group’ for breeders with the goal of breeding elite show jumping horses in Ireland. Such a group would provide breeders with a forum to discuss breeding strategies, explore cost effective reproductive techniques, evaluate breeding decisions, exchange ideas, access and share knowledge on contemporary genetic resources and support each other via common objectives. A focused and organised initiative such as this would facilitate collective learning and development on a similar basis as employed by progressive European Studbooks. The RDS is currently considering how this recommendation can be most effectively implemented.

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For further information:
Fiona Sheridan,
Equestrian Manager, RDS
Email: fiona.sheridan@rds.ie
Phone: 01 2407201