Equestrian: HSI gives backing to new European body
Horse Sport Ireland (HSI), the national governing body for equestrian sport, has joined the new European Equestrian Federation (EEF), which was officially formed last week at a meeting in Germany.
A total of 27 nations signed up to the new body, which will represent the interests of European national federations within the world governing body, the Swiss-based Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), and which will liaise with the European Union and other decision-making bodies on behalf of the equestrian community.
The newly-elected president of the EEF is Germany's Hanfried Haring, the judge and former secretary general of the German Federation, who was suspended from the Bureau of the FEI last summer when caught up in the long-running drama surrounding the German show-jumping team at the 2008 Olympic Games. The suspension was later lifted.
Dr Haring said the EEF is designed "to ensure that European countries have a clear voice within the FEI. Our goal is to contribute positively to the FEI by improving communication, co-operation and understanding. EEF will try to ensure that the needs of all Federations and stakeholders in the European equestrian community are properly taken into account."
FEI president Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein said that the world governing body "welcomes this development".
HSI chairman Joe Walsh said the organisation is happy to be involved with EEF.
"The new Federation will provide an opportunity to have detailed discussion on the issues that most effect European countries and to put forward a cohesive view within FEI. It will also look at policy issues at EU level to ensure equestrian interests are taken into account," he said.
Meanwhile, there was cross-party agreement at a meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at the Oireachtas that a recommendation should be made to Minister for Agriculture, Brendan Smith, to transfer control of the Irish Draught Horse Studbook from HSI to the Irish Draught Horse Society.
The recommendation got unanimous support and the Labour Party's Sean Sherlock said that the Joint Committee believes "the aims of HSI will not be compromised in any way by transferring the Draught Studbook to the organisation dedicated to the purity of the breed".
The decision whether or not to cede control over Irish Draught breeding lies with the minister, whose department issue studbook licences. HSI was not prepared to comment on the issue yesterday.