Camphire trials go ahead after funding issues resolved

A decision to cancel one of the major annual horse sports events in Waterford has been reversed after problems relating funding the event were overcome.

Louise Harwood and Balladeer Miller Man tackle the water fence at last year's Camphire Horse Trials.

The Camphire Horse Trials are held across the scenic landscape of Camphire estate and local on the banks of the Blackwater near Cappoquin, west Waterford.

Founded in 2000 the five-day event is organised by the local Camphire International Horse Trials committee under Mr Paul Brady of Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) subsidiary, Eventing Ireland.

The trials are considered a major showcase for the Irish horse industry, attracting spectators and riders from across Europe as well as Hong Kong, New Zealand and America.

The event is seen as second only to Tattersalls in terms of public footfall and is worth hundreds of thousands of euro to the local economy. The trials also include family-orientated attractions, such as a dog show, birds of prey and children’s entertainments.

Mr Brady says Camphire has “developed to a point where commitment from the governing bodies of the sport is essential to support the huge number of volunteers and patrons that make it happen”.

Last March he announced the event’s cancellation due to the withdrawal of a hosting grant from Horse Sport, along with “a significant reduction in the grant from Eventing Ireland”.

HSI conceded that its approximate €3,000 grant to the event fell “way short” of requirements and hoped that “proper government funding structures” would be installed to support running such shows.

HSI had agreed to waive the 4% prize money levy in return for the grant withdrawal but the trials remained cancelled.

However, following subsequent negotiations HSI, Eventing Ireland and Camphire International Horse Trials have announced the event’s resumption on July 25-29.

HSI says “Camphire and all Irish International Events will benefit from the new €10,000 Horse Sport Ireland Eventing Challenge, which is a link of Irish international events, sponsored by Horse Sport Ireland”.

The 4% prize money levy will remain uncollected across all horse show, with hosting grants withheld for 2018.

Eventing Ireland chairman, David O’Meara, says his organisation is “determined this unique fixture remains on the international calendar”.

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