Insurance issues threaten future of cheval rides

March 3rd, 2023 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

Martin O’Sullivan was asked to sign a document saying he would not carry a passenger at a cheval ride.

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THE future of West Cork’s hugely popular fundraising cheval rides may be under threat unless issues with insurance are addressed.

That’s the fear of Cork South West TD Christopher O’Sullivan who has been made aware that in recent times it is ‘almost impossible’ to insure horses and traps for cheval rides.

The events, he said, are an important way for charities and organisations in the area to raise much-needed funds.

‘This year alone they will have raised thousands for charities but this could all be at risk unless the insurance is more lenient,’ he said. ‘Participants in these cheval rides have had to sign declarations that they will not carry any passengers. 

‘This is absolutely ludicrous, these horse and traps are designed to carry two or even three people. They are specifically designed to carry passengers,’ said Deputy O’Sullivan. ‘It is one of the most traditional and long standing forms of transport in Ireland and it’s unacceptable to think that now this tradition may be at risk because  of lack of insurance.’

He raised the issue in the Dáil this week with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

‘As a young person, I took part in many cheval rides and one of the most impressive things about these was the variety of horse and traps at these events. 

‘It would be absolutely devastating to think that this would come to an end,’ he said. 

‘Not making light of this but if we are serious about sustainable transport then surely the horse and trap is one of the most sustainable ways that someone can get from A to B.’

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