[WATCH] New authority, EquestriMalta to regulate and oversee equestrian sports in Malta

The authority’s scope is to regulate the sport, improve the standards and safeguard animal welfare

Sports Minister Clifton Grima (middle) and EquestriMalta's board
Sports Minister Clifton Grima (middle) and EquestriMalta's board

EquestriMalta, an authority overseeing and regulating equastrian sports in Malta has been launched.

Sports Minister Clifton Grima announced the setting up of the authority on Friday, saying equestrian sports have been present in Malta for around 150 years and are incredibly popular. 

“These sports have an international recognition and they are a prestige for Malta. There are many Maltese that live for the sport,” Grima said. 

He said his ministry would be soon announcing un “unprecedented” level of investment in the Marsa horse racing facilities. Authorities are hoping to lure equestrian sports fans to Malta by organising events that meet international standards. 

EquestriMalta will be setting up an online register of horses and horse professionals and be responsible for overseeing the welfare of horses. The minister said he expects the regulator to play a key licencing role in the future.     

EquestriMalta Chief Executive Max Zammit said the authority will act as a regulator for a sport, which he described as very important for the country. 

“The scope of the authority is to incentivise and reward effort in the sport, so that it could be taken to the next level.” 

Zammit said the authority met with all the associations and entities in the local equestrian sports, and discussed how the sports could improve from an infrastructural and competitive point of view. 

Judge Emeritus Antonio Mizzi, chairman of the Malta Racing Club, said the law enacted in 2020 and the setting up of the authority, received by-partisan support. 

“This is a law that provides laws and regulation for the sport, while safeguarding the wellbeing of the horses,” Mizzi said. He explained how the authority worked hand in hand with veterinarians, and stated that in Malta there are no issues of animal abuse in the equestrian sports. 

He also spoke of the importance of internationalisation of horse racing and polo, and said Malta is well respected abroad in the area.