ISH Young Breeders Programme
The ISH Young Breeders programme is a joint programme between Teagasc and Horse Sport Ireland. It is aimed at those between the ages of 14 to 25 years who are interested in assessing, exhibiting, and breeding performance horses. They do not have to be breeders themselves or necessarily come from an equestrian background. An avid interest and an eagerness to participate and learn is all that is required.
The skills and knowledge transferred through training serve as a foundation for those with an interest in developing their knowledge of the horse. These skills come into focus for varied uses including purchasing a new horse/pony; deciding about which mares/stallions to use for breeding; assessing offspring; presenting horses for inspection, sale, show or competition or even perhaps for future employment in a sales/ production yard or stud farm for example.
The Young Breeders Programme is a wonderful opportunity for young people to meet with their peers and make contacts in Ireland and throughout the world who share their interest in horses. The programme is set up so young people can dip in and out of it as they are available. It is not like a course where each step must be met in succession. The more events one attends the more confidence and skills grow, but it is possible to attend some and not all of the events.
The main activities of the programme involve training days and every second year national and international competitions. The next World Championship event takes place in Austria July 18 -21 2019 and the National Competition which begins the selection process for teams to participate at this championship will be early in 2019 (date t.b.c.). Therefore, 2018 training events will provide training for those who are interested in competing, but also for those who simply wish to gain confidence in assessing horses and broaden their knowledge.
Teams are chosen to represent the ISH Studbook based on a selection process which commences at the National Competition. A group of 12 – 14 young people aged 16-25 years will be chosen to go forward for selection for World Championship teams based on their performance at the National Competition. For the first time a Wildcard choice will also be made available to the judges/trainers in 2019 with 1–2 seniors and 1-2 juniors being chosen, based on impressions made at training events attended in 2018 (a minimum of three events must be attended to be appraised for Wildcard purposes). These individuals must also compete in the National Competition. World Championships provide an opportunity not only to wear the green jersey, but to travel, meet other like-minded young people and make contacts which can prove invaluable in the future.
A huge credit goes to all the yards and trainers involved in the programme as they provide access to performance horses, wisdom, and insight and are the strength upon which the programme is built.
A Young Breeders Seminar takes place on April 4 in Athlone with the theme being Careers Opportunities; Breeding & Trade with special guest from the U.K. International Rider and Breeder William Funnell of Billy Stud and an exciting line up of speakers over the course of the day.
Further details about the programme are available here: https://www.teagasc.ie/rural-economy/rural-development/equine/ish-young-breeders-programme/what-is-the-ish-young-breeders-programme/Young Breeder Email Flyer