The training day had a gathering of 40 participants, travelling from all parts of Northern Ireland and as far away as Kildare.
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. Participants do not have to be breeders themselves or come from an equestrian background, an avid interest and an eagerness to participate and learn is all that is required.
Teagasc trainers Tiernan Gill and Phillip Scott, both highly respected among the equine industry for their own achievements, educated the large audience on the importance of correct conformation, the use of linear scoring and how undesirable conformation can limit the horse’s ability to perform certain disciplines. Participants got the opportunity to observe and assess different models of horses for comparison.
Assessment of movement and loose jumping allowed participants to observe and understand the biomechanics of the horse in all gaits and its technique over a jumping grid. This demonstration resulted in interesting outcomes, with some horses viewed as ordinary in the flat assessment, improving their jumping technique with higher and wider obstacles. This obviously stimulated a good debate and questions among trainers and participants alike.
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The Young Breeders Programme is an excellent opportunity for young people to meet with their peers and make contacts in Ireland and throughout the world who share their interest in horses. CAFRE students had the pleasure of presenting horses during the training gaining a beneficial insight into the importance of correct conformation and the athletic traits of performance horses.
Next year there is a National ISH Young Breeders Competition selection process for participants on the training courses to be selected for the Irish Team in preparation for the International Young Breeders World Championships taking place in Austria from July 18th to 21st.
CAFRE would like to wish all the participants from their training day success in the forthcoming competitions.