By Wendy Conlon / IYB
Photography: Wendy Conlon
Hosted by JongKWPN at the KWPN headquarters in Ermelo, the Netherlands, last month’s International Young Breeders’ World Championship saw a well-deserved victory awarded to the Irish Sport Horse Studbook Studbook fielding Junior and Senior teams.
The junior team of Camilla Snow Coyne, Shane Donohoe, Edward Hennessy, and Aoife Kirby were overall winners of their section: Aoife ranked second individually, Shane third, and Edward sixth, with Camilla finishing a highly respectable 12th. The senior team of Maria Cairns, Amy Finn, Colin Doyle, and Annie Madden finished in third place in their section: Maria – eighth, Annie 10th, Colin 26th, and Amy 45th.
Team manager Wendy Conlon, who also serves as secretary of the International Young Breeders (IYB) organisation, was absolutely thrilled and very pleasantly surprised by the extent of the win saying “After the junior team were announced as winners in their age category I would have gone home very happy, so to win the studbook accolade was a wonderful shock. I couldn’t be happier for the team members themselves and all involved in delivering the programme. It is a hard earned achievement demanding knowledge, skill, and mental stamina. The team were absolutely focused and delivered exceptional results against formidable competition. Their in-hand performances, which were a pleasure as trainers to witness, cemented the result.”
The Young Breeders’ structure in Ireland
Since 2005 Teagasc – the state agency providing research, advice, and education in agriculture, horticulture and rural development in Ireland – formed a joint program with Horse Sport Ireland, the national governing body for equestrian sport in Ireland; the latter also maintaining the Irish Horse Register (including the Irish Sport Horse Studbook), supported by the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine.
Training days, mainly focusing on conformation and athleticism assessment, take place at reputable sport horse farms around the country. Every other year a National Championship is hosted as a first step in identifying those young breeders who will have the opportunity to represent the ISH Studbook at World Championships. Further training and selection days are held with the addition of theory and in hand assessment to identify the eight team members.
The selection system is very transparent, everyone has a fair chance, while those who don’t make the teams also benefit from the training provided. In the years between the Championships training events focus on other aspects of breeding/husbandry and can include visits to veterinary practices, competition events, or a focus on horse training/ production. Career-oriented workshops have also featured as part of the programme.
Is there a secret to success?
The success of the programme hinges on the wider industry collaboration, choice of farms with appropriate quality of horses; the openness of the trainers, working alongside Teagasc Equine Specialists; and also, very importantly, the input of those who have been through the programme previously and are willing to help out and give back when it comes to the big events like National Championships... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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