By Kailey Parkin and Maria Ardito / IYB-CWHBA
Photography: Maria Ardito; ES Legacy Photography
Founded in 2003, the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders’ Association young breeders’ team was the first non-European organization to participate in the International Young Breeders World Championship.
The CWHBA Young Breeders Program encourages youth to connect and explore the sport horse breeding industry, while providing guidance and support to ensure they are prepared to have a positive impact on the equine community as a whole. The main activities of the program include but are not limited to: training and information sessions; volunteering at CWHBA inspections and events across the country; national and provincial competitions; and participation in the International Young Breeders WBFSH World Championships.
Maria Ardito, owner of Blue Spruce Equine Services, a Young Breeders Program graduate, and vice president of the CWHBA Ontario Chapter, has been instrumental in moving the program forward in Canada. Maria was a member of the CWHBA senior teams in 2017 and 2019 and then became the head coach for the team in 2022. She continues to work with CWHBA to grow the program and introduce young equestrians to the breeding industry.
Maria: “I have been involved with horses my whole life even though my parents were never involved in the industry. They took me to riding lessons as a small child and the rest was history. I began coaching and training at a young age with the help and guidance of some incredible equestrians near Caledon, Ontario where I grew up. I was very fortunate to have the best of the best in North America right in my backyard, so I was able to learn a lot at a young age. Then I was able to earn my Bachelors degree at one of the best Agricultural/Equine schools in North America. The University of Guelph was instrumental in growing my knowledge of equine reproduction, nutrition and physiology and was also how I learned about the Canadian Warmblood Young Breeders Program... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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