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Teagasc Kildalton College - 2021 Equine Courses

"Hands on courses for hands on people" is how Rosemary Gaffney, Equine Course Director, Kildalton College describes the suite of equine courses on offer for 2021 at Teagasc Kildalton College. These programmes are practically based and industry focused. Rosemary profiles students who trained there

Teagasc Kildalton College - 2021 Courses

  • QQI Level 5 Certificate in Horsemanship - Equitation
  • QQI Level 5 Certificate in Horsemanship - Stud Management
  • QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Horsemanship - Equitation
  • QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Equine Breeding - Stud Management 

These courses are offered at Teagasc Kildalton Agricultural College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny. 

Course Aim


The Level 5 Certificate in Horsemanship - Equitation and the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Horsemanship are aimed to equip the learner with the knowledge and skills for employment opportunities in the industry. They provide students with the knowledge and skills relating to riding, breaking and training horses, preparation for sales and encourages students towards Horse Sport Ireland HSI and British Horse Society BHS riding and coaching qualifications.

Stud Management 

The Level 5 Certificate in Horsemanship - Stud Management and the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Equine Breeding, these courses are aimed to equip the learner with the knowledge and skills to lead and manage an equine enterprise in the Thoroughbred or Sport Horse industry. The course provides tuition in handling young stock, business management, enterprise management and has a 12 week Practical Learning Period on renowned stud farms.

Entry Requirements and Application Procedures 

There is no minimum educational entry requirements but students who have completed the Leaving Certificate are likely to benefit most from the course.  Applications must be over 17 years on 1st January 2021 and must have riding experience if they want to take part in the horsemanship option.  Applications should be made online at  https://www.teagasc.ie/education/going-to-college/apply-online/

Course timing and content

Equitation Course - Level 5 (1st year) - consists of 30 weeks course work at Kildalton College    Stud Management Course - Level 5 (1st year) -consists of 30 weeks

3 days at Kildalton College doing course work and a practical learning period PLP for 2 days a week at prestigious stud farms.  During this time, students on both courses develop knowledge and skills in:

  • Equine Breeding
  • Managing mares and young horses
  • Business management
  • Equine nutrition
  • Horse health and welfare
  • Grassland management
  • Young horse evaluation
  • Marketing horses for sale
  • Riding – (on horsemanship course only)

On successful completion of an equine related QQI Level 5 course, students may apply via on line to join a Level 6 course:  https://www.teagasc.ie/education/going-to-college/apply-online/

QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Horsemanship - Equitation                                                                  QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Equine Breeding - Stud Management

These programmes are designed to train people to find employment in the Sport Horse or Thoroughbred industry. 

Stud Management  - Level 6

Students come to Kildalton College for 18 weeks and complete the academic course work and develop their skill and proficiency in handling young horses.  Stud students then spend 12 weeks on paid practical learning period PLP on approved stud farms to give them real life learning, focusing on the breeding season and gaining responsibility on the stud farm. 

On work placement students are involved in all areas of the enterprise, foaling down mares, barren mares, walk in mares, stallion yards, foal and yearling sales preparation, breeze ups and pin hooking. This gives them a broad experience of the industry. Students may also get the opportunity of going to the sales and being involved in buying, showing and selling of stock.  Many students gain employment through work placement.  

Equitation - Level 6

Students spend 28 weeks at Kildalton developing their riding and horse management skills, breaking 3 and 4 year olds, training and producing young horses for sales and competitions.  The students learn how to manage a team being ‘in charge’ of a group of students and horses and learn how a commercial yard works. 

The coaching module encourages students to train towards their British Horse Society BHS and Horse Sport Ireland HSI qualifications, as Kildalton is a BHS Exam Centre. On successful completion of either of the Level 6 courses, the student meets the training requirements as a Young Trained Farmer (Green Cert).

Students at Kildalton College learn to work as part of a team and make friends for life. Kildalton courses have a reputation for producing highly skilled graduates, with an excellent work ethic. Kildalton has developed strong links with all disciplines in the equine industry ensuring that our students have the best opportunity to find jobs once they have finished. 

All courses throw up stars and ours is no different. Students that come to mind who have trained at Kildalton are:

Adam Benson Byrne – Equitation Course

Adam is currently a Riding Officer in the Army Equitation School and is competing in showjumping and eventing.  Adam enjoyed his time in Kildalton as he wanted to become a professional rider and said that Kildalton ticked all the boxes for him and he enjoyed how ‘hands on’ the course was.

Donnacha Touhy – Stud Management

Donnacha went on his PLP to Glenvale Stud where Ciaran Conway gave him a great insight into stud work and encouraged him to travel. Donnacha went to Ashford Stud in Kentucky and from there he worked a season in Coolmore Australia prepping yearlings for the sales. On his return he took up a permanent post in Glenvale Stud.

Kildalton is for you if you want to:

  • Achieve recognised qualifications within the equine industry
  • Improve your riding on specialised horses
  • Learn about breeding
  • Experience working in top stud farms
  • Break and Train Horses
  • Gain Teaching Qualifications
  • Qualify for the Green Cert – making you eligible for grants and  schemes as a Young Trained Farmer
  • Meet people with the same interests

Hands on courses for hands on people!  

To find out more about the college click here Teagasc Kildalton College