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Teagasc National Equine Conference

‘Opportunities to Grasp’ is the theme for the Teagasc National Equine Conference taking place today, Thursday, 24 November at the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny.

Opening the conference Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: “Ireland is a horse loving nation with the highest density of horses per capita in Europe. Today’s conference offers horse breeders an opportunity to come together and hear the views of industry professionals on potential growth in the sector, breeding technologies, and discussions on the market place for ponies, show jumpers and eventers.”

The conference is looking to the future to see how the sector, collectively can achieve some of the goals outlined in the strategy report ‘Reaching New Heights’, which was developed by Teagasc, RDS and Horse Sport Ireland, and provides a road map for the sector to 2025.

Speakers at the conference include Declan McArdle and Thomas Curran from Teagasc, Alison Corbally  H.S.I. breeding director , Wendy Conlon Teagasc, Larry Dunne MRCVS, Barra Sweetnam, Philip Scott, Lt. Col. Tom Freyne from the Army Equitation School, Vere Phillipps, Sarah Ennis, William Micklem; Dr. Noel Cawley Teagasc Chairman; Frederick De Backer, Barry O’ Connor, Greg Broderick and Jim Power.

Teagasc support for the equine industry, through Knowledge Transfer specialists Wendy Conlon and Declan McArdle, who provide advice, information, and skills training, through various mediums. Short adult courses are provided on horsemanship skills; sport horse breeding; and digital marketing. The Teagasc equine team at Kildalton Agricultural and Horticultural College provide full time education through its Level 5 and Level 6 QQI certified equine horsemanship and breeding courses at Piltown, Co. Kilkenny.

The Irish Sport Horse industry makes a valuable economic contribution to the Irish economy, valued in excess of €700 million per annum. There are over 12,500 people employed in the Sports Horse Industry, with more than 47,000 people involved in the sector. The opportunities for the sector and the potential challenges faced are all up for discussion at the conference, which is a Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved Knowledge Transfer Equine Event.