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ISH Young Equine Breeders National Championships Results

The 2022 ISH Young Breeders National Championships took place on Saturday, 2 April, at Teagasc Kildalton Agricultural College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny. The event was hosted by Teagasc and Horse Sport Ireland, and was supported by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

ISH Young Equine Breeders National Championships Results
The 2022 ISH Young Breeders National Championships took place on Saturday, 2 April, at Teagasc Kildalton Agricultural College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny. Competitors from all around the country are pictured with judges and officials.

Wendy Conlon, Teagasc Equine specialist said; “A dedicated and focused group of 15 to 25 year olds demonstrated their skills as horse handlers, their knowledge in assessment of conformation and athleticism traits of horses; while also completing a theory test on equine health and welfare; nutrition; stable management and the sport.”

Clare Ryan, Tiernan Gill, and Philip Scott set the standards for their younger counterparts to match in the assessment of the Ennisnag Stud horses in conformation, movement and jump over the course of the morning. In the afternoon, Tiernan, Philip, Andrew Hughes and Conor Higgins assessed the skills of the handlers presenting horses on the triangle.

The competition acts as the first step in the qualification process for team participants to represent the Irish Sport Horse Studbook at the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses International Young Breeders World Championship taking place in Ermelo, Holland from the 7th – 9th of July 2022.

Prizes were provided to those who scored best overall when the disciplines of theory, conformation and athleticism assessment, and in hand, were combined and also for each individual discipline within both age categories.

Senior (20-25 years) Overall Winners Junior (15-19 years) Overall Winners
1st Amy Finn, Ballyfoyle, Co. Kilkenny

2nd Níamh Sheridan, Bundoran, Co. Donegal

3rd Annie Madden, Summerhill, Co. Meath

1st Edward Hennessy, Dungourney, Co. Cork

2nd Grace Curtin, Adare, Co. Limerick

3rd Aoife Kirby, Birdhill, Co. Limerick

Senior Overall Winners with Trainers left to right: Andrew Hughes, Wendy Conlon, Philip Scott, Annie Madden, Amy Finn, Níamh Sheridan, Tiernan Gill, Conor Higgins

Amy Finn was “really delighted to win and be recognised for all of the hard work. The day was amazing, and I really appreciated the opportunity to assess the stallions in particular. I hope to be competitive in the next stages of selection for World Championship team as it is my last year of eligibility and I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two World Championships in Austria and Canada.”

Níamh Sheridan said “It was my first time competing after attending one training session in March and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I’m studying veterinary in Hungary and travelled home for the weekend so it was exceptionally rewarding to be placed. I learnt a lot from the judges on the day, so it was well worth the effort.

Annie Madden shared “I have really enjoyed being part of the ISH Young Breeders programme over the last few months and it was great to be able to use all the skills I have learnt at the National Championships. Even though the day was really busy, there was still time to make friends and enjoy ourselves. I was delighted to place third overall and I’m really looking forward to more training days ahead!"

Junior Overall Winners with Trainers left to right: Wendy Conlon, Andrew Hughes, Philip Scott, Edward Hennessy, Grace Curtin, Aoife Kirby, Tiernan Gill, Conor Higgins.

Edward Hennessy said; “having first become involved in 2019 and attending World Championships in Austria, I feel now I am starting to get my confidence. I was really happy with my In Hand and appreciated all of the ringcraft tips shared in the pre National training session and decided to challenge myself in positive risk taking for the trot phase which paid off. I am delighted with the achievement and can’t wait for the next training days.

Grace Curtin said “The training days and National Championships were all great learning experiences and overall fun days out. Everyone was very welcoming and eager to learn. The trainers and farm owners were also very open with information and really helpful.”

Aoife Kirby was “shocked to be placed despite placing at training days over recent months and loving the experience. It’s been so great to meet other like-minded people from around the country interested in breeding and producing like we are at home. The conformation judging was challenging but each time I get a better understanding when I listen to the feedback. The In Hand horses were also super finishing off a really enjoyable day.”

Additional to those placed above, the following seniors were placed  4th – 7th overall; Joanne Whyte, Ardagh, Co. Longford; Dylan Connolly, Kilcolgan, Co. Galway; Michelle Dunne, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary; and Maria Cairns, Whitechurch, Co. Wexford and are invited to advance to World Championship team selection.

Also juniors placing 4th - 7th overall; Shane Donohoe, Ballina, Co. Mayo; Érin Sheridan, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, Sorcha Kirby, Birdhill, Co. Limerick, and Camilla Snow Coyne, Letterfrack, Co. Galway.

Seniors Conformation Assessment Loose Movement and Jumping Assessment In Hand Presentation
1st Dylan Connolly (see above) Joanne Whyte (see above) Amy Finn (see above)
2nd Seamus Dermody, Tullow, Co. Carlow Shannon Kelly-Fitzgerald, Ballinamult, Co. Waterford Michelle Dunne (see above)
3rd Michelle Dunne (see above) Amy Finn (above) Dylan Connolly (see above)
Juniors Conformation Assessment Loose Movement and Jumping Assessment In Hand Presentation
1st Allison Flynn, Raheny, Dublin Tom Hayden, Thurles, Co. Tipperary Edward Hennessy (see above)
2nd Érin Sheridan (see above) Érin Sheridan (see above) Eoghan Hilliard, Castlepollard, Co. Meath
3rd Keila Galavan Glynn, Leopardstown, Dublin Josie Alcock, Grantstown, Co. Waterford Jack Geaney, Castleisland, Co. Kerry

The event is a team effort with too many to mention involved and the input of all is greatly appreciated. Worth mentioning is the valued contribution of past young breeders Conor Higgins (mentioned above), Melissa Glynn, Nicole Groyer and Vera O’ Callaghan giving back to the programme having previously benefited themselves.

More photographs from the weekend are on ‘ISH Young Breeders’ on Facebook; and further information about the programme on www.teagasc.ie; and www.horsesportireland.ie