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Young Breeders Programme


The Equine Young Breeders Programme (IRE), initiated in 2005, is a joint programme between Teagasc and Horse Sport Ireland funded by Department of Agriculture Food and Marine under national breeding services. It is aimed at those between the ages of 15 to 30 years who are interested in assessing, exhibiting, and breeding performance horses. Participants do not have to be breeders themselves or even come from an equestrian background. An avid interest and an eagerness to participate and learn is all that is required. Only those aged 16-26 years of age are eligible to be selected for World Championship teams (i.e. 2024 Championships those born 1998-2008). 



Left to Right: Tiernan Gill, Colin Doyle, Camilla Snow Coyne, Amy Finn,  Aoife Kirby, Wendy Conlon, Shane Donohoe, Annie Madden, Edward Hennessy, Maria Cairns, Philip Scott

 139 competitors represented 20 studbooks at the 2022 World Championships hosted by JongKWPN in Ermelo, Holland

Most significant 2022 World Championship Irish results:

  • World Champions Studbook
  • Junior Team World Champions
  • Senior Team World Bronze
  • Overall Individuals (Jnr and Snr combined) - Aoife Kirby 6th; Shane Donohoe 7th; Edward Hennessy 12th; Maria Cairns 14th; Annie Madden 19th; Camilla Snow Coyne 24th
  • Junior Individuals - Aoife Kirby 2nd; Shane Donohoe 3rd; Edward Hennessy 6th; Camilla Snow Coyne 12th 
  • Senior Individuals – Maria Cairns 8th; Annie Madden 10th
  • Junior In Hand - Shane Donohoe 1st; Aoife Kirby and Edward Hennessy Joint 3rd; Camilla Snow Coyne 19th
  • Senior In Hand Maria Cairns 13th; Annie Maden 18th 
  • Junior Loose Jumping - Camilla Snow Coyne 18th; Aoife Kirby 20th
  • Senior Loose Jumping – Amy Finn 10th; Maria Cairns and Colin Doyle joint 19th 
  • Theory - First Place - Jnr: Aoife, Camilla, Edward; Snr: Amy, Annie, Colin, Maria

World Champion Testimonials:


Aoife Kirby: "The Young Breeders Programme has been a brilliant way to make friends. I also have a much better understanding of conformation and athleticism traits and how to assess them. It has been hard work and demanded a lot of commitment from everyone but being part of such amazing competition and doing so well (National and World Championships) has made it all worthwhile. I've enjoyed every minute of it."

Edward Hennessy: "Young Breeder training has taught me so much about horsemanship. It was incredible to represent the ISH Studbook at World Championships and even more incredible to be part of a World Championship winning team. The camaraderie was special and a significant contribution to our success."

 Annie Madden: "I had an amazing experience at the World Championships and met people from all around the world. The training over the last few months has been excellent. I am really looking forward to using everything I have learned in real life."

Colin Doyle: "I've enjoyed meeting so many other people around my own age interested in horses and breeding. My confidence has grown and all the fantastic trainers have helped me learn so much."


Read more about some of our 'Young Breeders' here

The skills and knowledge transferred through training serve as a foundation for those with an interest in developing their knowledge of the horse. These skills come into focus for varied uses including purchasing a new horse/pony; deciding about which mares/stallions to use for breeding; assessing offspring; presenting horses for inspection, sale, show or competition.

The Young Breeders Programme is a wonderful opportunity for young people to meet with their peers and make contacts in Ireland and throughout the world who share their interest in horses.

The main activities of the Young Breeders Programme involve training days and national and international competitions.

Download the ISH Young Breeders Programme Brochure (PDF)

Facebook: Equine Young Breeders IRE 

Instagram: ire_young_breeders

Read more about International Young Breeders (IYB)

Feedback from some of the programme participants here