FOLLOWING on from the article in last week’s paper entitled ‘Dressage: the ultimate expression of horse training and elegance – Part one’, Claire Sedgeman was very keen to make people aware that alongside the growing popularity of dressage for adults at all levels, more and more younger riders are also becoming interested.
Dressage is the fastest growing Olympic sport and, as such, there is a growing number of youth participants worldwide. Dressage Ireland provides opportunities for Young Riders right from Intro level through to Pony, Junior, Children on Horses and Young Rider International level.
It is very important to note that Dressage Ireland has a very active Northern Region in Northern Ireland.
In the Northern Region, Northern Ireland Youth Dressage (NIYD) has been running since 2012. Under normal circumstances, training is run either fortnightly or monthly in small groups and caters for riders from eight years of age right through to 25 – provided they can walk, trot and canter unaided, they can join. More information on NIYD can be found at www.nidressage.co.uk.
Over the past number of years, different membership packages have been developed to cater for Youth members of DI, all the information regarding joining as a member and registering a horse or pony can be found in the Membership section of the DI website: www.dressageireland.ie
– Under 21 years of age
– Have never competed above Novice level
– Riders may compete in Junior Trailblazers (under 12 years old) or senior Trailblazers (under 16 years old)
– May only compete and qualify for National competitions in Trailblazer classes
– May ride H/C in Junior Category 1 at registered shows
– No horse points will be awarded
– Winners at Nationals will then have to move on to Category 1
– Under 18 years of age (categorised as 1, 2 and 3 as outlined in DI rules)
– Category 1 members may also compete in Trailblazer classes
– Can compete at any level
– Can qualify for and compete at any level at the National Championships and Winter finals
– Horse points will be awarded
Dressage Ireland Youth Pathway
The Dressage Ireland Youth Pathway is a new national initiative for 2021; the programme is a development from the Silver Spurs scheme, which has been running for a number of years with a goal to develop the talents of young dressage riders.
The pathway will provide many different opportunities for both competition and training throughout the year; the Youth Rider Development Series will run as a league over six months, with the opportunity for riders to win training bursaries and prizes for improvement, the programme will culminate with a Youth Championship at the end of the season. The scheme will be open to all DI members aged from six to 25 years of age, and will cater for all levels of National Competitions. It is hoped that the scheme can be developed to include hosting Youth Training Camps and further opportunities for riders to compete overseas.
Throughout the year, riders will also have the opportunity to qualify for, and compete at the British Dressage Youth Home International in the UK. Held annually for under 25s, the BD Youth Home International brings together Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, as each nation vies for prestigious top honours. Riders compete in BD tests from Novice to Medium or FEI Children on Horses to Young Riders and their scores count towards team and individual titles.
The exciting Home International format replicates CDI competitions, with horse inspection vet checks and an opening ceremony before the action in the arena gets underway. Irish Teams have been travelling to compete at the Home International for many years now, with past competitors now competing successfully at Senior International level and even on the High Performance Senior Squads.
The Youth Rider Development Series Key Facts
– Training sessions monthly from April to September.
– A Youth Championship competition in October.
– Each training session will include a lesson, followed by riding a judged test inc. feedback.
– At each session, the rider will receive a marked report from the trainer plus a marked test sheet.
– The sessions will be held in four different regions (more may be added), throughout Ireland.
– Riders will be expected to attend four out of six training sessions to be eligible for the League.
– There will be a league table in each region, including the coach report scores and the test scores for each rider, with a prize for the winner in each category in each region.
– There will also be prizes for most improved riders.
– The scores from the training sessions will be used as qualifiers, along with competition scores for riders to be eligible for Home International Team selection.
– The Youth Championship event will be held in October.
Many Northern Region riders have been selected to compete at the Home International in the past and, with the high standard of youth competitors in evidence here at present, that looks likely to be the case for many years to come!
For further information, please contact Claire Sedgeman on (0044) 7596 336719 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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