THE Irish Sport Horse Studbook Young Breeders team have been crowned World Champions at the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses International Young Breeders World Championships, which took place at Ermelo, in The Netherlands at the weekend.
The competition saw 139 competitors representing 20 Studbooks from around the globe, hosted by Jong KWPN.
Following national selection and training, Ireland was represented at the World Championships by Camilla Snow Coyne, Shane Donohoe, Edward Hennessy, Aoife Kirby, Maria Cairns, Amy Finn, Colin Doyle, and Annie Madden.
Competitors arrived in Ermelo on Thursday, July 7 completing first a multiple choice assessment including questions on feeding/ nutrition, stable management, the anatomy of the horse, breeding, international sport and equine health matters. Friday followed with assessment of conformation and athleticism (loose movement and jump) traits. The aim of contestants was to achieve the least difference to the judge’s scores in these disciplines. Teams then were tested on their abilities to groom, plait and present a horse together, though not as part of the overall score, still an aspect in which great pride is taken by contestants with some very skilled presentations made. Saturday concluded with presentation of horses in stance, walk and trot testing participants showmanship skills, control and ability to encourage the best performance from the horses in the situation. Some masterful displays of horsemanship were witnessed in this discipline.
The Irish Junior team of Camilla Snow Coyne, Shane Donohoe, Edward Hennessy and Aoife Kirby were overall winners of their section. Aoife Kirby finished in second place individually just ahead of team mate Shane Donohoe in third.
The Irish Senior team of Maria Cairns, Colin Doyle, Amy Finn and Annie Madden finished in third place in their section, with Maria Cairns the highest-placed senior individually for Ireland in eighth place.
The combined scores of the Irish Junior and Senior teams saw them claim the overall World Championship title, ahead of the German Hannoveraner team in second, while third place went to the German Baden Württemberg team.
Following the competition, the victorious Irish participants had the opportunity to visit the world famous VDL Stud before departure.
The ISH Young Breeders programme is a joint programme between Teagasc and Horse Sport Ireland, run by Wendy Conlon (Teagasc), supported by Lorraine McMahon (Horse Sport Ireland) and DAFM. The collaboration with industry professionals Tiernan Gill, Andrew Hughes and Philip Scott and the various host farms around the country underpin the successful programme delivery.
Speaking afterwards, Wendy Conlon, Teagasc Equine Specialist said: “I am immensely proud of all members of the team. It is an exceptional achievement, the culmination of many hours of training and preparations. We will savour it. Credit is owed also to the very many individuals who have contributed to make this happen. It is a collaborative effort.”
Horse Sport Ireland’s Lorraine McMahon added: “Horse Sport Ireland and I would like to congratulate the amazing achievement of the Irish Sport Horse Young Breeders, bringing home the title of overall Studbook Young Breeder World Champions and Junior Young Breeder World Champions at Ermelo this weekend hosted by Jong KWPN. It was fantastic to witness the camaraderie felt at this World Championship and I can only applaud Jong KWPN’s organisation of this successful event.
“The commitment and dedication of the teams, Andrew, Philip, Tiernan and Wendy, and the many other individuals and farms involved in preparing for this world championship has to be commended. Well done to Junior members Aoife, Camilla, Edward and Shane and to Senior members Amy, Annie, Colin and Maria.”
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