Young Breeders

About the Young Breeders programme:

The Young Breeders programme is a joint programme between Teagasc and Horse Sport Ireland. The programme is aimed at those between the ages of 14 to 25 years who are interested in assessing, exhibiting, and breeding performance horses. They do not have to be breeders themselves or come from an equestrian background. An avid interest and an eagerness to participate and learn is all that is required.

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.


The concept of Young Breeders was first introduced in Ireland in 2005 and has since been encouraged and developed by Horse Sport Ireland and Teagasc. The first national Young Breeders competition took place in Ireland in June of 2006 and in July 2009 the WBFSH Young Breeders World Championships took place in Kildalton College, Co. Kilkenny. A world championship competition occurs every second year, with the most recent taking place in Austria 2019 and the next planned for Holland (Ermelo) in July 2021.

Young Breeders Competitions

Young Breeders Competitions are open to everyone aged between 14 and 25 years of age that have an interest in horses. Competitors will be divided into two age groups (junior and senior) and the competition will consist of five different sections:

1. Theory (stable management, the sport, breeding, feeding, health and welfare)
2. Assessment of Conformation
3. Assessment of Loose Movement and Loose Jumping
4. Presentation of horses in hand using the triangle system
5. Turnout of horses

Irish Sport Horse Studbook Young Breeders Compete at the World Championships

The World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses, World Championship of International Young Breeders, took place at ‘Stadl Paura Pferdezentrum’ in Austria on the 19th and 20th of July. One hundred and forty one  individual competitors representing 19 Studbooks competed. Nineteen senior (20-25yrs) teams and eighteen junior teams (16-19yrs) were fielded. A maximum of four individuals within an age class may represent a given Studbook, with the three best scores counting towards team score.

The competition itself comprises of 5 elements (Theory exam; Assessment of Athleticism – jump and movement; Assessment of Conformation; and Presentation of a horse in hand). An additional element is turnout of a horse as a team which is not part of the overall team ranking scores.

The Irish Sport Horse Studbook entered both a junior team (Ellie Duggan; Michelle Dunne; Dan Geaney and Edward Hennessy) and a senior team (Sarah Brashaw; Amy Finn; Nicole Groyer and Conor Mahon). Against some very stiff competition Amy Finn finished 8th rank overall in the senior age category (72 competitors), and 8th position in the discipline of conformation. Michelle Dunne ranked 5th in the discipline of ‘In Hand Presentation’, following a professional delivery of her skills against 68 other competitors in the junior age class.

The German Hanoverian Studbook were outright winners of both age classes and overall World Champions. The Austrian AWÖ Studbook and event team leader Verena Nowak provided a warm welcome and a great show of Austrian culture and tradition as part of the overall event. The World Championship will take place in Holland (KWPN Studbook) in 2021.

Wendy Conlon, equine specialist with Teagasc and team manager of the Irish Young Breeders said; “Immense credit goes to all of the team members who picked up a special award commending their team spirit and fair play principles from the organisers.”

The ISH Young Breeders Programme is a joint programme between Teagasc and Horse Sport Ireland’s Irish Sport Horse Studbook aimed at those aged 14-25 years of age who are interested in assessing, exhibiting and breeding performance horses. The programme is supported by the many professional farms which open their gates permitting their horses to be scrutinised. Trainers Tiernan Gill, Jack Doyle, Andrew Hughes and Philip Scott provide a fountain of knowledge.

Director of breeding and programmes in Horse Sport Ireland Alison Corbally said ‘The Irish Sport Horse Studbook is delighted to financially support the training and travel for this team of Young Breeders as it is an exceptional opportunity to learn new skills and meet like-minded young breeders from abroad. These contacts will no doubt be very useful in the future.”

For all Young Breeders interested in the 2020 programme please visit

Contact information:

If you are interested in participating at any of the Young Breeder training days or for further information please contact the organisers:

Wendy Conlon: 087 9879083

The ‘ISH Young Breeders’ are also on Facebook – ‘like’ the page and be kept up to date
Visit the ISH Young Breeders Facebook page

To be kept informed please contact Wendy Conlon to ensure your details are included in the Young Breeders database. You will then receive text alerts and receive any relevant emails. New members are always welcome and all levels of experience are catered for. The Young Breeders Programme is a fantastic way to meet new friends from all around the country with a similar interest whilst improving your horse knowledge.