Sport Horse and Thoroughbred Sectors unite in initiative to educate transition year students

  • 3 May 2014, 12:37

GETTING young people interested in horses and increasing their understanding of what it takes to breed and produce marketable animals are some of the objectives of a new educational initiative launched in Punchestown yesterday. The initiative has been developed by Agri Aware in collaboration with both elements of the Irish equine industry.


Agri Aware is a charitable trust with a mission to raise awareness of the role of agriculture in Irish society, connect rural and urban people and increase understanding among the general public of modern agricultural practices.


The equine educational project is part of a suite of Agri Aware educational modules on Irish Agricultural to be delivered to transition year students across Ireland. They will be rolled out this September. The education packs being developed to date include:

  • The evolution of the horse
  • Horse breeds
  • General horse care
  • Horse senses and implications for riders
  • Hunting
  • Eventing
  • Racing


More topics are in the pipeline and will be rolled out over the next 15 months.


Speaking at the launch, Executive Director of Agri Aware, Dr Vanessa Woods said the equine modules would help bridge the divide between urban and rural young people and help raise the awareness of the role agriculture plays in Ireland and the different areas where it makes a contribution to the Irish economy.


This educational initative is part of a bigger collaboration between Agri aware, the Irish Agricultural Science Teachers Association and the Irish Farmers Journal to raise the level of knowledge on farming practices in Ireland and the array of commercial activities to which farming in Ireland contributes.


Professor Patrick Wall, speaking as Chairperson of Horse Sport Ireland and a Director of Agri Aware, said this was a brilliant idea, and it was great to see all parties in the Irish equine industry working together as there is intense competition between a vast array of sporting and leisure activities for the attention of our young people.

“An investment in the youth is an investment in the future of the equine sector, “ he said, “and they are the ammunition that will bring both the thoroughbred and sports horse industries to the next level.

“Encouraging an interest in horses will get them out in the fresh air and provide great fun and enjoyment and it is something families can do together, either as spectators or participants. We have fantastic talented young people in Ireland and their positivity and enthusiasm will contribute to making Ireland truly the ’land of the horse’ and the go-to place for all types of horses.”

HSI Chairman Prof. Patrick Wall

HSI Chairman Prof. Patrick Wall