THE Irish Sport Horse Studbook Young Breeders team were crowned World Champions at the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses International Young Breeders World Championships in Ermelo, Holland last weekend.

Teagasc have partnered with Horse Sport Ireland since 2005 to provide the ‘ISH Young Breeders’ training programme. Teagasc Equine Specialist Wendy Conlon manages the programme with support from Horse Sport Ireland and DAFM. The success of the programme hinges on wider industry collaboration.

Jack Doyle, Tiernan Gill, Andrew Hughes and Philip Scott have provided their expertise in recent months. Farms including Barnfield Equestrian, Belmont House Stud, Boleybawn Horses, Cooley Farm, Derryglen Stud, Enniskerry Horse Farm, Ennisnag Stud, Gill Group, Hughes Horse Stud, and Kilconnell Stud opened their gates to host training. Kildalton College hosted the National Championships in April and many other individuals contributed to the successful delivery of these events.

The eight-person team were chosen following national selection. Championships comprise of four disciplines - a theory paper (feeding/nutrition, stable management, breeding/reproduction, equine health and international sport) is followed by conformation and athleticism (loose movement and jump) trait assessment during which contestants aim to achieve the least difference to the judge’s scores in these disciplines.

The competition concludes 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.

Teams are also tested on their abilities to groom, plait and present a horse as a team, and though not as part of the overall score, this is an aspect in which great pride is taken by contestants with some very skilled presentations made. The senior ISH team earned third place in turnout.

The 2022 Championships involved three days, 20 studbooks, 71 junior competitors and 68 senior competitors. The combined scores of the Irish Junior and Senior teams saw them claim the overall World Championship title a much sought after accolade.

The Irish junior team of Camilla Snow Coyne, Shane Donohoe, Edward Hennessy and Aoife Kirby were overall winners of their section. Aoife ranked second individually, Shane third and Edward sixth with Camilla finishing a highly respectable 12th.

The Irish senior team of Maria Cairns, Amy Finn, Colin Doyle, and Annie Madden finished in third place in their section. Maria finished eighth, Annie 11th, Colin 26th and Amy 46th.


As well as managing the programme and co-ordinating training events and National Championships, Wendy Conlon also contributes to training and selecting candidates for teams. Wendy, who also sits on the international committee contributing to the organisation of the World Championships, said: “I couldn’t be happier for the team themselves and all involved in delivering the programme. It is a hard earned achievement demanding knowledge, skill, and mental stamina.

“The team were absolutely focused and delivered exceptional results winning by 26 points against strong competition which is a phenomenal achievement. Their in-hand performances was a pleasure to witness and a showcase to spectators which cemented the result.”

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.”