Sunday 21 September 2014

Opening doors to Ireland's horse industry

Published 01/04/2014 | 05:40

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Aga Khan winner, Clem McMahon, speaking at the launch of the National Learning Network Horsemanship Programme, in Sligo Riding Centre.

A NEW programme teaching long-term unemployed young people about the horse industry is under way in Sligo.

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A new programme teaching long-term unemployed young people about the horse industry is under way in Sligo.

The National Learning Network's Horsemanship programme was officially launched by Irish international show jumper Clem McMahon.

The launch took place at Sligo Riding Centre where part of the course is based.

The course is designed to train people in horse riding or working with horses.

McMahon, pictured, a 2012 Aga Khan winner said: "As a lifelong horse lover, I am delighted to launch what is a unique course in the equine industry.

"I commend National Learning for recognising a gap in the market for people who need certified introductory training in horsemanship skills.

"I know the students will develop the skills, knowledge and attitude required to go onto further training or get jobs in the equine industry."

Amongst the participants is David O'Rourke. He previously worked as a carer and is enjoying a return to education and training.

He said: "This has given me the chance to train and work with horses which is something I have always wanted but never had the opportunity to do.

"I have learned loads already and I am excited about the future."

Sharon Thornton of the National Learning Network, Sligo said: "The growing equine industry emerging in Sligo led us to identify a need for the Horsemanship programme.

"The course is designed to support the individual needs of each student."

Students will receive FETAC Level 4 training.

Practical classes are held at Sligo Riding Centre, Carrowmore two days a week.

The other three days are based at the National Learning Network centre on Bridge Street in Sligo.

Other supports available to students include a rehabilitation officer and resource teachers.

Sligo Champion

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