Young Irish breeders prove their worth by taking silver in Sweden
Ireland's next generation of horse breeders proved they are a force to be reckoned with by becoming reserve champions at the International Young Breeders Championships in Sweden recently.
Representing the Irish Sport Horse (ISH) studbook, the team of eight young breeders from all over Ireland put in a fantastic performance at the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses competition in Bollerup, Sweden. Some 23 studbook teams took part in the championships, which are held every second year and include two gruelling days of testing competition.
Each studbook is represented by a senior team (20-25 years of age) and a junior team (17-19 years). Competitors are judged over a number of different sections, including a theory test, judging conformation, movement and loose jumping, and presenting a horse in hand on the triangle.
Sponsored by Connolly's Red Mills, the ISH young breeders team was almost an all-female effort this year, with no less than seven girls and one boy on the team.
The ISH junior team took the competition by storm, winning the junior section of the competition and driving the overall team result up into second place.
The winning team consisted of Alyssa O'Neill from Co Kildare, Caoimhe Kenny from Co Laois and Orla Dooley from Co Kilkenny, with Galway's Ruaidhri O Cianain taking the reserve slot.
The star performer of the team was Dooley, who won the overall individual junior championship, helped by her win in the in-hand section. O'Neill took third place overall in the conformation section.