Ireland's Equestrian Skillnet programme, which will inject €500,000 ($NZ1m) into training in the equestrian sector, was launched last week in Dublin by Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Micheal Martin.
Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland Joe Walsh said that "the programme gives a significant boost for the grass roots equestrian training and is an example of what can be achieved when equestrian organisations work together."
Equestrian Skillnet, which is now based in Horse Sport Ireland at Beech House in Kildare's Millennium Park, offers subsidised training programmes for those employed in the industry.
Funded by the National Training Fund through the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, the Equestrian Skillnet programmes include everything from course designing for show jumping and eventing to show event management and coaching, and will be held regionally. Equestrian Skillnet is one of a network of 122 similar organisations operating in different industries throughout Ireland.
Courses and training programmes which will be delivered in 2008 and 2009 by the
Equestrian Skillnet are:
- BHS Assistant Instructor/Intermediate Instructor/Instructor Refresher
courses - in conjunction with AIRE these courses will commence in April 2008 and
are aimed to introduce suitable candidates to the new syllabi for each course.
These courses will also allow those already holding these qualifications to catch up on any recent changes.
- Competition Grooms Courses Levels Intro, 1 and 2 - in conjunction with Horse Sport Ireland these brand new courses are set to commence in late April and are aimed at people wishing to pursue a career as a competition groom or those who
are interested in increasing their knowledge of horse care and management.
- Coaching Levels 1 and 2 - in conjunction with HSI these NCTC accredited courses are run throughout the year and are geared towards people who wish to pursue a career in coaching within the Sport Horse Industry.
- Show Jumping and Cross Country Design - in conjunction with Showjumping Ireland
and the Association of Irish Riding Clubs these courses will allow those involved with course design to up skill and provide training and competition courses to an international standard. Furthermore these courses will cover the technical and
health/safety related issues with course design.
- Events in the Field/Show Event Management/Field Steward Training - in conjunction with Showjumping Ireland these courses are aimed to increase show
efficiency and will have a strong emphasis on participant and spectator safety.
- Occupational Health and Safety/Child Protection - run with the Irish Pony Club and the Association of Irish Riding Establishments these important courses
will ensure people involved in training and providing training/competition facilities meet legislative requirements.