SER Youth Development

The Youth Development Squad (YDS) of the Dressage lreland South East Region has been in operation since 2010.

Anne Marie Dunphy HSI Level 3 Coach Dressage, Sport lreland HSI Tutor/Coach Developer, has been the Squad Coach since its inception. Through her superb training many of the young riders from 12 years ago are now competing extremely successfully not only here in lreland but across the Continent and in the UK. Rachel Dowley came through the SER YDS and has competed abroad representing lreland many times. The Youth Development Squad of Dressage lreland South East Region is, for many, a pathway to National and lnternational competitions.

ln 2O2O & 2021 Rachel Carr and Oscar O'Connor represented lreland in Budapest & Strzegon at the European Championships for Ponies. Oscar has now ridden at four European competitions. These two young riders came and discussed their wonderful experiences at the December 2022 meeting of the Squad. Lily Larkin represented lreland at Le Mans and Strzegon, whilst Lily, Anna Radford and Kate Murphy all rode at the BYRDS competition in Sparsholt College this year.

Since Jillie Rogers, BHSI Performance Coach Dl list 3 Judge, has been involved in the organisation of the Training Days there have been two groups of riders, now named for the Olympics - Paris for the older/more experienced riders and Tokyo for the younger/trailblazers. Stable Management sessions are given by Jillie to each group. For example, at the December 2022 Training Day, we discussed the horse's Digestive System and at the Easter Training, 2023, it was the Skeletal Frame. At lunch time Anne Marie presents an Equitation Theory lecture. ln these sessions group participation is actively encouraged which in turn helps to promote friendships between the riders and the parents. Lunch is a noisy group affair!

Whilst Anne Marie coaches each rider for 40 minutes Jillie will sit with the others in the group and encourage them in their positive reflections of each other during those coaching sessions.

Training days happen in the school holidays, including the midterm breaks. We have used the facilities at Spruce Lodge, by kind invitation of Ms Helen Keogh and, more recently, Sleighduff Equestrian Centre near Arklow. ln the summer school holidays, we try to have 2-3 days and these usually take place at Jillie's yard, near Ferns. We can accommodate 10 riders in total, and with the two groups this makes for a long morning or long afternoon - after all this is SQUAD Training - dependant on which group the rider is allocated to.

For more information contact Jillie on 0871353367 or email,

The next date is 28th December Sleighduff Equestrian Centre Arklow.

From December our YDS training fee will be €85 for SER members and €95 for members of other regions. Places will be offered to SER members first. If space is available, the training will then be opened to members from other regions. 

We encourage anyone interested in the YDS training to join the SE region. This will ensure you get first preference and the cheaper rate. No need to wait until the January rush to renew, memberships can be renewed from 1st November and will run until 31st December 2024..