The pathway will provide many opportunities for youth riders both in competition and training throughout the year.
The Dressage Ireland Youth Pathway is a new national initiative for 2021; the programme is a development from the Silver Spurs scheme, which has been running for a number of years with a goal to develop the talents of young dressage riders.
The pathway will provide many different opportunities for both competition and training throughout the year; the Youth Rider Development Series will run as a league over six months, with the opportunity for riders to win training bursaries . Additionally there will be prizes for combinations who show significant improvement.
The programme will culminate with a Youth Championship at the end of the season. The scheme will be open to all DI members aged from six to 25 years of age, and will cater for all levels of National Competitions. It is hoped that the scheme can be developed to include hosting Youth Training Camps and further opportunities for riders to compete overseas.
Throughout the year, riders will also have the opportunity to qualify for, and compete at the British Dressage Youth Home International in the UK. Held annually for under 25s, the BD Youth Home International brings together Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, as each nation vies for prestigious top honours. Riders compete in BD tests from Novice to Medium or FEI Children on Horses to Young Riders and their scores count towards team and individual titles at the event.
The exciting Home International format replicates CDI competitions, with horse inspection vet checks and an opening ceremony before the action in the arena gets underway. Irish Teams have been travelling to compete at the Home International for many years now, with past competitors now competing successfully at Senior International level and even on the High Performance Senior Squads.
The Youth Rider Development Series Key Facts
Training sessions monthly from April to September.
A Youth Championship competition in October.
Each training session will include a lesson, followed by riding a judged test inc. feedback.
At each session, the rider will receive a feedback from the trainer plus a marked test sheet.
The sessions will be held in four different regions (more may be added), throughout Ireland.
Riders will be expected to attend four out of six training sessions to be eligible for the League.
There will be a league table in each region of the test scores for each rider, with a prize for the winner in each category in each region.
There will also be prizes for most improved riders.
The Youth Championship event will be held in October.