Working for Irish Breeders


ITBA Education Programme 2024

ITBA encourage breeders to develop a culture of life-long learning for the betterment of themselves and members of their stud farm team or breeding operations.

ITBA’s Education Programme encompasses a wide range of seminars and workshops including the successful Ask The Experts, Summer Series, Preparation Series and Autumn/Winter Series, as well new additions.

Any breeders' suggestions for relevant topics to be fed into ITBA Educational Programme 2024 would be most welcome. Email them to Hannah Marks via hmarks@itba.ieor call ITBA HQ on 045-877543

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department-of-agriculture-food-and-the-marine logo.png The ITBA 2024 Education Programme has been kindly co-funded by Department of Agriculture under its 2024 Equine Technical Support Schemes.

ITBA Education Programme Follow on Guides

ITBA Grassland Management Follow On Guide

ITBA Mental Fitness & Resilience in the Thoroughbred Industry

ITBA Breeding Season Preparation Workshop Follow on Guide for 2023

ITBA Parasite Control Lecture Follow on Guide.pdf

ITBA Foal Sales Preparation 2020 Workshop Follow On Guide.pdf

ITBA Ask The Experts - Follow on Guide

ITBA Climate Action Webinar Follow on Guide

Upcoming Events

Stay Tuned...

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Ask The Expert Series Schedule

Wed 6th Mar: Maximising Foal Health and Minimising Vet Bills

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Wed 20th Mar: Parasite Control in Foals

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Wed 3rd Apr: Mycotoxins in Grass, Forage and Feed

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Wed 17th Apr: Emerging Viral Diseases

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Breeding Seminar

ITBA and ITBA Next Generation held a highly successful Breeding Seminar on the eve of the Goffs February Sale on Tuesday 6th February. The panel, hosted by Kevin Blake, entertained and informed over 200 in attendance as they talked about all things breeding.

The panel opened with a scenario of purchasing a mare, and it was Dermot Cantillon who was first called on to talk about his vast experience of what he looks for when buying breeding mares. Helena Burns followed with advice for breeding from older mares and Matt Coleman shared his experiences of purchasing on a budget. Barry Mahon and Cathal Beale rounded up the opening segment by looking at breeding your mares and different stallion options.

Overall the evening included tips and tricks, with plenty of laughs from the audience. The panel spoke about the realities involved with breeding, including costs involved with getting your mare in foal and keeping a mare and foal, what it takes to get an agent to look at your stock at a sale, the health of the industry and where we can see ourselves in the years to come.

A recording of the event is available below.

Yearling Sales Preparation Workshop

ITBA was delighted to host the Yearling Sales Preparation Workshop both in-person and online, where we welcomed over 70 people for the morning seminars. The Yearling Sales Preparation Workshop is a key fixture in the ITBA’s Education Programme, and this year included an afternoon farm visit to Baroda Stud where attendees got a first look at yearling conformation, overall analysis and showing tips.

A panel of industry experts addressed a number of topics around sales preparation for the morning session. Edie Murray-Hayden opened the workshop discussing preparation programmes and how to prepare yearlings for the sales. Mark MacRedmond of Anglesey Lodge spoke about veterinary matters to take into consideration when selling and included pre-sales inspection, wind tests, endoscopes and x-rays. Senior Equine Nutritionist with Connolly's RED MILLS, Lorraine Fradl spoke about feeding yearlings during sales preparation to maintain condition, topline and soundness. Andrew Mahon of Farriery Ireland talked about corrective farriery and shoeing for the sales.

A full Follow on Guide is available here:Yearling Sales Preparation Workshop Follow On Guide

Stud Farm Administration

ITBA’s 2023 Summer Series included a comprehensive group of seminars focused on stud farm and bloodstock administration. ITBA collaborated with Aoife Hanratty’s PA Solutions to help deliver this comprehensive content.

The Stud Farm Administration module covered the following topics around stud farm admin and marketing including: mare documentation, record keeping, managing vaccination schedules, sales entries, logistics and requirements, breeding requirements, and digital marketing for your farm.

A full follow on guide is available here: Stud Farm Admin Follow On Guide

An Overview of Orthopaedic Issues in Foals and Yearlings

ITBA welcomed Prof Wayne McIlwraith to talk on Orthopaedic Issues in Foals and Yearlings during the Ask The Expert Series. Topics covered included Developmental Orthopaedic Disease, navigating sales repositories and radiographs, and new data and developments in recent years.

An internationally-recognized leader in the field of equine orthopaedic research and surgery, Prof. McIlwraith has made many significant contributions to our industry and advancements with equine orthopaedics. It is very hard to summarize an individual who has been a pioneer in this area but he has certainly helped pave the path that we walk today.

Equine First Aid

As part of the Ask The Expert Series, ITBA welcomed Karen Dunne, Veterinary Nursing Lecturer at Dundalk IT and Simon Hennessy, Specialist Surgeon with Anglesey Lodge to talk about Equine First Aid.

Both speakers touched on the importance on staying calm during first aid scenarios and assessing the situation for the best outcome before jumping in too quickly. Karen and Simon both spoke through different first aid scenarios including trapped horses; choking; head and eye injury; colic, and covered a lot of information on wound care, first aid kits and working with your vets to get the best possible outcome.

A full follow on guide is available here:Ask The Expert Equine Nutrition Follow On Guide

Equine Nutrition & Supplements

Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Equine Nutritionist, Lorraine Fradl joined the Ask The Expert Series to cover Equine Nutrition and Supplements. Lorraine talked about overall equine nutrition for breeding and young stock, and balancing forage with supplements. Topics included when to use supplements for fertility, growth and development; how supplements can support digestion; and the different supplement supports available.

A full follow on guide is available here:Ask The Expert Equine Nutrition Follow On Guide

TAMS Information Seminar

The inclusion of the equine sector in TAMS will be a huge benefit to breeders and ITBA are available to answer any questions that breeders might have around grants and the applications. The below Information Seminar was held with Breian Carroll of Carroll Consultants and reviewed the TAMS 3 requirements.

Grassland Management

ITBA welcomed speakers Alan Creighton, Head of Environment & Nutrition at the Irish Equine Centre, and Shane Browne, Agricultural Scientist for the Irish Equine Centre and Department of Agriculture Farm Advisor, to talk about Grassland Management. A range of topics were covered including Grassland Management, Soil Analysis and Equine Nutrition.

A full follow on guide is available here:ITBA Grassland Management Follow On Guide

Mental Fitness & Resilience in the Thoroughbred Industry

ITBA, in association with Horse Racing Ireland's education and training department, equuip, hosted an Online Seminar on Mental Fitness and Resilience in the Thoroughbred Industry. The seminar was aimed at those working in the breeding & racing sector, both employees and employers’, and looked at mental fitness in the thoroughbred industry, what you can do to support those around you.

A full follow on guide is available here:ITBA Mental Fitness & Resilience in the Thoroughbred Industry

Breeding Season Preparation Workshop

The Breeding Season Preparation Workshop is a key fixture in the ITBA’s Education Programme. A panel of industry experts addressed all the key and relevant issues in this important topic with the aim to assist breeders in making their breeding season as successful as possible. Topics discussed on the day included ‘Postnatal Care’ by Andrea Ryan, Veterinary Surgeon with Kilcash Equine Clinic, and ‘Assisting During Foaling’ by Olive O’Connor, consignor and breeder. This entailed how to prepare in the weeks before foaling, how to assist the mare and foal, and monitoring the mare and foal in the first few weeks.

Attendees also heard from Lorraine Fradl of Connolly’s RED MILLS on the topic of ‘Nutrition for Mares & Foals’. Lorraine delved into the best feeding plans in the run up to foaling and for the months after. The last speaker of the day was Micheál Orlandi of Starfield Stud and Compas Equine who discussed ‘Mating Plans & Stallion Selection’. Micheál went into detail about vetting, stallion selection, and the important decision of whether or not to cover your mare.

A full follow on guide is available here:ITBA Breeding Season Preparation Workshop Follow on Guide for 2023

Jul 31
ITBA Western Region Awards
This document has been prepared to give guidance to horse owners on the care of the horse and options available to prevent horses becoming unwanted or neglected
ITBA was delighted to host its Southern Region Breeders Awards at Cork Racecourse last Saturday, 11th May.
ITBA was delighted to host its Northern Region Breeders Awards at Downpatrick Racecourse last Friday, 10th May.
ITBA HQ, Greenhills, Kill, Kildare, Ireland. W91 FY62
+353 45 877 543