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BLOODSTOCK: Education, creativity and innovation at the ITBA
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BLOODSTOCK: Education, creativity and innovation at the ITBA
on 24 April 2020
Regina Byrne of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association has news of the ITBA’s summer plans

THROUGHOUT these uncertain times the ITBA will continue to provide an innovative service to breeders. For the foreseeable future the ITBA will deliver programmes online.

Commencing on May 7th, we plan to roll out a number of events which should appeal to our members.

Every Thursday we will host an ‘Ask the experts’ webinar where members will have the chance to interact with experts who will cover relevant areas of our industry. These hour- long sessions will include both one on one interviews and open Q & A sessions.

We plan to introduce an ITBA creativity and innovation programme and encourage all industry stakeholders to engage in one of our two competitions, namely Breeders Brainwave and Next Generation Research fellowship.

Our Summer Education programme will commence in June with dates to be confirmed in the next few weeks. Topics will include equine first aid workshop, thoroughbred therapeutic workshop and QQI accredited health and safety online courses.

We will also host a number relevant business based webinars run in association with Kildare Partnership.


We encourage all budding photographers to enter our photographic competition where 12 selected photographs will make up the ITBA calendar 2021 with one overall winner.

The ITBA is here to provide a service to breeders and we hope you will embrace these new initiatives and sign up. We encourage breeders to contact the office and offer any suggestions which you think may benefit breeders.

Ask the experts

How it works?

We will use Google ‘Meet’ as an interactive tool to host a series of webinars. Participants will be asked to register for each webinar as numbers are limited. Details of each seminar will be sent out individually prior to an event via our website and social media platforms.

  • May 7th – Corrective Farriery in young foals. An interactive session with farrier Andrew Mahon
  • May 14th – Join us for an online interview with CEO of Horse Racing Ireland Brian Kavanagh who will discuss plans for the forthcoming season.
  • May 21st – Sales companies and ITM representatives will discuss plans for the upcoming sales season. This is a great opportunity for breeders to ask questions regarding the sale of their stock.
  • May 28th – Interactive panel seminar with future industry leaders to discuss the racing and breeding industry.
  • ITBA Creativity and Innovation Programme

    With a considerable amount of time on our hands at the moment, sometimes the best of innovative ideas can sprout into new businesses.

    To this end the ITBA has come up with two competitions to enhance and reward the budding entrepreneurs.

    Breeders’ Brainwave Competition

    Do you have a new and exciting idea/initiative?

    If so, enter a competition where you can show us how creative you are with a new business idea or recent changes to your business practices that could be of benefit to breeders. To enter send in your outline business plan in no more than 500 words to Regina at rbyrne@itba before Friday, May 15th. Applications will be shortlisted and five finalists will be required to make a five minute online presentation to a judging panel followed by an extensive Q & A session.

    The winner will be selected from this process and will receive a €500 cash prize towards getting their new venture up and running.

    Next Generation Research


    The ITBA is offering a bursary of €500 to any person (Under 25) to research any aspect of the Irish thoroughbred breeding industry.

    A 500 word statement of purpose which outlines your research proposal must be submitted to Regina at on or before, May 29th when we will shortlist applications.

    During June finalists will then be required to make an online presentation to a judging panel and answer questions on their proposal before a winner is selected.

    The ITBA will offer a professional mentoring and support service to all finalists prior appearing before the panel.

    ITBA Educational Programme

    During the months of June and July, the ITBA plan to run the following web-based workshops for breeders. Full details regarding dates, times and registration will follow.

    Equine First Aid Workshop (Level 3 accreditation)

    Delivery in association with: Equi-Ed, Wexford modules (two sessions morning and afternoon)

    Workshop overview: Covering the fundamentals of equine first aid.

    Thoroughbred Therapeutic Workshop (Level 3 accreditation)

    Delivery in association with: Equi-Ed, Wexford

    Modules (two sessions morning and afternoon)

    Workshop overview: Covering therapeutic techniques for broodmares, foals and young stock

    Helping Your Business Respond to COVID-19 - Webinar

    Delivery in association with: Kildare LEO Enterprise Office

    Modules (afternoon session) with a panel of industry experts

    Workshop overview: Provide practical advice and highlight supports to deal with challenges being faced by breeders.

    Summer Educational Series 2020 (includes a number or QQI accreditation workshops)

    Delivery in association with: PA Solutions and Carraig Safety

    Modules (series of full and half days)

    Workshop overview: A series of web-based workshops covering wide-ranging topics, including stud farm safety, stud farm administration, employment management and legislation, bringing your business online

    For further information on any of the courses listed above, please contact Kerry Ryan at

    ITBA photographic competition

    We are all in lockdown, the weather is beautiful and your stud farms are full to the brim of fabulous new foals and luscious green grass.

    The ITBA is looking for breeders to embrace their inner photographer and submit their breeding pictures. Be as creative as you like.

    Entries should be submitted in high-resolution jpeg files, with a caption, to Regina Byrne at before Friday, May 29th, 2020.

    Our in-house judging panel will select 12 finalists that will feature in the ITBA 2021 calendar with the overall winner receiving a €500 cash prize and front page cover.

    The competition is open to amateur photographers only and once submitted the ITBA is permitted to use the photographs with accreditation for future ITBA publications.

    Get clicking!

    ITBA and ITM Irish-Bred emoji challenge

    The Emoji Challenge launched last week is still ongoing. Closing date for entries is April 30th so there is plenty of time to email your answers to

    Entries are coming in fast so check out the ITBA and ITM social media platforms for the quiz and make sure to enter.

    There are €2,500 worth of Irish sales company vouchers to be won!

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