LAST week was a busy one for SJI Academy riders as they travelled to McKee Barracks on Tuesday for training session with Comdt Geoff Curran and a talk with Comdt John Ledingham.

Curran took the riders through a course of fences, working on balance and rhythm. Ledingham spoke about his own career and spoke about how the sport has developed and the importance of getting the right training in what is now a very competitive industry.

On Wednesday, riders travelled to the RDS where they were treated to three informative chats with Fiona Sheridan, Alan Creighton, and William Micklem.

Sheridan spoke about the history of the RDS and their future plans, while Creighton spoke about his work in the Irish Equine Centre.

Micklem gave an insightful chat about performance confidence, emphasising three rules: one - have a go, two - have another go and three - produce the goods.

Run by Showjumping Ireland, 20 riders were chosen this year to take part in the academy which started in November. Riders attended regular talks from experts in the field including RACE Academy and The Curragh, and they visited different yards.

Along with this, there are training days in the programme and each rider is assigned a mentor to help them in their equestrian careers.