05 Oct 2022

€1 million investment announced for Thomastown equestrian centre

Grennan Equestrian Centre is part of Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board


Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris TD with  Eileen Curtis, Chief Executive,  KCETB and Martha Bolger, Director of Further Education and Training at KCETB  at Grennan Equestrian Ce

A funding investment of more than €1 million has been announced for the Grennan Equestrian Centre, in Thomastown.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, visited the equestrian centre this morning (Thursday) to announce the good news, which will see facilities at the education centre improved and modernised. The funding will be used for capital improvements, including the replacement of existing prefabricated classrooms and the upgrading of the tack room. 

The equestrian centre is part of Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB), and the only ETB-owned equestrian centre in the country.

On his visit to the centre, Minister Harris met some of the humans and horses who are central to the successful equestrian training school. He is pictured above with Eileen Curtis, Chief Executive KCETB, and Martha Bolger, Director of Further Education and Training (FET) at KCETB. He also met with programme co-ordinator Bridgette McCarthy, her deputy Cindy Hutchinson, and John Kavanagh, deputy principal of Ormonde College of Further Education.

He also met with Deputy John Paul Phelan, Cllr Peter 'Chap' Cleere in his capacity as chairman of the board of KCETB, and KCETB Board member Cllr Deirdre Cullen.

On the day CAO first round offers were made, Minister Harris cited the equestrian course as one of many tertiary and adult education courses now available, across the country. While many students will want to go to university, he said, the Thomastown equestrian centre showed how there are many other opportunities for people to access courses and training to follow careers they are passionate about.

Thomastown Equestrian Centre is part of the suite of provision offered by Ormonde College of Further Education and falls under the remit of Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB).  Its renowned QQI Levels 5 and 6 Advanced Certificate in Horsemanship is a one-year, full-time programme designed to meet the demands of a wide and expanding equine industry. The course is also accredited by the British Horse Society. Graduates of the course are working in the equine industry all over the world, in roles from pony trekking businesses to working with jockeys and vets.

Martha Bolger, welcoming the investment, said: "This capital injection will transform the learning experience for the students who attend Grennan Equestrian Centre every year to study for careers in the equine industry. We are ambitious in our plans for Grennan Equestrian Centre and this funding will help towards enabling those ambitions”.

For more details and photographs from the visit don't miss The Kilkenny People newspaper, next week!

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