Class of 2018

Class of 2018

12th Jul 2018

The 2018 INS Student Awards Ceremony was held in the beautiful surroundings of the stud on Friday evening. Many Industry Leaders gathered to celebrate the achievements of the 27 graduates together with their families.


CEO Cathal Beale (graduate of 2007 course) welcomed the guests and Matt Dempsey Chairman of the Board of Directors gave the opening address. Matt congratulated all the graduates and acknowledged their contribution and hard work throughout the course. Cathal gave an inspirational and entertaining speech which left the guests in no doubt that the course graduates contribute so much to the global thoroughbred industry.

The INS Jonathan Fitzpatrick Internship was awarded to Robert Shackleford. Sharon Fitzpatrick presented the award to Robert and many of Jonathan’s friends attended which was greatly appreciated by Sharon.

Robert is a graduate of The Royal Agricultural University B. Sc. (Hons) in Business Management. Robert gained valuable experience at Godolphin Woodlands Australia and was Bloodstock Assistant with Sackville Donald and pupil assistant with John Ferguson. Robert will commence his internship at the INS in August. Rob will also complete a University course thanks to the generous support of Coolmore, Yeomanstown and Ballylinch studs where Jonathan worked before he was taken all too soon.

The Irish Field “Blue Hen” Award winner Sorcha Sweeney with Leo Powell of The Irish Field

The Irish Field “Blue Hen” Award was presented by Leo Powell and the winner Sorcha Sweeney from Clogheen, Co. Tipperary was presented with a cheque for €250 and a trophy for her article which will be published in The Irish Field in the coming weeks.


The “John Durkan Opportunity” generously sponsored by the classmates of the late much loved John Durkan a course graduate was introduced by Henry Beeby who spoke with passion about John and his association with Istabraq. Sacha Coirre from France is this year’s recipient and Margaret Durkan presented the Award. Sacha spoke of her gratitude for the opportunity and she is looking forward to her placement with Nicky Henderson. This has been a dream for Sacha and she hopes to become a trainer in the future.





Prize Winners

The Ceremony continued when Cathal invited Matt Dempsey to present the certificates and various awards of the evening. All 27 Graduates were presented with the INS Diploma with 8 achieving honours. Individual awards were presented to the winners of the following categories.

First Place Veterinary Exam: Yohei Iwamoto from Japan

First Place Written Exam: Margaux Herinckx from Freckenham, Suffolk, UK.

First Place Portfolio of Assignments: Bingqiu (Rebecca) Lu from P.R. China

First Place Continuous Assessment: Aron Crehan from Enfield, Co. Meath.

The Silver Medal Second Place overall was awarded to Sorcha Sweeney

Sorcha is a graduate of the University of Limerick with a BA in Business Studies with Major in Economics and Finance. Sorcha has secured a job at Arrowfield stud in Australia and she will travel there in August.



Gold Medalist Margaux Herinckx

The Gold Medal was awarded to Margaux Herinckx from Freckenham Suffolk, UK.

Margaux got a standing ovation and in her acceptance speech she acknowledged her classmates and reflected on the happy times and the great experience she gained here at the INS.

Margaux previously worked as pedigree assistant at Shadwell Estate, studied languages at the Open University, worked at Highclere stud and rode out for Luca Cumani. Margaux returns to Highclere stud for the sales season and hopes to travel and work in Australia after the sales.

The Student Speakers John Bourke from Monasterevin and Olivia Johnston from Gloucestershire UK gave the guests an insight into the experiences and highlights of the course. No doubt lasting friendships, future business partnerships and possible romances will ensure the Graduates leave here as our ambassadors and again there is 100% uptake on employment for the 2018 graduates. They also thanked staff, guest lecturers and all the hosts who graciously welcomed them into their establishments.


The graduates, families and guests enjoyed a delicious dinner in a marquee after the awards.

Celebrations continued into the wee hours in Kildare where they joined up with the new Godolphin Flying Start Graduates who had their ceremony on Friday afternoon.


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