4th Feb 2020
Students Aaron Boland (Ire) and Constance Vincent (FRA) give you an insight into their week on the Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Breeding Course.
As the week began, we nearly lost a few students on Monday as the snow knocked on the door here in Ireland. Luckily, Annette and our yard foreman made sure we had lots of work to do ensuring none of us were freezing by the end of the evening. The food has been excellent and we want to thank everyone who has been looking after us so well.
Stud Manager, Annette is in charge of doing the yard rota, and we are all spread out into the different yards. Aaron has been working with the stallions for the past week, everyday duties consisted of putting them out in the paddocks or on the walker to help maintain their fitness levels for the upcoming breeding season. Stallions are groomed everyday as they have been very busy showing for potential clients from all around the world.
Constance has been working in Maddenstown Yard where the barren and maiden mares are based. The maiden and barren mares are still in transitional period, so teasing them every day is crucial to help them come into their first cycle. The three yearlings going to the February sales in Goffs are also based in this yard, Tom, Ben and Constance were in charge of helping prep them for the upcoming sale. Other yards include Sun Chariot where all the mares near foaling are based and Minoru where all the Living Legends, Hurricane Fly, Beef or Salmon, Kicking King, Rite of Passage and Hardy Eustace.
During the week after work, we have lectures from INS Staff or industry guest speakers. On Tuesday, we had the pleasure of welcoming Goffs Marketing Director Joey Cullen. Joey talked about the history of the company, and he taught us what to look for in a commercial pedigree versus non-commercial pedigree. It was very helpful for us as Joey is also involved in our first assessment, consisting of pin hooking a yearling or buying a broodmare at the Goffs February Sales. Being a bloodstock agent for one day is very exciting!!
As the week flew by, students who weren’t working headed to the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown and enjoyed their day betting and cheering home Honeysuckle and Chacun Pour Soi. Thank you to Leopardstown Racecourse for hosting us and for organizing a fantastic weekend of racing. On the farm two beautiful mares gave birth with the assistance of Justine and Sean.
Finally, this first week was very interesting, we all got to discover what goes on behind the scenes at the Irish National Stud, and as we all come from different horizons with different views on the industry, at the end of the day we are learning from each other, making the course very friendly and enjoyable.
Aaron and Constance