Student Blog from David Burke and Rachel Thompson

Student Blog from David Burke and Rachel Thompson

10th Feb 2020

Students David Burke (Ire) and Rachel Thompson (Aus), HTBA scholarship recipient give you an insight into their week on the Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Breeding Course.


Week 3 done and dusted, and what a big week it has been. Last week we had Joey Cullen a guest lecturer, he came in to give us all some advice on what to look for when selecting either a yearling or a mare. On Tuesday the 4th of February the first half of the group headed out to Goffs sale to view, select a yearling to pin hook for our assessment. Then on Wednesday the 5th the remaining students went to Goffs for day two for the selling of the mares, where we were to select a foundation mare. It was exhilarating to be given the chance to go around and view what we had selected from studying the pedigrees in the catalogue. It’s an experience we all will remember.


During the Goffs sale the Irish National Stud had some yearlings and mares in their draft and overall, they sold very well. Two students Tom Murphy and Ben Hanley were selected to parade and groom the horses for the sale, and they did an amazing job.


This week we had a variety of lectures ranging from a veterinary to farriery. Along with those we had some workshops and inductions to increase our knowledge for the busy breeding season ahead of us. We are well underway with foaling’s, with many foals to date on the ground. The students have a rotation of foal watch during the days and the evenings gaining loads of experience in one of the most important areas in the industry.


Myself and Rachel were in Maddenstown this week and it sure has been an experience. I found it especially fascinating working with the farrier on Tuesday. On Monday our yard Forman asked a few students to catch three Falabellas that are based at the stud, and did we make an understatement of their ability to fool us. It is a moment the group will cherish as many laughs were shared in the attempt to catch and lead them.


This week has been full of highlights for all the students, whether it’s been from working in the yards learning new skills or the excursion to Goffs, and we can’t wait for the jam-packed week we have got ahead of us.

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