Student Blog from Eliza McCalmont (UK) and Jamie Griffin (Australia)

As Easter approached it felt like spring was finally in the air and the sunshine and blue skies definitely put everyone is a great mood.

We started the week with a Chinese food themed night in the restaurant which was a huge hit and everyone had a great time. We had spring rolls, prawn toast, and duck pancakes to start, followed by satay chicken and egg fried rice. There were also a couple of beers and bottles of Prosecco alongside 😉

One of the student’s main focus this week was our takeover of Thoroughbred Tales. Thoroughbred Tales is a social media project to help promote positive stories behind the racing and breeding industry to a wider audience. All the students where split into five groups, each group consisting of five or six people. Every group had to record, edit and post one video per day. All the videos posted throughout the week can be viewed in the Thoroughbred Tales X account.

As well as working on Thoroughbred Tales this week, we also had two very interesting guest lectures. The first of which was on Tuesday with Marie Rohaut and Mathilde Baurens from France Gallop and Thomas Leffray from Arqana. It was great to hear how France Gallop operates especially the breeding premiums. The second guest lecture came on Thursday and this one was with Alex Cairns who works as the Marketing Manager for Irish Thoroughbred Marketing. It was so interesting it hear how Irish Thoroughbred Marketing work to promote racing and keep money coming into Irish racing at the sales. One way in which this has successfully been done is through the Bonus Scheme.



This week I have been working in Maddenstown under the great Eimear and Michelle. Maddenstown is a yard for barren and maiden mares. The yards main focus is getting these mares into foal. One of the most important roles in Maddenstown is that of Zack the teaser. Teasing is a vital part of Maddernstown as it helps indicate where a mare is in her cycle. Zack lives in a stable with a large open window, the Madderenstown mares take it in turns to approach Zack’s window. When the mares approach Zack, the teasing student of the week, Eimear and Michelle observe and record in a chart how each mare reacts with him. This is the combined with extensive vet work to work out exactly where each mare is in their cycle. Once the mare is ovulating she can then go to which ever stallion she is visiting to be covered.

I worked with Jamie, Paul, Brooke, Kate, and Gwen for the Thoroughbred Tales Project, the topic that we had to focus on for the videos was foals. We had so much fun filming these videos, the most popular video that we made was the day in the life of a foal where we even managed to get a headband on the foal (pictured below!). There are two Falabella ponies currently living at Maddenstown called Bart and Homer, we also had a great laugh filming videos with the two of them.



This week I was placed in Kildare yard. This yard consists of mares and foals who have been vaccinated. During my time in Kildare I learned about the breeding cycle of mares with foals at foot and the pros and cons of covering on “foal heats”. While in this yard we had a mare colic and was sent into the vets, I was presented with the opportunity to go with her and learn how they approach treatment and diagnosis in a time sensitive situation. It was really interesting seeing the signs of colic and how to monitor them, she ended up undergoing life saving surgery and has made a full recovery. I am so grateful to be a part of saving this horses life. It has really put the importance of keeping a close knowledgeable eye on these animals into perspective.

Laura runs Kildare yard she is a kind dedicated person who has an amazing work ethic and loves to teach people who have a passion for the industry. Laura is also very knowledgeable when it comes to the horses and takes her time to ensure that they are in the best condition they can be.

We also had a lecture with the renowned vet Dr Kevin Corley about diseases in young foals.  He talked about Roticocous equi and how it affects the foals, the monitoring practices, bio security practices and how to detect it early on.





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Irish National Stud & Gardens,
Brallistown Little, Tully, Co. Kildare,
R51 KX25, Ireland

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