Student Blog from Mark Moloney (Ireland) & Luis Ettedgui (Venezuela)


Having spoken to multiple alumni of this course prior to starting, they all have the same consensus “it will be the best six months of your life” . And being only 6 weeks into the 6 months I couldn’t agree more. Having already made lifelong friends and memories that will last a lifetime. I can only look forward with excitement for the rest of the course.

This week I was working in Maddenstown yard with Eimear and Michelle. This farm consists of forty-three barren and maiden mares, and who go through the complex process of being covered. The two teasers Cash and Zach are major influences in this process and are crucial elements in the yard every day. And last but not least are the two fan favourites Homer and Bart!!!

This week I was selected to be the teasing student in Maddenstown, I was very excited to start this role on Monday. Having spent the previous week also in this yard I was familiar with the procedure of teasing the mares before they go out to their paddock or to the vet every morning. The role of the teasing student is to observe the teasing of every mare alongside Eimear and  Michelle, and to then make note of what each mare is doing at the teasing board.

The vet arrives every morning at approximately 9am scans the mare that are teasing well or who have been covered. The mares who are close to ovulating are then booked into the selected stallion for them. After each mare has been teased or seen by the vet, I had to check my teasing chart with Eimear’s and Michelle and then make a list for the following days teasing and to be seen by the vet. I found this very interesting as I had never made lists for vetting before, I quickly understood how to do this thanks to two great teachers in Eimear and Michelle. I really  enjoyed the responsibilities that the teasing student holds and I’m looking forward to my next rotation in this yard!

On Thursday night we had a guest lecturer Sally Ann Grassick, Sally Ann is probably best known for being the founder of Thoroughbred Tales and a presenter on ITV racing. Sally Ann gave us a  lecture on media training and advice on how to manage ourselves on social media. This was a great opportunity to hear from someone who has some much knowledge on this subject.



Spent this week in the Sun Chariot Yard which is the main foaling unit here at the Irish National Stud. Tina and Claire are the yard supervisors, and I was accompanied by fellow course mates Kate, Michael, Jamie, and Kayla while also receiving help from crews from other yards when it was needed. A full day of work at Sun Chariot consists of turning out the 40+ broodmares in foal that are due soon. They are separated in different paddocks corresponding to their tag colours attached to their halters. While there might have been mares that would have foaled the night before, we would ensure to take care of mares and foals on the ground and then later assist when the vet comes and checks the foal’s and mare’s wellbeing post-foaling.

One of the most crucial biosecurity measures taken here at the INS is the power washing and disinfecting of the stalls where the foals are delivered after the mare and foal have left to their respective client’s farm or when they are just moved to Blandford yard with the other foals. These stalls will later be bedded down with new straw and are ready for the next mare to foal in them. During the week, one student will be on foal watch while the others work in the yard. Foal watch consists of checking on the mares in all the paddocks. Each student spends a full day on foal watch during the week. In the afternoon, we would bring in the mares, check their bags or any signs they might be showing of foaling soon. The vet will also come in the afternoon examine certain mares every day and we will also do a full routine of foal care before finishing up in the yard.

On Monday, March 4th, all the students here at the INS were delighted to welcome the Godolphin Flying Start second-year trainees for what would be a Workshop in which all twelve students presented their business plans that they have been working on and developing. The workshop consisted of three INS students per table (business plan) while the Flying Start Students were given two minutes to explain their plan and the INS students would ask questions for four minutes after they were presented the idea. After the 6 minutes were up, the INS students rotated to the next business plan, similar to a speed dating exercise.



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

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