Student Blog from Niall Kelly and Florence Gore

Student Blog from Niall Kelly and Florence Gore

5th Mar 2019

Niall Kelly (IRE) (IRE) and Florence Gore (GB) give you an insight into their fifth week here on the Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Breeding Course.


On Monday I (Niall) started in Sun Chariot yard, this is where our INS mares and walk in mares come to foal down. Since I’ve only ever worked in racing yards, I’ve had no experience in foaling, so this was all new to me. The mares in foal go out in paddocks during the day, so each day one student is on mare’s foaling watch. The INS gives us a great incentive to be diligent and aware by offering the students who catch a mare before she foals in a paddock an extra few euros!! Last Tuesday was my day to watch the paddocks and this is when I got my first opportunity to foal. I caught Lindikhaya, a mare in foal to Highland Reel, just before she foaled. Myself and Joe {yard manger} assisted the mare to give birth to a healthy colt. Little did I know this was only a taste of what was to come.

As Friday evening began myself and fellow student David Skelly along with night manger Lauren Eisemann welcomed the arrival of two more foals. Under our new night manger Nicola Joyce Saturday night was a game changer. Half way through our first check of the night, a mare Green Swallow broke water, so straight away we we’re into a night of foaling. By 9pm we had three foals on the ground, by 12am we were up to seven foals- a very busy six hours to say the least. By the time our shift ended we had foaled eight in total with six filly foals and two colts, all healthy and well. I’ve been told the record number of foals to be delivered in the INS is eleven in one night, amazing!! On our final night of foal watch we delivered two more foals, bringing our weekends total to 12 healthy foals which isn’t bad considering myself and fellow student David were novices. I was due to go to see Fatboy Slim in the 3 arena Saturday night instead I got a degree in midwifery, an experience I wouldn’t swap for the world!!


Whilst I (Florence Gore) don’t think anyone’s week was an exciting as Niall’s and David’s’, life at INS is starting to get busy, we are well into the season now so its not only the foaling unit that has a few hectic days. The barren and maiden mares housed at Maddenstown have started cycling more frequently and a good percentage have already been covered successfully, scanning in foal meaning we have quite a few happy owners!


It may be Spring but the weather threw us an unexpected twist snowing on Sunday causing just a few snow ball fights!

Stay tuned for next week to hear from students Nadine and Henry.


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