Student Blog from Paul Kehoe (Ireland) and Caitlin Jourdan (South Africa)


This week I spent my time working in the Kildare yard with mares and foals, this yard is managed by Laura who is a great mentor and who has passed on some great tips and tricks to me during my time spent in this yard. As I grew up on a stud farm we have always had mares and foals so it is great to be able to learn new ways of how to manage mares and foals. This is rather busy yard in the Irish National Stud as there is numerous jobs to do such as mucking out, vet work which includes scanning mares to see when they will be ready for covering, teasing the mares daily and bringing all the mares out to their paddocks in the mornings and back into their stables in the evenings.

During this week we were lucky to get 6 mares scanned in foal which was great news and then we had another 6 mares that went to be covered. These mares went to different stud farms to be covered such as Godolphin, Coolmore and Tally Ho Stud. Since we are getting busier with more mares coming into the yard after foaling we went up to another yard called Black Cherry where we cleaned out the water troughs in the paddocks and checked all the fields to ensure it was safe for the mares and foals to move up there.

This week was a very eventful as we had The Irish Independent join us on Wednesday morning where they observed our daily routine of working in the Kildare yard. We also had Dr. Lorena Lloret who was our guest lecture to talk to us about horse acupuncture. This was interesting as it is not very common to get acupuncture done on horses but it is getting more popular because it’s proven health benefits on getting horses when they have back pain and lameness. In most cases if a horse has back pain and in some cases of lameness acupuncture can be the most effective way to fix the problem. One of the most interesting pieces of information I learned from Dr. Lloret was that there are 75 acupoints in a horses back.

I thoroughly enjoyed this week spent in the Kildare yard and I look forward to working here again.



Mares, foals, and following yearlings on a live stream is what captivated me this week on the Irish National Stud.

I was placed in Kildare Yard, under the watchful eye of Laura Bennett, which is the home for all mares and foals on the stud that have been vaccinated for Rota Virus. Our day-to-day tasks begin, as we enter the yard with general mare and foal checks.

Once we have completed this, Laura sends us off to organise mares for teasing. One student that has been assigned to learn about teasing accompanies Laura to observe each mare that passes by the stallion, while the rest of us bring the mares to be teased. This is done efficiently and before you know it we are pulling the mares and foals out to their respective pastures. There is nothing that brightens your day more than watching them kick their heels up to celebrate being released into a wide open field.

Next on the agenda is preparing the stables for the evening ahead and sprucing the yard up for the many tourists that will visit Kildare Yard during the day. This passed by quickly each day, as I was accompanied by a wonderful team that worked together brilliantly.

In between all of my chores, I kept a close eye on the yearling sale that was being live streamed from South Africa. The National Yearling Sale, held in Germiston, Gauteng, is South Africa’s largest annual yearling auction. This year, my home stud , Paardeberg Stud, attended our first ever yearling sale. This sale was not only exciting due to it being our first string of yearlings being offered to the public, but the fact that it was the first sale in South Africa that was truly open to the entire world. South Africa had been dealing with gruelling export complications, and now, for the first time in 13 years, we are open to EU export. This resulted in an overall increase of turnover by 30% – an incredibly significant improvement for our industry as a whole. The top priced lot was sold to The Hong Kong Jockey Club, which is a great indication of international interest. Our stud did well for our first sale, which made me feel incredibly proud of our team back home.

This week was one of my favourite weeks on the course, I look forward to working in Kildare Yard again.



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

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