Student Blog from Sydnie Willett and Hannah Airey

Student Blog from Sydnie Willett and Hannah Airey

27th Jan 2020

Welcome to the Class of 2020. Each week students will give you an insight into life here at the Irish National Stud on the Thoroughbred Breeding Course. Enjoy!


First up we welcome Sydnie Willett (USA) and Hannah Airey (NZ and NZTBA recipient) 

The 2020 Irish National Stud Breeding Course has commenced with the arrival of twenty-seven students from eight nationalities. We started our first week off with a stallion parade from nominations and bloodstock advisor Patrick Diamond, followed by a tour of the stud. Seeing Invincible Spirit in the flesh, who’s beginning his eighteenth breeding season this year, was among the highlights of our first day. Along with meeting the exciting new addition to the INS stallion roster, Phoenix of Spain!


We were eased into the course with a multitude of inductions ranging from foaling to teasing to pedigree analysis before being able to jump into work on Friday morning. By this time, we were itching to get started and everyone was keen to get stuck into mucking out boxes, and teasing the barren mares.


Friday afternoon we switched roles and were tasked with showing off our knowledge of the stallions by presenting them in a stallion parade for CEO Cathal Beale and Anne Channon. Everyone nailed the stallion selling points and walked away knowing something that they didn’t before. I think the stallions enjoyed their time out to the box, flaunting their antics as well.



The foaling season has kicked off with a busy weekend for students Laura and Brittany, having two healthy foals their first night on foal watch! With around 250 more due throughout the season the rest of us are eager to see some action.



We were all introduced to Cunningham’s fairly quickly this week, where we plan on spending a lot of bonding time over the next six months. Already, we have our eyes on the Dublin Racing Festival next weekend, which will hopefully be the first of many out-of-stud adventures as a group. It’s looking to be a very busy six months, full of hard work, adventures and making memories with soon-to-be great friends.

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