26th Mar 2019
Toshihiro Onikubo (JPN) and Caoimhe Loftus (IRE) give you an insight into their eight week here on the Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Breeding Course.
I (Toshi) had fantastic weekend for this INS student blog. My roommate David Skelly (IRE) took me to Limerick, his hometown, on Friday night straight after the lecture about Dystocia’s during delivery of foals by Foaling Attendant Lauren Eisemann.
We went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner and enjoyed nice Sushi and Gyoza. David was struggling with chopsticks, so I had to show him a thing or two.
On Saturday morning, I joined “Limerick Tour by David” which included the University of Limerick (UL) and King John’s Castle.
David attended UL and I was really impressed by the wonderful campus, there are lovely walks on the River Shannon and great sports facilities. The architecture is very impressive with a mixture of traditional and modern. King John’s Castle is very cool place in the central of Limerick overlooking the River Shannon, full of history not only for Limerick but also for Ireland.
After the tour of the city, we went to the Cliffs of Moher. Luckily it was nice weather and we had a clear view. The view from the cliffs took my breath away, in a good way. But the uphill walk from the parking took my breath away in a bad way. I do need to mention that Seafood Chowder that I had in Vaughan’s Anchor Inn near the Cliffs Of Moher was one of the most delicious Seafood Chowders I have ever had.
On Sunday, those of us with the weekend off went Naas Racecourse for opening of the Irish Flat Racing Season. We thoroughly enjoyed our day and thankfully the rain held off which was a huge help. We cannot wait for the flat season to get fully under way and for the Curragh in particular to re-open, hopefully next time I will have more luck, though it doesn’t look like I’ll be making it out this weekend.
I (Caoimhe) have spent this week in the Sun Chariot yard, which is basically a maternity ward for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Irish National Stud! We safely delivered our 115th foal of the year during the week and are looking forward to many more over the coming months.
I was also on foal watch this week which consists of walking around the paddocks and checking the pregnant mares every fifteen minutes, which is definitely a good way to get your steps in for the day. It does help that if you find a mare foaling and get her into foaling box, with a safe delivery, you get one hundred euro, which isn’t a bad way to keep us students on our toes. I was lucky enough to catch a mare foaling on Friday afternoon and collect my one hundred euro just in time to buy the first round in the pub on Friday night!
On Wednesday half of our group visited Con Marnane’s yard at Bansha House Stables and were given a warm welcome as well as a great insight into how one of Europe’s top breeze up yards operates. The other half of the group will be going this Wednesday and are really looking forward to it. After the trip all the students and staff where kindly invited to the restaurant where we had an Italian night. The night was full of food, laughs and even some singing from our very own Toshi.
Last weekend was definitely one to remember, with it being most of the students first St.Patrick’s Day spent in Ireland. Those of us who had the weekend off headed into Dublin to watch the parade and have a Guinness or two, we then collectively went out as a group that evening, I think it’s safe to say we celebrated in style, too much style perhaps.