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Georgina Bolton graduates with Gold Medal at Irish National Stud

Georgina Bolton, the Gold Medal Winner, with John McStay (left) and John Osborne, INS Chief Executive
Georgina Bolton, the Gold Medal Winner, with John McStay (left) and John Osborne, INS Chief Executive

The Irish National Stud Breeding Course has a long and distinguished history of producing graduates who go on to take leading roles in global racing and breeding. Last Friday 21 students from ten different countries graduated after completing six months on the internationally acclaimed course. In his speech to the graduates, family and guests, Irish National Stud boss John Osborne pointed out that, "32 countries have been represented over the years, a service no one else can really match, and those people have become friends to Ireland for the rest of their lives. This year we have welcomed our first students from China, Uruguay and Jamaica."

The students with the overall highest marks throughout the course were awarded prestigious medals. The Silver Medal went to UK student Stephen Kitchener, while the Gold Medal went to Georgina Bolton from New Zealand.Georgina will now be taking up a position at Trelawney Stud, Cambridge, New Zealand. Georgina was awarded the annual NZTBA scholarship which is generously supported by the Taylor family of Trelawney Stud.

Representing the Class of 2012, graduates Rebecca Grabert and Killian McStay also gave a memorable speech in which they pointed out that, back in January, "21 strangers faced six months of living and working together, but we very soon became 21 very close friends. Our learning has not only been from the course structure, but from each other. We have each been fortunate to work with 21 of the most talented and like-minded individuals in this industry." The connections the students have made with each other have provided lifelong friendships, contacts around the world and the opportunity to Do business with each other in the future, which is a firm grounding for success.

As well as graduation certificates, individual prizes were awarded to those students with distinctions in each category of the course. The most prestigious of those awards is the John Durkan Award, the brainchild of the class of 1984 to honour their fellow graduate. The Award is made to help a student fulfil an aim to become a trainer and was presented by 1984 graduate Henry Beeby. This year the John Durkan Award winner was Jack Tuohy and he will be joining Brian Meehan, a former student and enthusiastic supporter of the course, for a
valuable work placement and grounding in training skills.

The Most Improved Student was Guo Tong Jan from China; Distinction for Farriery went to Rebecca Grabert, USA; Distinction in Stable Management was awarded to Tommy Burns, Ireland; Distinction for Continuous Assessment went to Australia's Heath Justin; Distinction for Portfolio was won by Benjamin Avenel, from France; and the Distinction for the Written Exam went to Becky Palmer, from Australia. The students will now be going on to work placements with trainers and studs in Ireland, Britain, New Zealand, Australia and America, where they will further add to their skills, knowledge and experience.

- Irish Thoroughbred Marketing