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Hannah’s Blog - February 2016

There are 26 students on the 2016 Irish National Stud Course
There are 26 students on the 2016 Irish National Stud Course

This month I finished my week in the office which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was great to see another side of stud life and to be in an office working on nominations, vet repots and mare profiles.

The following week, I was in the Sun Chariot yard, which is the foaling unit on the farm. This year they are looking at foaling around 250 mares. My role at this yard was to look after the mares and to keep an eye on them as they grew close to their due date. All of us that were working on the yard would have a day where we would monitor the mares throughout the day. If a mare is seen to be in the early stages of labour it is the student's reasonability to bring them into the box so they can foal in a safe environment. One of the days I assisted in foaling down a mare in a box, it was great to see as I had never foaled a mare in a box, as in New Zealand we foal the mares outside as it is warm enough to do so.
Goffs Sales in Ireland
Goffs Sales in Ireland

During the week at Sun Chariot we also were given an assignment that involved going to the sales that were at Goffs on the 10th and 11th. We were to pick out a mare or foal that we thought would be a good buy and that we could pin hook or keep to breed from. We were asked to explain why we picked the animal, what the strengths and weakness were in the pedigree and body type. This was really good to see and do as I was able to walk around and look at horses and have a change from not being at the end of a lead rein!

The week following this I was in the Black Cherry, Blandford and Witch Elm yards. Black Cherry is being used as an overflow yard for mares and foals. There were only two mares and foals in the yard at the time but is soon to get busier as the season goes on. Witch Elm is the yard where the yearlings are located, they were just getting fed and checked twice a day until they will come in for their yearling preparation.
Con Marnane from Bansha House Stables
Con Marnane from Bansha House Stables

Last week, as a class, we went to Bansha House Stables which is close to Cashel town in county Tipperary. Bansha House Stables is where Con Marnane operates his ready to run breeze up consignment having numerous Stakes and Group winning graduates.

Con kindly showed us around his facilities which included two walkers, two treadmills, swimming pool, equine spa, a three furlong round gallop, seven furlong hill gallop and a fourteen horse walker which the horses walk, trot and canter on. He took us through the breaking process which he uses once he has purchased yearlings from international sales, gave us an in depth insight as to his theories and thoughts of his facilities, and his opinion of the future of the European bloodstock sales. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Bansha House Stables and the wonderful hospitality shown to us.
We also had a lecture this week where we saw a horseshoe being made from scratch and we looked at the internal structure of a hind leg and hoof. We looked at where all the tendons and ligaments were and how they attach to the bone and muscle. We also looked into the hoof of the horse as well, cutting back the sole and hoof wall, to see the pedal bone and where all the blood flow goes. This was a very interesting lecture and it helped a lot to understand how it all works together.

To finish the month, I am working nights with another student Amy and the supervisor Ethan. I will be foaling down mares for 3 nights, I am really looking forward to this as it is something I love doing

Until next month,

Hannah Mee