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Dylan's Blog – May 2015

State Of Emergency defeats Mimicking at the Curragh
State Of Emergency defeats Mimicking at the Curragh

The Flat is Back!

The National Hunt season is finally coming to an end and there was no better way to see it out other than with a massive festival held at Punchestown. What a festival it was with Willie Mullins going out with a bang, breaking his own record claiming 15 winners over the 5-day festival with 10 of those being Grade 1 winners! As Punchestown is not far from us we were lucky enough to have a half day to go experience the festival first hand, and what a festival it was with most of us going back for more after work on other days.

The racing atmosphere here is so vibrant and accelerating with the enthusiasm from every many woman and child. The idea of a festival was very well put together with not just racing but also the opportunities of other entertainment with private and public marques with music playing all day, a small amusement park, small 'pop-up' shops with all kinds of things for sale and of course a couple areas to sit down and have a drink or two with friends.

With Punchestown coming to an end there was not much of a break to a flat meeting with most of us heading to the Curragh for a flat meeting on the Monday due to it being a bank holiday to try win back some of our weekly wage after Punchestown. The Curragh is a very well established racecourse and will be the venue for both the 1000 and 2000 Irish Guineas in a couple weeks time.

It hasn't all been fun and games here at the Irish National Stud though with lectures and assignments in full swing, between foaling assignments and nutrition presentations we have been keeping rather busy.

We are still being lectured by so of the greatest minds of the industry with the likes of Garry Hadden who is a professional pedigrees analyst, giving us a in-depth look at bloodlines, inbreeding and how to find and maximize your opportunity in buying a successful racehorse. Noel O'Brien who is the Irish Senior National Hunt Handicapper. Martin Leahy, the farrier for the Irish National Stud showed us the inner workings of the lower limb and hoof of a horse with an in-depth dissection of both (wasn't a lecture for someone with a light stomach) and plenty more.

Within the yard we have all been lucky enough to been given the experience of understanding and creating 'teasing lists'. This hands on approach has helped us all understand the aspect of not only teasing but also how a mare cycles. Knowing whether a mare is coming into or out of season. When and why to scan or cover a mare, and the reasons behind, 'swabbing' or covering on 'foal heat'.

It's not all just yard work at INS though, we are also involved in the office side of the stud. We all get a week out of the muddy boots and into a tidy attire to see the way the stud is run from the office point of view. Starting off with a crash course in how to us the 'Equisoft' program. It is a brilliant program that does it all, from storing mare profiles, teasing lists, vet lists, covers, client details and plenty more.

We have now passed the halfway point of the course and I have settled into this place I am happy to call my home away from home. I am truly enjoying my experience over here with this diverse group of characters I live with and cannot what for what else this course has to offer us.

Dylan Treweek