NZTBA Scholarship winner reports from Coolmore Ireland

Grant Bennett, 25, of Cambridge is the inaugural winner of the NZTBA Auckland-sponsored International Management Scholarship.
He is currently more than half-way through his six-month study tour, which began at Vinery in Kentucky and will conclude at Haras de Mezeray in France in August. Grant has kept us very well-informed about his progress with a series of enthusiastic emails. Here is his latest report, dated 13 May, from Ireland's world-famous Cooolmore Stud:

I've all but finished my time here at Coolmore Stud in Ireland, and it has
been something to experience. While I am not based at Coolmore Stud itself,
I am working in arguably the busiest yard in the operation, a walk-in yard
at Caerleon Farm.

We start the day at 6am, when we go through the barn of 24 mares and foals
and feed them. We then proceed to bring in the barren mares at the yard into
a paddock close up ready for vet work at 7am. Once vet work is completed
(approximately 25-30 mares a day), we turn all the horses out into fields and then start to muck out. Once the barns are mucked out and bedded down again, we
tidy up the yard before lunch at 1pm. When we get back at 2pm, it is time
for all the mares and foals to come back in for the night, after which we
feed up, do a final clean up for the evening and finish for the day at around 5pm.

Breeding times for the stallions start at 7am each morning, followed by
lunchtime breedings at 12pm, afternoon breedings at 5pm and night breedings at 9pm. I have been fortunaute enough to see some of the hottest sires in the world on my travels to the breeding shed, including the champions Sadler's Wells, Danehill and Grand Lodge, as well as some of the new young horses in Gallileo, Mozart and King Charlemagne. All the stallions look in marvellous order, even old Be My Guest, at the ripe old age of 28.

Coolmore Stud itself is a place of absolute beauty, with no expense
spared. From the bronze life-size statues of Sadler's Wells, Caerleon, Danehill and Be My Guest, to the private nine-hole golf course, both professional as well as pleasure activities are not done by halves.

I have been lucky enough to meet and work with some top young horseman at
Coolmore, as well as some of the most sought after bloodstock in the
world. When you are working with such mares as Imagine( Oaks-winning half-sister to Generous), the dams of Montjeu, Galileo and King Charlemagne, as well as the dams of countless Group One winners (including 1999 New Zealand Broodmare of the Year Benediction), you know you are part of the most serious
breeding operation in the world.

It's been a pleasure working in Coolmore the last six weeks, but it is
now time to move on to the last leg of my trip, Haras de Mezeray in France.
This is going to be a huge learning curve for me not only in the sense of
horsemanship, but also culturally. I look forward to it.

To help raise funds for future International Management Scholarships the NZTBA Auckland branch is presenting the Sunline Dinner, a tribute to New Zealand's champion, on Saturday 8 June. Please contact
"> Michelle Saba
or telephone her at: (09) 292 7687, for bookings at this very special event.

- Grant Bennett


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