Danielle’s March Blog:
Well can’t believe that 2 months is almost over it has gone so fast it feels like just the other day we were all getting settled down here. I have grown some really good friendships and we are all getting along like a big family.
The end of February through to the beginning of March I was placed in Kildare and Black Cherry yard working with mares and foals. Storm Emma come through during the week and we had our fair share of snow with some drifts up to our waist. It was challenging getting around the farm but lucky Kildare yard was at walking range. We all worked well as a team and ensured all the stock was well cared for during the storm. We had a lot more mares and foals in both yards and was good slowly getting them out from the nursery paddocks to the fields which average six mares and foals. It was good when we were able to get them out to stretch their legs after being confined during the storm. We also got our 3rd assignment which we had to complete a pedigree analysis and mating plan for an Irish National Stud mare and a stallion that stands here. It looks like a very interesting assignment and can’t wait to get into it.
The second week in March I was back in Kildare and Black Cherry. I was the teasing student for this week and I learnt a lot about the practical aspects of teasing, recording the results and preparing the veterinary lists and assisting with organizing the mares from that yard that are booked to the breeding shed. We still had a bit of snow on the ground but we were able to get all the mares and foals out into their paddocks. We were all happy to see that the snow had stopped and was slowly melting away this was a new experience working out in the snow.
The third week I was in Strawhall working with the pregnant mares and new born foals. I was in the first group to visit Bansha House Stables and it was a very interesting and enjoyable trip. Con Marnane is the owner of Bansha House Stables set in the beautiful Glen of Aherlow in Co. Tipperary. Bansha House Stables are leading consignors of “Breeze-Up” Two Year Olds with almost a hundred horses being prepared for the upcoming European Two Year Olds in training sales in Europe. The facilities at Bansha are amazing with beautiful Gallops, Equine Swimming Pool, Equine Treadmill, Water Walker, large outdoor walker and starting stalls. It was fascinating to see how efficient the whole operation is run. We saw some lovely two year olds working on the gallops and they will be well prepared for any owner or trainer that invests in them. Graduates of Bansha have won 21 Group 1 races and 91 Group and Listed performers over the years. The most recent winner was the exciting filly Different League who won the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and she is entered in the Guineas. We were blown away with the hospitality at Bansha and after a long morning we really appreciated the lovely sausages and refreshments Con and Theresa provided for us. To learn more about Bansha House Stables and their impressive facilities’ (click here).
This week was also the Cheltenham races week. National Hunt Racing in Ireland is really popular and all the top horses run at Cheltenham. We enjoyed a Cheltenham Preview night organized by the students with seven of the “form gurus” on the panel. We had a sweepstake with both students and staff for each day of the races. It was a really good week and I learnt a bit about jumps racing too. We all started early in the yards so we could watch a few races and the atmosphere was great in the TV Room with us all shouting our horses home! Lucky all us that were working at Strawhall didn’t miss out on any of the races as we were able to watch them all in the office. I was also responsible for maintaining the laboratory and ensuring it was stocked and clean. It also snowed for one day again so much snow in a short time hopefully that’s the last of it and it will start getting warmer.
My final week for this month was at Blandford we had a few more horses turn up during the week so it’s starting to get busy. With teasing and vet checks to services I’m getting better at leading mares and foals together. The mares that were in Minoru had moved to Sun Chariot as they now have room for them after the busy week with 17 mares foaled in 3 nights. So that yard has now been closed so we only have a few horses in Murphy’s which is our isolation barn. The second group went to Bansha House Stables on the Thursday.
I’m really enjoying my time working and enjoying the lectures. With our assignments back and marked I know exactly where I need to improve on which is good and I know I’m learning a lot during the lectures as well as doing the assignments. For one of our Friday farrier lectures we all went to the Farrier School located in the RACE Campus where all the apprentice Jockeys complete their education and training. It was very interesting to go there and see the set up. In the forge Martin showed us how he makes a shoe and he also went through with us dissecting a fore limb to tell us what ligaments control what part of the limb and how very small they are and how easy it is to puncture or damage them. We also went through what the inside of the horses hoof and that the different functions are, very interesting and a lot of information to take in. But like all lectures we are learning and I can’t wait to see what the next 3 months have in store for us. - Danielle Southey