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Student Danielle Southey's April update from the Irish National Stud

I have been rostered into the stallion yard and which has been a totally a different experience for me. The opportunity to work with the stallions and learn the routine of the covering shed has been both an enjoyable and invaluable experience.  We have 8 stallions standing at the stud and when I was looking office I noticed some plaques which had some familiar names but one in particular was Elusive City. I knew I had seen this horses name previously in New Zealand somewhere, so with a little investigation I discovered that this was indeed the same stallion that stood at Trelawney Stud when they had a stallion roster and then at Haunui Farm. 

former Haunui Farm stallion Elusive City's name plate

former Haunui Farm stallion Elusive City's name plate

I am half way through the Irish National Stud course already and time is going so fast but were all having such a great time. I cannot believe in a few month’s time we will be graduating.

First week of April and I’m back in Maddenstown (barren and maiden mares). I have also had the opportunity to show international visitors around the stud.

I then returned to Kildare again where most of the stables are now filled up now with mares and foals. Part way through the week we left the first lot of older foals with their mums out in the paddocks overnight. Was great seeing them out in the paddocks but I felt a bit sad when we were bringing in all the others and they were all standing at the gate ready to come in.

Over the weekend a group of us were able to go to Leopardstown races it was a great day out. We were also able to go up to one of the private suites. Money was won and money was lost but still all us had a great day watching the races and wanting the horses that we betted on to win or at least come 2nd or 3rd.

The stalls in all yards are filling up quickly now that foaling is getting well into it now with multiple foals most nights it great to see them all out for the first time in the paddocks. While in Blandford yard we were able to put some more mares and foals out into the paddock so they could stay out now and they just loved playing around with their new friends. Then seeing their old friends come out during the day in the paddock next to them. Some mares and foals were able to go back home after they were scanned in foal, so that made new room for some more to come into the yard.

The lectures are in full swing as well with guest lecturers - Cathy Grassick, Dr Harry Sweeney and Garry O’Gorman as well as a visit to Kildangan Stud where we had the chance to talk to Clodagh Kavanagh and Joe Osborne. We also had a lovely dinner in the Japanese Garden Restaurant as well as a Punchestown (National Hunt) Preview one night with a student panel and guest speakers that joined then Kevin O’Ryan and Martin Murphy. This was a lovely and eventful night it was great listening to the boys pick who they thought would win.

The final week of April I returned to Strawhall I was really happy to be back in this yard as the dual Oaks winning and international performing mare called Snow Fairy was in the foaling unit. I had worked with this mare last year when she was in England at Stanley House Stud in Newmarket – it was good to see an old friend again. During the weekend she had foaled and I was fortunate to be working during the day so I could get to see her and her lovely Frankel colt. Everyone loved him to bits as soon as they saw him and a lot if photos were taken of them both. I was lucky to get a few photos with them thanks to Sinead Hyland who is involved in marketing and nominations.

So that’s all for this month’s blog until next time                  

Danielle pictured with international G1 performing mare Snow Fairy (Intikhab - Woodland Dream) and her new born foal

Danielle pictured with international G1 performing mare Snow Fairy (Intikhab - Woodland Dream) and her new born foal


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