I started my time with Tony Williams and GOFFS UK in Hawick, Scotland where there main office is located. I was very fortunate to be hosted by Tony and spent the first couple of days in the office working alongside a few different members of staff. I spent time with Mark Palmer in the accounts area which he would argue the most important area of the company and I soon realised he wasn’t too far wrong. I also spent time with Charlie King in Bloodstock and Michael Orton in Marketing. Michael a fellow kiwi, originally 20mins from where I grew up but we had never met, made my brief time in Hawick very easy and was great to finally here a ‘normal’ accent. It was very different work to what I’m used to but enjoyed all of it.
First part of the road trip with Tony was to Doncaster for the Breeze Up Sale and what a different experience that was compared to New Zealand, breezing the day before the sale. A very healthy sale with an average of 40,000Pounds and the top lot was a Kyllachy Colt for 220,000Pounds. It was an awesome few days meeting plenty of new people and being able to familiarise myself with a catalogue that had sires I had never heard of before.
From here we travelled overnight to Liverpool to prepare for the Aintree sale. National Hunt is all very new to me but for how busy the days leading up to the sale and throughout the selling of the horses it didn’t take long to understand the strength of jumps racing. The catalogue was a very selective but extremely successful sale with 24 lots and a top price of 325,000Pounds. The whole sale was something I really didn’t expect and was blown away with the amount of money spent. Over these few days and the days I spent at the Grand National Festival following the sale, I learnt so much about a whole new side to the industry and how passionate people are for jumps racing.
The Grand National in particular was a race meeting that blew my expectations out of the water, the sold out crowd made for an unforgettable atmosphere. I was fortunate to walk the course early one morning and the whole way around I couldn’t get my head around the fact that they do 2 laps, one lap was well in truly a test of stamina I thought! I was lucky enough to catch up with my very good friend Jason Thomasen from New Zealand who is working with Blandford Bloodstock during our off-season. We both had a bet on the race and it was an absolute lucky dip so I hedged my bets and took a few options, however the luck I have with betting resulted in none of them managing to finish the race and it seemed that everyone around me had backed the eventual winner ‘Tiger Roll’, who won by a nose. I can’t thank Tony enough to have the opportunity to be apart of the GOFFS UK team over the past 2 weeks as its definitely one of my highlights so far.
From the excitement of the Grand National I was immediately on a plane to Ireland that night and have had another amazing 3 weeks here at Coolmore.
The weather has made a turn for the better and the European summer is definitely starting to kick in. Again my expectations were blown away with the size and elegance of the farm, the professionalism of all the staff and smooth running of day to day operations, you can definitely understand why they are the benchmark in the industry. My first placement has been with mares and foals, which are currently just starting to live outside except for when we bring them in every morning to monitor every foal individually and to control their feed. The quality of broodmares over the farm is quiet surreal with the dam of Gleneagles and dam of Highland Reel both in my barn. I’ve had the opportunity to take a few mares to walk out coverings that included ‘New Bay’ (Dubawi) at Ballylinch Stud and ‘Dark Angel’ (Acclamation) at Yeomanstown Stud, both impressive looking horses and beautiful farms!
I’m absolutely loving my time here and looking forward to working in the other areas of Coolmore and going to some more racing in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more stories.