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Scholarship Blog: Sunline Scholarship recipient David Morris latest update on his last placement

Saratoga sales ring

Saratoga sales ring

My last weekend in Ireland was spent watching Latrobe win the Irish Derby.  What an awesome way to end a great time in Ireland!.   A big thank you to everyone at Coolmore, for helping me along the way.

Since arriving in Kentucky it has been flat out.   After getting off the plane, I was straight into the July Fasig-Tipton sale in Lexington and it was the first taste of the Taylormade way of selling horses.  It didn’t take long to see why they are the best Thoroughbred Sales Agency in the world, with more Graded Stakes winners and Grade 1 winners than any other consignor.  It was great to be able to meet a lot of the Taylormade staff and family before heading onto the farm.

The way of prepping yearlings is very different to what I am used to, but I’m enjoying the new challenge of not only the work, but the language too.   I had heard about the language barrier from my predecessor Lance, but didn’t realise how much of a barrier it was, so I quickly had to learn the very basics of the Spanish language.  It has been about 4 weeks now and I’m slowly getting there.

The daily routine starts at 6am and the first job is to muck out all of the stalls in the barn. We then bring in all of the yearlings around 7-7:30am. The yearlings are then hand walked and bathed every day apart from Sundays.  After their bath we spend the rest of the day grooming and doing treatments, finishing work at 4pm.  We then come back at 7:30pm to turn all of the yearlings out in paddocks as it is too hot during the day to keep them outside.

I very quickly caught onto the staff’s love for soccer, as they play it about 3-4 days a week after work on their very own Taylormade soccer field.  Sometimes they play just within the staff and other times against other local Lexington teams.  I’ve tried to play as much as possible, however I’m definitely out of place, with the skill level being very, very good.

I have just got back from Saratoga and what an experience that was.  Travelling on a horse truck, (horse van they call it here) the horses were literally travelling first-class. Each horse had their own separate stable and were let free during the 16 hour trip. During the sale we only had to take care of our own individual horse which included looking after the stable, grooming and showing. The sale was very successful for Taylormade with a $1,350,000 million Medaglia D’Oro sale topper and a average of $375,000.  A bonus of being a part of the yearling sales here at the moment is seeing the first American Pharoah yearlings, which is very exciting. The sale nights were also very different with everyone dressed up.  It had more of a party atmosphere than a horse sale.

There were races during the day, so everyone walks from the track to the sale and the drinks were definitely flowing. I managed to spend an afternoon racing and got to watch the Whitney Stakes (Gr.1) and see Taylormade graduate Diversify win very comfortably. It was awesome to experience American dirt racing at such a historic racecourse. It was a great week to be part of and learnt plenty along the way.

I am now back on the farm with about three weeks until the September Keenland sale, which Taylormade has about 500 yearlings entered!!   I am looking forward to seeing some more of the great farms in Kentucky. I was able to see Chuchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby and have a look around the museum which gave you a real understanding of the history behind the race and the Triple Crown. I’ve also managed to link up with the Lexington rugby team. A very different way of playing rugby but it’s all good fun meeting people outside of the ‘horse world’ and I’m hoping to get 2 or 3 games in during my time here.

adiós por ahora y estad atentos para mi próximo blog

Goodbye for now and stay tuned for my next blog


Thank You

David Morris

Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs
Tapwit trained by Todd Pletcher parading

Tapwit trained by Todd Pletcher parading


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