There are 24 students on the course for 2021 which is a special year for the stud being the 50th year of this wonderful course.
The first 2 weeks there were 12 of the international students that had to do a two-week quarantine stint at the stud. It was a great two weeks to really getting to know everyone before the Irish turned up. There was a lot of time spent in the common room watching races from all over the world, the sales on the Gold Coast, as well as watching a lot of movies.
It was great to get out and explore the stud once that two-week quarantine had finished, we all really wanted to get out and have a look around and start working with horses.
My first week on the farm I was working in the stallion barn. It was a quiet week, the boys would all get worked on the walker and a couple were even lunged to get them fit before the start of breeding season where they start to cover in the next couple of weeks.
It was an absolute pleasure to get to handle the Champion Invincible Spirit, he is a favourite of mine and you would not even think he was a stallion the way he acts. He so laid back. It was good getting to handle all the boys they all have their own little quirks and that but that’s stallions at the end of the day. It was good to learn off the two stallion lads in Paul (stallion manager) and Harry.
My second week on the farm I was out in the mud and rain at Strawhall which is where the mares in foal are. These mares are boxed every night on straw, and they are put out every morning in groups of six. We have to check these mares every so often to make sure none are foaling out in the paddock. Once these mares are close to foaling, they are taken to the foaling unit at Kildare yard on the stud.
I would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone here at the Irish National Stud, the New Zealand Breeders' Association and the Taylor family of Trelawney Stud for making this course possible this year.
Until next time