21-year-old New Zealander Charlie King has gained a place on the prestigious Godolphin Flying Start, a two-year Thoroughbred Industry Management and Leadership Programme, which commences in Ireland in August.
The son of Nick and Anne-Marie King grew up on Brighthill Farm and is a recent graduate of a Bachelor of Commerce at Victoria University, and is currently working for Te Akau Racing.
The class of 2021 – 2023 comprises of eight men and four women from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, the UK and the USA.
The outstanding scholarship enables trainees to learn and experience management operations and leadership in the global thoroughbred industry with phases in Ireland, the UK, the USA, Australia and Dubai.
The course is accredited by University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Business School as a Graduate Certificate in Management.
Over half of Godolphin Flying Start graduates have gone on to become managers, CEOs or business founders and they are based across five continents, working in media, racing, breeding, bloodstock, sales, consultancy, veterinary and marketing.
“I’m delighted to be accepted for the programme and to be the first Kiwi for a while,” King said.
“It’s a massive opportunity. The exposure to every aspect of the industry will help make my mind up as to where I’d like to be involved the most and allow me to plan for the future.
“I can’t think of a better way in two years of getting so much exposure and knowledge that will help me decide what I want to do in the thoroughbred industry.
“I was lucky to grow up on a stud farm and be around thoroughbreds as part of our life. We started going to races and sales from a young age and being aware of the industry.
“As I’ve got older, I’ve enjoyed working with stallions and also researching and getting to know pedigrees and mating crosses.”
During his time at Te Akau, King has been privy to observing and working under the guise of champion trainer Jamie Richards, whom he’d always admired prior to working for the leading trainer.
“I’ve now seen his talents not only as trainer, but his ability to manage a huge operation of both horses and staff. His attention to detail impresses me the most and I’m lucky to see it firsthand.
“I’ve had an awesome upbringing. I’m super excited. A lot of things happen through luck and people giving me the opportunities and there are a lot of things I’m really grateful for to get a foot in the door.
“Now it’s time to make the most of it and the hard work begins when I’m on the Godolphin Flying Start programme. I’ll be making the most of it, learn as much as I can, and take a few strides forward in my career with thoroughbreds.”
King will join the likes of Andrew Birch (New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing), Andrew Williams (Andrew Williams Bloodstock), Scott Calder (Cambridge Stud), Vicki Leonard (Kick Collective & TDN AusNZ), Jack Bruce (Ciaron Maher Racing), Todd Pollard (Annabel Neasham) and Laura Robertson (VRT Lawyers) as New Zealanders to undertake the course.