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Holly Ross wins the Sunline Trust Management Scholarship

The 2013 Sunline Trust's International Management Scholarship has been awarded to Holly Ross.

Holly is currently employed at Arrowfield Stud in the Hunter Valley, and will head to England at the end of February to work at Cheveley Park in Newmarket, for the first stage of her scholarship.

The Sunline Trust's International Management Scholarship aims to identify existing and potential managers within the New Zealand thoroughbred industry, offer them an opportunity to broaden their knowledge and experience, and highlight the diverse career options available within the international bloodstock business.

The recipient spends around eight months overseas working at Cheveley Park in England, and Coolmore in Ireland for the Northern Hemisphere breeding season, before going to Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky to prepare yearlings for the sales at Saratoga and Keeneland. Along the way they are learning all aspects of the industry in a different environment.

"I am very excited about the chance to visit three of the world's most renowned and successful thoroughbred operations. I am also looking forward to attending some great race meetings, meeting new people and experiencing the culture of the three countries," said Holly who applied for the scholarship as she saw it as an ideal next step in her career in the thoroughbred industry.

Holly grew up in Whangarei and was educated at Whangarei Girls High School. She became interested in horses at a very young age and competed in numerous disciplines within the equine circuit before focusing on eventing during her final years of school.
She attended Waikato University where she gained a Bachelor of Management Studies with a double major in Marketing and International Management.

"During my first year of university I saw a job advertised over summer for yearling prep at The Oaks Stud and thought I would enjoy it. This was my first experience with thoroughbreds and I absolutely loved it. The following year I did a yearling prep for Cambridge Stud as I admired Sir Patrick Hogan and his success. I stayed at Cambridge Stud whilst I completed my degree and became more and more involved in the industry."

She then went to Australia and took up her current position at Arrowfield Stud as their Assistant Broodmare Manager.

"I applied for the Sunline Scholarship as I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity and an ideal next step for my career in the industry. I have a very open mind towards ideas for the future. At the moment I am enjoying working hands on but would like to end up in a management position. I am also very interested in marketing and international business and would like to use my degree and get involved in that area of the industry.

"I am extremely grateful for everyone that has helped with my career so far. I've had a great deal of support from the team at Cambridge Stud and learnt so much recently during my time at Arrowfield. I am very lucky to be given this opportunity and will definitely make the most of it," she concluded.

The scholarship was started in 2002 by the Auckland Branch of the NZTBA, and Holly is the third woman to be awarded it. She succeeds Shannon Taylor (2003) who is currently the marketing manager and Haunui Farm, and Libby Bleakely (nee Fergusson) who now runs her own pre-training and agistment farm, Highden Park in the Manawatu.

NZTBA CEO Michael Martin, who chaired the interview panel, congratulated Holly on being awarded the scholarship and said that she follows on from an outstanding group of young New Zealanders who have won the Sunline Scholarship in recent years.

The scholarship is sponsored by the Sunline Education Trust, established from the funds originally raised by the Auckland Branch. This year the Trust benefited from a highly successful NZTBA dinner at Government House in honour of their Patron, Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and hosted by His Excellency, the Governor General, Lt. Gen. the Rt. Hon. Sir Jerry Mateparae. The funds raised at the dinner will ensure that at least another generation of young and enterprising horse-men and women will benefit from the outstanding opportunity the Sunline International Management Scholarship provides them.

- Michelle Saba


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