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Dylan's Blog – July 2015

Graduation Day 2015
Graduation Day 2015

The long goodbye

Over the past month things have really wound down at the stud. The mares are now all pregnant and living out in the paddocks with their young ones, grazing and enjoying the sun. The stallions have slowed down almost to a stop with only 1 or 2 covers a day and Americain is getting ready to head back down south as well.

With the stud slowing down, it has opened up time for us students to go on more field trips. It was great to get the opportunity to see so many different studs, training yards, breakers and even racetracks (too many to mention). A couple of our most memorable trips were to Jim Bolger's, 'The Master of Cool himself', to see how the mind of such a forward thinker works and the different techniques he uses not only in breeding, but breaking and training as well. Also we visited Aidan O'Brian at Ballydoyle with his absolute attention to detail and perfection, you would have struggled to find a hair or a piece of dirt out of place there! The personal training tracks they both had were outstanding and I would even dare say better than some actual racecourses! It is no wonder these men are considered two of the best trainers in the world.

With visits to Coolmore, Darley, Juddmonte, Tinnakill, Troy Town Equine Centre, Copper Beech racing stables, the Curragh Racecourse and a few more, we were sucking up information faster than a sponge to decide how we would use it in the future.

Even with all the study, assignments, work and visits we still managed to find time for a bit of racing as it is the season for some of the best racing in the world. Royal Ascot week was one that would be hard to forget. With the hype that was created over the stud the week before, along with the amount of cheering and screaming at the television that was done over the week, it made us feel like we were actually there.

Now that it is coming to the end that meant only one thing - we were up to our final assignments which put a little smile on everyone's face until we heard about the exams! At the end of the year there are two exams, one based on all the veterinary lectures we had had over the past 6 months and one based on general information, pretty much anything that was covered over the year personally designed by John Osborne himself. I'm happy and proud to say that we all passed both exams along with the course itself.

The Irish National Stud has been a truly unforgettable and amazing experience that I will never forget. I have meet 22 outstanding people that I would consider not just friends or contacts for the future, but family. We have bonded over the time of course and if I had a chance to do it again I would say yes in a heartbeat. Graduation was a truly humbling day for all of us as it was a realization that this could be the last time that we would all be together. Although there were some tears, they were all tears of joy as we ended the day sitting in the common room together reminiscing on all the good times we had on the stud and promising that one day we will all meet up again.

Finally I would just like to say thank you so much to Brent and Cherry Taylor at Trelawney, Shannon Taylor, Michael Martin, Nicola Griffiths and the team at NZTBA, and of course my family for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime.


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