Since my last blog where I had only spent a couple of weeks in Ireland, until now where there is less than two weeks remaining, the time in between has flown by. My time at Coolmore has exceeded all my expectations and the lessons I’ve learnt from all the great people I’ve met along the way has been amazing.
My next placement was working in the stallion yard and my time there has definitely been a highlight of my trip so far. There are 13 stallions this season, with the new additions of Caravaggio (Scat Daddy), Churchill (Galileo) and Highland Reel (Galileo). I count myself very lucky to have the opportunity to work with so many champion racehorses and of course the best stallion in the world, Galileo. Highland Reel would have to be my favourite, not just because of his racing career, but his character and physical presence, followed closely by Fastnet Rock.
I’ve managed to see some more racing action while being here, with a couple of days at Leopardstown and then the big Irish Guineas weekend at the Curragh, where I saw Romanised win the 2000 Guineas on Saturday and Alpha Centauri winning the 1000 Guineas on the Sunday. During that weekend I managed to meet up with a few fellow kiwis, Todd Pollard, who is on the Godolphin Flying Start, and good friend Jason Thomasen. A great day for racing and a good chance to see the almost completed upgrades to the racecourse.
During the last couple of weeks the season has started to slow down and come to an end and I have been lucky enough to be able to get around to a few other farms including Godolphin's Kildangan Stud, the Irish National Stud and the Aga Khan's Gilltown Stud. An awesome experience to see some more high-class stallions and beautiful farms.
Last weekend, the Coolmore 'End of season BBQ' to thank all the staff was held and I have never seen a BBQ like it! Starting with family day in the afternoon with plenty of different bouncy castles, Tug of war, Magicians and rock climbing it was definitely a kid’s paradise. From there it kicked on to dinner and a live band for the night and what a great way to meet a few more people from the farm.
My last placement has been at Primus, the marketing and pedigree agency for Coolmore. This includes all marketing worldwide for both America and Australia, so it’s fair to say it is always busy, no matter what time of the year. While here, I was assigned a research project on Northern Hemisphere broodmare sires that you would still see available for purchase in a catalogue. This project came back with some very interesting results. I have also done research on stallion prospects by studying their form, finding news articles regarding the subject horse and looking at the credentials of their sires.
A very exciting week with Royal Ascot on this week. Aiden O’Brien has plenty of top chances and it will be good to see James McDonald flying the kiwi flag. My time at Coolmore is almost over and I will head to my final placement at Taylormade farm in Kentucky.
David Morris - Sunline Scholarship recipient