The Sunline Education Trust have gone out of the box to ensure their 2022 scholarship is awarded.
The International Management Scholarship usually enables the recipient to travel to England, Ireland and America but with uncertainty around international travel and border controls, this year’s grant has been awarded to a domestic project.
Former Keith and Faith Taylor Equine Scholarship recipient Hannah Airey will receive the scholarship, supporting her to participate in a research study as part of her Bachelors degree in Agricultural Science, working alongside Massey University’s Prof. Chris Rogers.
The study will gather data from commercial stud farms in Waikato and Auckland, contributing to an existing research pathway looking at nutrient management in regard to horse density per hectare, how this changes depending on the season and its effect on nitrogen excretion, and grazing rotation and stock management.
“One of the NZTBA’s roles is to advocate for breeders on a government level when it comes to environmental and sustainability issues,” NZTBA CEO Justine Sclater said. “One hurdle we constantly come up against is that we don’t have research-based data relevant to the equine industry meaning our outcomes are often based on evidence relating to other farming industries.
“It’s important we have up-to-date, equine specific data when things such as carbon emission levies are being calculated.
“I felt we needed to be proactive in awarding the scholarship this year while there is still uncertainty around international travel and having someone hands on in the industry, helping produce the scientific proof we need will be a great asset.
“Hannah is very keen to advance herself and the industry and I think the Sunline Trust are making a worthwhile investment supporting her with this scholarship.”
Airey will live and work at Trelawney Stud during her studies, meaning she is central to many of the farms she is working with for the research project.
“I’ve been interested in doing further study for a few years now,” Airey said. “The Sunline Trust have been encouraging people that have received the Irish National Stud Scholarship to return and try to build on their career with the Sunline Trust Management Scholarship.
“My end goal is provide an Environment and Sustainability and Good Management Practice Manual for the equine industry. There are others for deer and dairy farming but we don’t have one.
“The research that Massey are doing is looking at nutrient risk on thoroughbred farms. They look at the size of the farm, soil profiles, fertilizer applied, vegetation and so on and how that effects the nutrients in the soil.”
Airey is committed to enhancing the profile of environment and sustainability and believes it is essential to the longevity of the thoroughbred industry.
“Going forward farming is going to have to hold environment and sustainability in high regard,” she said. “In terms of horses’ effect on the environment, we don’t have that much information on it. We don’t know what we could be doing better or what we are already doing well. If we can find out for sure then we can help the longevity of the industry.
“I’m very grateful to the Sunline Education Trust and NZTBA for granting me the scholarship.
“It is very exciting to be a part of the research as a first-year student and it will be a great experience.” -Amie Best, NZTBA