The NZTBA have announced that Ryan Stacey has been awarded the Keith and Faith Taylor Family scholarship to study at the Irish National Stud in 2019.
Stacey will leave New Zealand in January to undertake the world renowned Thoroughbred Breeding Course at the famous nursey.
“We had a number of very strong applicants this year, the calibre of the applicants was excellent and anyone of them could have represented us in Ireland,” said Justine Sclater NZTBA Business Development and Operations Manager, who manage the scholarships and select the candidates.
“It was so pleasing to see so many young people with a passion for the thoroughbred industry wanting to improve their skills and apply for the scholarship. Ryan’s enthusiasm really stood out and we are confident he will represent New Zealand well and will benefit a great deal from the Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Breeding Course.”
“This course is definitely character building and offers so much to the students besides all the hands on, and academic studies. Every year when the students return we see such a lot of personal growth in them and they go on to contribute so much to the industry. We are indebted to the Taylor Family of Trelawney Stud for their support of this scholarship.”
Stacey is currently working at Brighthill Farm in Cambridge, a position he has held for only seven months. At 26 he was a late starter into the industry, but is keen to make up for lost time.
“I finished school at 18 and did a variety of jobs, but I had no idea what I really wanted to do, and was getting a bit despondent about what I wanted to do with my life,” said Stacey.
“I have always loved horses and have a passion for thoroughbreds so I snapped out of my bubble and asked my mate Benji King if there were any jobs going on his Dad’s farm and luckily for me there was.
“It’s been the best seven months of my life so far, it’s so satisfying, and it’s like a new lease of life.
Benji King who is also on the staff at Brighthill Farm is a former NZTBA scholarship winner, and attended secondary school with Stacey.
Stacey was born in Matamata and his parents have a background in the thoroughbred industry. His father Steve was a jockey, and his mother Samantha previously worked with racehorses and on studs. His family left Matamata when he was a baby when his parents got a job at Shadai Farm in Japan, where they worked for around 10 years.
“For me it’s an opportunity to go overseas and learn as much as I can and catch up for the time I have lost not being in the industry that long compared to anyone else my age.
“I didn’t think I had been in the industry long enough but my boss (Nick King) encouraged me to go for the scholarship, he obviously saw something in me that I wasn’t seeing.
“I am very excited about and very proud of myself for how far I have come in a short space of time. I was overwhelmed at first but now I am just very excited. I have other friends who have been on the course and they have been filling me in on the activities and I now feel confident about going over there and doing my best. It’s a really good feeling after so many years of being lost.” -NZTBA