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Danielle Southey- Final blog from Ireland

Below in the final blog from Keith and Faith Taylor Equine Irish National Stud Scholarship Recipient Danielle Southey:

Hello from Ireland one last time,

Well people said to me that this would be an amazing six months of my life, and they weren’t wrong. My time at the Irish National Stud has been amazing and with a great bunch of people.

For the month of June all the yards were starting to quieten down as its coming up to the end of the breeding season for the northern hemisphere. With mares going out from Maddenstown and some mares and foals going home from Blandford and Black Cherry. 

With everything calming down Sally has been busy organising trips for us in our last month. All the racing stables and stud farms have been amazing to see. We went down to Coolcullen and Beechy Park and both the places and the facilities were amazing. They were lovely enough to put on a lunch for us and we were able to talk to Jim Bolger himself and ask him a few questions. It was a lovely day out and we all enjoyed looking around and getting shown the facilities as well as a few horses.

We also went to Derrinstown Stud and Yeomanstown Stud where we were shown the stallions. Everywhere we have been to, the facilities have been amazing even the smallest stud that we have seen have still been able to make it work for them.

The last stud and racing yard we went to was Ballydoyle and Coolmore, they both work together with Coolmore holding the mares, foals, yearlings and stallions and Ballydoyle being the training yard. Both places were amazing to see and I was so lucky to have the opportunity to go and see and listen to how they run the training yard and get to see the facilities of Coolmore.

We were even lucky enough to go to Troytown Grey Abbey Equine Hospital to have a look around and also be able to see both an open castration (which was done outside in the paddock) and a closed castration (which was done in surgery) both were very interesting to see especially the closed castration as I haven’t seen one done before. It was interesting to see and hear what and how the vet was doing in the procedure.

I loved that I was able to see Australia who stands at Coolmore Stud. I worked at Stanley House Stud last year and was able to work with his mother Ouija Board.

I have enjoyed all the trips we have been on and I want to thank everyone for opening their gates/door and for giving up some of their time to show us all around their facilities.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Bobby O’Ryan a well- respected Bloodstock Agent who came out to the stud and showed us what he looked for and how to analyse yearling’s conformation if you were looking at them in the yearling sales. This was very interesting to see what some people are looking for when they are at the sales and gave us a lot to think about for when we parade them and if we were to buy some of our own one day.

During this month there were also some big race meetings. Royal Ascot was something not to miss, a few of the other students had the delight of going over and being at the races in person. But it was still amazing to watch on the telly in the lounge room with the others.

We had a little pool going with a £10 buy in and for each race we selected one horse in the hope that whoever got the most points in the week would take out the winnings. Was great to see kiwi jockey James McDonald in amongst the other international riders trying to get a winner which he got on Wednesday in the Jersey Stakes (Group 3) on Expert Eye.

It was also great to watch The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) on Saturday where both Merchant Navy ridden by Ryan Moore and Redkirk Warrior ridden by Frankie Dettori ran.

Both southern hemisphere horses came over to race for this title, with Merchant Navy winning it. There was a lot of shouting at the telly during that race. He will now be going back to Australia and will be retired to stud at Coolmore for the southern hemisphere breeding season.

After an amazing week of racing from England we looked forward to the Irish Derby held at the Curragh the following weekend. All of us mainly attended Saturday. It was a lovely hot day to go racing sadly didn’t win any money during this race meeting but was still a great day out at the races with friends. Also meet up with David Morris who is on the Sunline International Management Scholarship. I wish him all the best for his next venture over to America.

As the course was coming up to the end we were all busy studying for the final three exams trying
to cram as much information as we could, we were even making cue cards. Even with the pressure of the exams coming up we worked together in groups to make sure we knew a bit of everything hoping that what we had revised was in the exams.

With the exams finally over and done with and all of us giving it our all we were able to
relax a bit more. After our trip to Coolmore we were able to go out to Ballybunion in County Kerry thanks to one of the students Finn who invited all of us to go out there for a few days at their beach house, so we could all spend some time together before all heading our separate ways.

Graduation day was upon us and a bunch of us girls all went together and got out hair done then went out for a brunch one last time. It was lovely to see all the lads all suited and booted and the girls looking lovely in their dresses. Friends and family all joined us along with the staff and guest lecturers who had given up their time to come and talk to us over the last couple of months all joined to help celebrate our graduation.

We started off theafternoon with a small stallion parade with three selected students talking about some of our stallions. We then had our group photos taken and then onto the ceremony where we had a nice welcome from both the chairman Matt Dempsey and the CEO Cathal Beale.

A few awards were handed out and presented then we heard from our selected students John Bourke and Olivia Johnston we had a lot of laughs throughout the speeches. We were awarded our certificates I was very happy that I passed with Merit. After the ceremony was done we gathered round at the marquee for drinks and a lovely set out dinner provided by the Gourmet Goodies.

I would just like to say thanks again to everyone. Sally for organising everything for us from lectures to trips to making sure that we were all settled in and comfortable there. We are all surely going to miss you and hope all the best for your future. This was Sally’s last year as she hangs up her hat, but she will still be around showing who ever takes on her job. They are going to be big boots to fill.

A big thanks to Christini who was our Mum away from home. Thank you for putting up with all 27 of us and helping us out when we needed it working hard to make sure the place is all nice and clean for us. Thanks to all the guest lectures and people who came in to teach us about what you do to open our eyes and learn even more into the industry we all love and hope to carry on in the next generation.

Also to all of the staff for putting up with us loud bunch and taking us under your wing to show us the ropes. But a big thanks to Cathal even though this was your first year as the CEO it didn’t show. We did make it an interesting year for everyone.

A big thanks to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association for choosing me to take on this journey and a big thanks to the Keith and Faith Taylor Family Trust for sponsoring the scholarship and to the Trelawney team for all the support you gave me to come over here and do this. Along with my friends and family without the big support system for me back at home I would never think of doing something like this.

Well as it has all come to an end I leave here with great memories and great friends who we will all keep in touch with and possible future job opportunities. Especially as half are going to be on their way over to Australia, I’m sure we will all meet up again soon. It has been an interesting journey, but I wouldn’t change any of it from the trips down to the local pubs making fun of each other and sharing stories it’s certainly a once in a life time experience.

Well I will see you all soon Trelawney team ready for the breeding season.

Thanks ,