As the end of June approaches, it is time to reflect on the last six months and my
experience of the Irish National Stud Course. I was filled with excitement and delight
when it was announced that I had been accepted onto this prestigious course and
was honored to have been awarded a scholarship from The Gerry Dilger Equine Scholarship Foundation.
The hands-on aspect of the course comprehensively covered the day to day
workings of a stud farm, from foaling, to mares and foals, to stallions, we did it all!
One of the highlights of this had to be getting up close and personal with Invincible
Spirit, who at twenty-five years old, still displays the energy and athleticism befitting
a stallion of his reputation. I also greatly enjoyed my time spent on night-foaling duty,
during which I assisted in bringing fourteen foals into the world, surely there must be a champion or two amongst them!
We were provided with lots of educational and interesting lectures, most noteworthy
were those of Cathal Beale, CEO of the stud, whose progressive views on the
subject of Equine Business were refreshing and engaging to all the students. With all
our assignments handed in and exams complete, it is difficult not to feel bittersweet
about the whole experience, we won’t miss the homework but we will miss the people!
In January, all thirty of us were thrown into the deep end when introduced to us
fellow students with whom we would work, study, eat, sleep, and live with for the
duration of the course. The fun we had and the memories made will last us all a
lifetime! I am fortunate to have been part of such a fantastic varied bunch of young
people, within which I have made friends for life and can’t wait to watch as we all grow and forge careers for ourselves within the industry.
I was extremely lucky to have had Gemma Blumenshine, fellow Dilger Scholarship
recipient, as a roommate as her infectious personality brought me great entertainment over our time together.
Once again, I would like to say a massive thank you to The Gerry Dilger Equine
Scholarship Foundation, and to the Dilger family, for supporting me on this journey. I
am massively excited to continue my career and the next step is Springhouse Farm
in Kentucky to get a taste of life in America. Onwards and Upwards!