Sunday, September 19, 2010

One Month Down

It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Ireland for a month, but at the same time I have the feeling I’ve been here all my life. I have made some incredible friends and learned so much in such a short amount of time. Every day is a fairytale that I get to spend with people who are much like me, all with the desire to learn and help one another along. What more could one want?

Being just one month into two years, I have so much time ahead on Darley Flying Start, and I feel like I’ve already accomplished so much. Talks with people like Joe Osborne, Olly Tait, Jimmy Hyland, Charles Spiller, and veterinarians from UCD have helped me grow academically and intellectually. Visits’ to the Curragh, Leopardstown, Laytown, and various studs have opened my eyes to worlds that before only existed in dreams. Nights at Cross Keys, Cunninghams, and Tiger Lillies have been just plain fun!

I have learned a lot from my course mates, and I feel that I bring a lot to the group. I have already been able to put to use so much of what I learned in Canada, particularly from my days at Schonberg Farm.

Here are some of the interesting things we have done so far:

• Racing at the Curragh (Futurity Stakes, Moyglare Stud Stakes, National Stakes and Irish St. Leger)
• Racing at Leopardstown in the Kildangan Suite for the Irish Champion and Matron Stakes
• Beach racing at Laytown
• Courses at the Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE)
• Very interesting anatomy and physiology lectures, including musculoskeletal anatomy and equine reproduction
• Working with regally-bred yearlings in the Kildangan yards
• Vet rounds and rotations in the stallion yard
• Visiting Sheikh Mohammed’s various other Irish studs
• Pedigree discussions with Charles Spiller, who has been the brainchild of Darley pedigrees for 27 years
• Spending the afternoon in Dublin on our first weekend in Ireland
• Horse production assignments that have helped me learn a lot about horse selection and valuation.

And what to expect in the coming weeks:

• Attending the Goffs Orby sales with an agent
• Meeting John Ferguson
• Continuing anatomy and physiology courses at UCD
• Visiting Coolmore Stud and trainer John Oxx’s yard
• Spending a day in Galway as a tourist
• Weekend trip to France for the Arc
• And in just over a month, moving on to Newmarket. Hard to believe!

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