+353 45 877543

New Recruits Are Ready To Enter The Fray

Lissa Oliver catches up recently announced 2017/2017 ITBA NG Apprentices Lynne McLoughlin and Joanne Lavery
New Recruits Are Ready To Enter The Fray

Where did your love of horses stem?
No one in my family had an interest in horses, but after a few years of begging my parents for a pony
they finally gave in. He was a super pony and soon they were taking me to shows every weekend and
my mum got her own horse, too. I loved show jumping and dressage and got interested in thoroughbreds
at 15, working at Jessie Harrington’s yard.
My aunt is trainer Sheila Lavery, but funnily enough it was my next door neighbour who got me
interested in riding and gave me riding lessons. Sheila loaned me my first pony and my big interest all
my life has been polo lacrosse.
Did you go straight into working with horses or did you take the college route?
I studied equine science at Athlone IT and the practical side was at Gurteen College. After graduating I
got a place on the Irish National Stud breeding course and then I went to Australia and spent a year with
Matthew Smith as assistant trainer, which taught me an awful lot even though things are done very
differently there. When I came back I returned to Jessie’s. This year I took part in the Corinthian
Challenge and was so thrilled to win the first race at the Curragh. To ride at the Curragh was incredible;
I’m still taking it in! I can’t wait for the next leg.
I spent three years studying Social Science at UCD and worked part-time with Sheila. After graduating I
spent a year and a half riding out for Sheila. I also did some pin-hooking and in 2015 I bought three foals.
One died of colic and the other two failed to sell as yearlings, but I put them in training with Sheila and,
whilst one is waiting to run, the other won his maiden and was fourth in a Gr.2, so it wasn’t the disaster it
seemed. I bought two more that will be going to the yearling sales this year.
Have you an ultimate ambition?
I’d love to be an assistant trainer at one of the big yards. Setting up as a trainer, getting a suitable yard
and trying to find owners and having the investment is probably too much to take on, but I’d really love to
aim for an assistant trainer’s role.
I’d like to do my own thing and carry on pin-hooking and breeding horses, have a few mares and maybe
also do some pre-training.

Who has been your idol in racing or biggest influence?
Definitely Jessie. She has helped me big time from day one and has always been there for me with good
advice. All women in racing should look up to her for what she has achieved. I would never have got so
far without her.
My aunt, Sheila. What she has achieved with just a small yard and a few horses is amazing and she
always has them looking a million dollars. I would be so, so, lost if not for her. She gives me help with
everything and has a background with sport horses so helps me a lot with my own eventer, too.
What was your Next Generation interview experience?
You always think it went so much worse than it did because you’re hard on yourself, so I couldn’t believe
it when I got the place. I just went quiet and Shane said “Do you want the place?” Do I, who wouldn’t
want it!

I had never had any interview before and I was so nervous, it couldn’t have gone worse! I just couldn’t
believe it when Shane phoned to tell me the good news. I was walking round the yard on air.
What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
I’m looking forward to learning more about pedigrees and conformation in foals and yearlings, but I’m just
looking forward to learning from the people I’ll be working with.
I’m excited to meet new people and be like a sponge taking in all the knowledge. The challenge of being
out of my comfort zone will be good for me.
Any fears?
Having to do an Excel sheet!
Foaling a mare for the first time.

Is there anything you’ve picked up from your experiences so far that you feel will be of benefit?
The training system and routine in Australia was completely different to here, but I learned an awful lot
and I spent my last few weeks riding work for Godolphin and that was an incredible set up, the horses
had everything, it was like a luxury hotel for them.
Working with sport horses you learn how to really care for horses and be very particular about their care.
Everything’s neat and presentation is important, and there’s a lot of emphasis on good feeding practise.

© 2018 ITBA