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Next Generation Apprentices - Stage One Complete

Next Generation Apprentices
01-December-16
Next Generation Apprentices - Stage One Complete

I have just completed my first placement of the ITBA Next Generation Apprenticeship Scheme here in Rathasker Stud, Naas, Co Kildare. My placement has included yearling, foal and mare preparation for both Goffs and Tattersalls Ireland Sales. I have gained so many new experiences here as well as valuable knowledge. I never knew the amount of work it takes to prepare stock for sale. I have learnt many new skills on the yard and also at the sales, from looking after the yearlings to exercise routine to nutrition.

I found the first few weeks a bit hectic because I started at the Tattersalls Ireland Yearling Sales and was there for seven days. Between meeting the staff, getting to know the yearlings, preparing them for sale and showing, it was quite a handful. Then the following week I was at the Goffs Yearling Sale with 20+ yearlings. However Rathasker Stud have a great team behind them and they helped bring me up to scratch with what needed to be done and the way they like things done.It has been all hands on at the sales and I learned the correct way of showing and turning stock out for sale.

Thankfully the head lad ‘Mossie’ has mentored me and taught me a lot, especially on handling the young stock, the criteria of a good foal. He has trained my eye to confirmation of foals and yearlings and being observant and vigilant as to how the stock act and behave normally. Being able to spot a change in normal behaviour is very important because it can indicate a problem. I am thankful Mossie has invested the time in mentoring me.

It takes long hard days to prepare the young stock, including walking the foals around fields several times a day to build up muscle and to teach them how to walk correctly. The reward for all this work is when you see the stock do well at the sales. This year Rathasker Stud got top lot at Tattersalls Ireland Yearling Sale with a filly out of Onamatamania by Epaulette. I have also learned the ups and downs of the business, both physically and economically. You have to take the highs with the lows and always be planning your next move to keep you head in the game and not be at a loss.

During my time at Rathasker Stud I also got to assist the vet with the ongoing checks of pregnant mares. I looked after the mares on a daily basis checking their bags at feeding time. I also assisted the farrier weekly. I helped to prepare the stallion yard for the upcoming breeding season. There are five stallions standing at Rathasker stud; Anjaal, Bungle in the Jungle, Coulsty, Clodavil and Es Que Love. They also have Gregorian standing in the National Stud UK.

I am very lucky to have been given the opportunity to work at Rathasker Stud. I would like to thank both Maurice and Madeline Burns for offering me this placement, which has allowed me to gain experience and learn new skills by working with young foals.I hope Rathasker Stud and the ITBA are pleased with how my placement went. I look forward to heading to my next placement at Coolmore in January. I enjoyed my time here and I have learned a lot in a very short amount of time, which will hopefully help me towards my life goals. I look forward to working with Rathasker Stud in the future.

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