So we are several weeks into the 2019 Diploma course. We are a really diverse group of people in terms of nationality, background and age. The management team and staff have been amazing, incredibly welcoming and helpful. They couldn’t have done any more for us and we appreciate the unique opportunity and challenge the Diploma course offers.
Week one was a great introduction, we visited Weatherbys and Tattersalls which was very informative for us in understanding their function and key roles within the industry. The visit to the National Heritage Centre was fantastic, there is so much history and information to see – we could have spent a day there if we had time! We were lucky enough to also visit Cheveley Park Stud and seeing Pivotal was a highlight for me, he is such a legend! The Evening Lecture Programme has started and we have been able to do Q&A`s with expert vets James Crowhurst and Huw Neal about the Mares reproduction system which was really helpful before commencing our time on the yards.
Week two was more of a practical introduction to the site layout, the studs currently has ten different yards working devoted to specific functions so it has taken time to become familiar with the routines. The highlight of the week was looking at the new stallions. Lancaster Bomber was a brilliant racehorse and his race record speaks for itself, having won or been placed in 7 group 1`s he looks pure class. Rajasinghe is a great individual, you can evidently see where his explosive power and speed came from, he looks very precocious but that’s not surprising given he broke the track record in the Gr.2 Coventry as a 2 year old. Time Test is a seriously stunning horse, everything about him oozes quality and it was difficult not to be impressed. It’s one thing looking at mating plans and statistics but there’s nothing like seeing them in the flesh.
Weeks three and four have focused on practical arrangements and procedures. As well as the day to day care and monitoring of the foals and mares. This includes picking out their feet, taking temperatures, grooming and mucking out, there are weekly lectures after work. It is hectic, typically the alarm goes off at 6am, with time to get coffee before heading off to do the various yards. There is lots to do in preparation for the forthcoming busy foaling period. We have over thirty foals on the ground and expect to have about hundred more before the end of the season – its hard work but very enjoyable!