Writtle University College’s newly introduced Thoroughbred Stud Operations course has become a resounding success. In addition to a hands-on workload, the first cohort of students are building vital experience and industry contacts with course-related trips.
On October 10th, the students travelled to Newmarket to observe the Book 1 Yearling Sales held by Tattersalls, a major auctioneer of race horses in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They also received advice on sales preparation prior to the sale from Ian Sissons of Shadwell’s Beech House Stud.
Some of Europe’s highest quality young race horses go through the Tattersalls auction ring. The students watched numerous lots, some of which realised in excess of 1 million guineas.
Students enjoyed unrivalled access to those responsible for the future superstars. They chatted to staff handling the horses and individuals working at the sales about their roles. This was followed up by a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the stallions of Juddmonte Farm, facilitated by Jake Woolf, a Writtle alumnus. Juddmonte features five exceptional stallions, including Frankel, officially the world’s highest ever rated racehorse.
Caroline Flanagan said: “These students are enrolled on a one-year course that will see them undertaking a significant period of work experience at one of our partner stud farms during the 2020 foaling season. To see how and when the products of those foaling successes are sold, and their potential value, gave them all a sense of the purpose of the enterprise and why their future roles in the industry may be so exciting.
“Meeting the stallions was a real privilege and really enabled students to see how the stallion’s offspring going through the sales ring a few hours earlier are so pivotal to the reputation of the stallions themselves and the stud. We are lucky to be situated so close to the home of racing in the UK and we hope to further our links with the racing industry over the next few years.”