13th September 2013

Back to School at The National Stud

September is traditionally back to school time and it is no different here. You may not know but The National Stud provides an important role in training staff for the bloodstock industry. At the moment we are concentrating on running short courses including one for stud secretaries, but it is not long until we start preparing for the arrival of our Apprentices who start their course next month.

The Apprenticeship Course is run in in partnership with the British Racing School. It is government funded, offering young people from all backgrounds a chance to start a career in the bloodstock industry.  Indeed some of them will not have had any experience of horses at all. The course is is hard work and for many students it will be the first time they have lived away with home. Horses are great levellers as students rapidly find out!

Elsewhere it is back to school for some of the younger equine residents who are here to prepare for the October yearling sales here in Newmarket. The colts and fillies we are preparing for the sales have already been in prep with us for between six and eight weeks. Previously they will have been handled but this may have been limited to being led in and out from the field or being held for veterinary inspection. Now their real education will begin.

As part of the process that will see them eventually become fully fledged racehorses, they are broken to the lunge and we start to get them used to wearing different bits of tack. This process is crucial to them learning what is expected of them, how to relate to humans and to become polished yearlings fit for the sales ring.

Although the majority of mares have now left the stud, we do have some new temporary residents. The Southern Hemisphere covering season has started and so we currently have mares boarding with us while they are covered by stallions at studs around Newmarket prior to travelling to studs in Australia and Chile.