Thursday, October 11, 2018

Equine Science @ UL

We met with Guy O Callaghan Yeomanstown Stud, (pictured) James Hughes Ballyshannon Stud, Ernan O Donnell Vet Sycamore Lodge, Joey Cullen and Neil Walsh.

The entire cohort of UL's 2nd year Equine Science students were taken to one of the world’s premier thoroughbred (racehorse) sales venues, Goffs, Naas, Co. Kildare on Thursday 4th October.  This trip is part of their equine locomotion module, EQ4013, where they learn about equine movement and structure, essentially equine biomechanics. 

At these sales, thoroughbred yearlings are walked and stood in front of prospective buyers and then put through the auction ring for purchase.  The grey filly pictured is the first foal from a Clodovil mare, called Best New Show, and by a first season sire Gutaifan.  She made €25,000 at the sale on Thursday.  Guy O Callaghan in the picture bred her and was there to sell her.  He owns her stallion and the mare (mother).  Guy was talking to the students about her physical structure, her movement and what potential he sees in her.  Guy spoke from both a purchaser and vendor perspective which gave the students some insight as to what to look for in a good yearling/racehorse.  It is great to hear from as many successful pinhookers and stud owners as possible as you learn from their insight and experience.

The Sportsman sale is a good sale but not the strongest sale of young flat thoroughbred horses in Ireland.  The average price is €19,000 per yearling with an aggregate of €4,500,000 for Thursday.  The stronger days are the two previous (The Orby Sale, 2nd and 3rd October) with the average  €130,000 per yearling and an aggregate of €43,500,000 in sales over the two days. There was a record made there on Wednesday 3rd with a Galileo filly selling for €3,200,000.

The students listed to Joey Cullen, Marketing Director of Goffs and former UL equine science graduate regarding much of the business side of the sales. Neil Walsh, also another UL equine Science graduate and Director of Sales at Tattersalls Ireland, gave the students some insight from a selectors point of view, that is what the sales companies will want to see in a thoroughbred to be eligible for particular sales. We also heard from one of the vets, Ernan O Donnell, who was working at the venue who discussed the vetting procedures of just sold yearlings which in some occasions can be a stressful time for the vendor – ultimately making sure that the yearling has a clean bill of health.

The students then went on complete an assignment which involved making their own observations and opinions of 6 yearlings and writing a report about each.  They watched the yearlings from the pre parade ring through to the drop of the hammer and needed to estimate what they thought they yearling would sell for and then attempt to understand why the yearling actually sold for the price it did sell for.

The students spent the day immersed in industry and engaged in learning in the field.

Amy Fitzgerald
Equitation Teacher, MSc, HSI Level 2 Coach, BHS AI
Dept. Biological Sciences
School of Natural Sciences
University of Limerick
Plassey Technological Park
Limerick, Ireland

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