We talk to Writtle College student Eleanor Watson about her time on the Certificate of Higher Education in Thoroughbred Stud Operations course.
How did you get into the industry and end up on the course?
I have always ridden but racing was never my thing ironically! I was very big into hunting and spent some time working in an eventing yard after my A levels before embarking on a career in nannying for 6 years. However, the love of horses never left me and my parents live close to Shadwell and when I saw the scholarship for the course at Writtle advertised I thought what a great opportunity and why not give it a go. Thank goodness I did as now I am in the Thoroughbred breeding industry I don’t want to leave!
What would you say the course has done for you?
Firstly, the course has opened my eyes to the possible career paths in the racing and breeding industry. I had no idea that there were so many possibilities out there and compared to eventing and other equestrian sports there is real opportunity for progression. Secondly, I learn something new every day and we are exposed to professionals such as vets, farriers and other experts who I can learn so much from. The course has also given me an excellent grounding and overview of the industry as a whole and I feel I can confidently converse with experienced staff about industry issues which is something I couldn’t have done before the course. Lastly, when I do my placement on Shadwell I am treated like a key member of staff as opposed to just a student as the course has given me the skills to take responsibility.
What are your long term career plans?
I obviously want to finish my second year of the scholarship and continue to learn and absorb as much knowledge as possible. I would love to travel within Shadwell and work in some of their breeding and training operations around the world such as America and Dubai. I really enjoy the foaling side of things so could perhaps see myself as a yard manager in this area or even working on the training side once I have experienced more of that. At the moment I just absolutely love working and learning in this industry and want to focus on gaining as many skills as possible.
Find more about the course here.