Case Study – Sophie Mellett

“The best advice I could give someone wanting to have a career in the breeding industry is to utilise the courses available.”

The breeding side of the horseracing world is vitality important and can take you around the world. Here is Sophie’s career story.

“After completing the National Stud Diploma Course in June 2020, I ventured to France to work with yearlings (young horses) for Ecurie Des Monceaux ahead of the Arqana September and October Bloodstock Sales. It was a great opportunity for me to further my French racing knowledge and increase my understanding of European pedigree lines.

A typical day included hand walking 3-4 lots of yearlings in tack for 20-40 minutes each, alongside putting horses on and off the walker, grooming and checking the yearlings over for any injuries. The tack was adjusted specifically for each yearling to encourage strengthening in the areas that the individual required. Approximately 4 weeks prior to the September sale, we would have 3 or 4 different visits a week from top quality bloodstock agents (both national and international), ready to analyse our 2020 stock.

The sales itself gave me plenty of experience in showing horses and I thoroughly enjoyed the adrenaline of taking a horse through the sales ring for the first time. All of team Monceaux’s hard work was rewarded when we stood as a team and watched the Monceaux bred Dubawi filly out of Starlet’s Sister (Half‐sister to 2020 Arc de triomphe victor Sotsass) top the September sale for 2.5 million euros.

I left Monceaux in December, with the prospect of returning to them in Summer 2021, I am very grateful for the opportunities and experiences they have provided me with.

Gilltown Stud
I arrived at Gilltown Stud, County Kildare Ireland, in late January ahead of the 2021 Breeding Season. I am delighted to be back working with mares and foals, witnessing and caring for new life is truly remarkable. I enjoy analysing the conformation of the foals and altering their turnout regimes to help them strengthen and develop in ways which will benefit them during their track careers.

Gilltown has some incredible breaking and training facilities and I have thoroughly enjoyed expanding my knowledge of these sectors of the Thoroughbred racing industry, whilst simultaneously furthering my ability in caring for youngstock. I am excited for what the rest of the 2021 breeding season has to offer and to be looking after the champions of the future

The best advice I could give someone wanting to have a career in the breeding industry is to utilise the courses available, for example the English and Irish National Stud courses. Both put you in connection with top people in the industry, act as a strong support network for you after the course has finished and provide you with a solid grounding to all aspects of working on a stud.”


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