Equine internship programmes sets students up for their careers

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) is Northern Ireland’s specialist land-based college.

With dedicated equine facilities at Enniskillen Campus the college is delighted to be able to offer equine internship programmes for graduates.

Internships are a beneficial part of the education delivery at CAFRE. They give graduates the opportunity to learn from some of the best equine organisations in the world, as they kick start their equine careers. In setting up professional internships, CAFRE are not only able to offer students a chance to work with and learn from industry professionals, but the students are also given the opportunity to take the theory they have learnt and put it into practice.

This year sees the largest number of graduates taking up positions all over the world on CAFRE linked internships. Nearly half of our graduating Honours Degree students have started or are due to commence internships in Ireland, England, Australia and America.

Michelle Dunne (Dublin), Manon Varenne (France) and Shauna McElroy (Carlingford) on their CAFRE graduation day, excited about taking up their internship with Juddmonte USA in August

Gayle Moane, lecturer in equine commented: “Having a number of internships available for our students on an annual basis gives our graduates openings to showcase their talents and grab opportunities that come their way. It’s great to give graduates the opportunity to travel and experience work in highly respected equine establishments. We want our graduates to aim high, and create wonderful futures and in return enhance the equine industry,” added Gayle.

The CAFRE/Coolmore Internship has been running for over eight years, with ten internships being provided over this time. The interns spend six months in Australia and six months in Ireland, learning all aspects of the global breeding industry. Coolmore is one of the world’s largest and best thoroughbred racing and breeding enterprises and CAFRE is grateful for Coolmore’s continued support to the CAFRE internship programme. There is no substitute for learning about the world of work than being in the world of work.

The Curragh Racecourse has taken two lucky graduates for the summer of 2022. The graduates have opportunities to showcase their talents and build knowledge in customer care, event management and marketing. They are involved in many prestigious racing festivals and get the opportunity to experience how one of the top racecourses in Ireland runs on a day to day basis.

Weatherbys Ireland joined the CAFRE internship programme this year and will provide the lucky intern with six months of experience in this vast organisation. The Intern will have the opportunity to work with this amazing organisation that is steeped in equine industry history. It is one of the main equine registration bodies in Ireland and creates and updates the ’General Studbook’. The intern will also get the chance to work with their laboratory technicians when looking at DNA samples relevant to issuing passports for stock.

Lisa McFarland (Omagh) enjoying her CAFRE graduation before she jets off to sunny Australia in August to start her Coolmore Internship

Sir Andrew and Madeline Lloyd Webber own Watership Down and Kiltinan Castle Stud. CAFRE is delighted to add such a prestigious organisation to the Internship programme this year. Managed by Mr Simon Marsh, this thoroughbred stud farm deals with top calibre stock. The intern will spend six months based at Watership Down Stud, Berkshire, England from July to December, and then moving to Kiltinan Stud, which is based in Fethard, Tipperary from January to June. The intern will be immersed into the thoroughbred breeding industry and will spend time preparing yearlings, mares and foals for top thoroughbred sales. From January they will be foaling down broodmares and getting plenty of hands on experience in the day to day running of a top class thoroughbred stud at Kiltinan Stud.

In 2019 a number of students and staff had the pleasure of visiting Lexington, Kentucky. They got the opportunity to build up many links with industry providers. As a result of this trip CAFRE have launched the CAFRE/Juddmonte internship and have three graduates flying out to Lexington, Kentucky to start a year’s internship at Juddmonte. This vast enterprise spans over two farms, which are four miles apart from each other and boasts an impressive 2,000 acres. This gives the interns a truly global view of the thoroughbred industry, letting them experience Kentucky as the horse capital of the world and gaining experience in how things are run in the thoroughbred industry state side.

CAFRE has worked with numerous organisations throughout the years, with internships in Horse Sport Ireland and The Irish Field to name a few. Nothing can substitute for this type of experience so CAFRE will continue to encourage graduates to be all they can be. CAFRE would like to thank all the organisations that work with CAFRE Enniskillen Campus. Your continued support to the graduates helps them reach the destinations they are destined for within this wonderful equine industry.

If you are interested in joining us in September 2022, contact CAFRE for more information Email: [email protected] or visit www.cafre.ac.uk or DiscoverCAFRE on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Applications for Honours Degree and Foundation Degree programmes, are made through UCAS. Applications for Further Education Level 2 and Level 3 Certificate and Diploma programmes, are made via the CAFRE website: www.cafre.ac.uk

Alison Kennaugh (Kells, Co Meath) enjoying her CAFRE graduation celebrations before she takes up her role as Intern at Weatherby’s Ireland later this month
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Zoe Gillen ( Kingscourt, Co Meath) celebrating her CAFRE graduation and looking forward to taking up her new position as intern at Watership Down Stud (Berkshire) in July, followed by six months at Kiltinan Castle Stud (Fethard) in January 2023
Meghan Finnegan Rogers (Dublin) and Evlin Berkley (Co Leitrim) celebrating their CAFRE graduation on a day off from their current internship at The Curragh Racecourse