Blogs (Media Centre)

Eyes on the Emerald Isle for TAFE NSW horse breeding graduate


Eyes on the Emerald Isle for TAFE NSW horse breeding graduate

11 December 2019


While most of us are planning our summer holidays, Martinsdale local Rachel Thompson is packing her thermals for Ireland after being awarded the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association Irish National Stud Breeding Course Scholarship 2019.

When it comes to breeding thoroughbreds, Ireland is the world leader. Ireland exports more than 5,000 thoroughbreds each year to over 40 countries worldwide, valuing more than $278 million (AUD). 

After completing a Certificate IV in Animal Studies at TAFE NSW Scone, Rachel specialised in horse breeding and was honoured to receive the scholarship in November this year.

Rachel said “Growing up in this area I always knew that working with livestock would be my career. I never thought I would specialise in horse breeding but TAFE NSW made that possible and working at Barador Stud has given me invaluable practical experience.

Rachel will spend six months working and studying at the Irish National Stud before returning to Australia to continue her work at Barador.

“While I’m in Ireland, I will work at the stud during the morning gaining knowledge and skills from spending time in the stallion yard, foaling unit, yearling division and stud office. I will also attend lectures in the afternoon where I learn from vets, farriers, bloodstock agents and other horse breeding experts. 

At the end of the six months I will receive the Irish National Stud Certificate which is recognised throughout the worldwide thoroughbred breeding industry,” said Rachel.

While a little nervous about spending time away from her family, friends, and the horses she looks after at Barador, Rachel is excited for the opportunity.

“The thought of mixing it with the best in the horse breeding world is a bit daunting but the practical skills and work experience that I’ve gained from studying at TAFE NSW and working at Barador Stud make me feel confident that I will enjoy the experience in Ireland a lot.

“Horse breeding is a very specific career to follow and so I’m glad that TAFE NSW has courses such as these available to study locally, because it really is the career that I wanted.”

Rachel will fly to Ireland on 29 January 2019.

Find out more about the range of courses available at TAFE NSW in 2020 at or call 131 601.

Media contact: Janelle Kelly, Media and Communications Business Partner TAFE NSW, (02) 49237784, mobile 0417 439 392.