How did you get involved in flat racing and bloodstock?
I was born into it, with Dad being a racehorse trainer and Mum also involved in racing. Growing up I was fortunate to be surrounded by horses from the get-go at Glenburnie Stables. In terms of the bloodstock side, Dad also buys his own yearlings each year so I have been going to the yearling sales with him since I was 11 or 12 years old and have been hooked ever since.
Who helped you along the way or gave you advice?
Luckily in this industry you are never short of people willing to give advice. Dad has been the biggest source of advice and help and I am fortunate to have met many people through him that I have learnt plenty from, including Roger Marley and John Cullinan from Church Farm and Horse Park Stud. Roger taught me an invaluable amount at the yearling sales as I spent many years working alongside him.
I owe a lot to John as he helped me get started with pinhooking foals and selling them under Siskin Lodge. In my first year I’d say I was on the phone to him every week with questions, now it is only every second week! I seek advice many times from Glenburnie’s head lad, Martin Horan.
Most recently, I have got help from working with Mark Richards at the yearling sales. I learnt a lot from working cards at Castlebridge, and it was a great way to meet people. Last but not least, my boyfriend Colin [Keane] has been extremely supportive and the most helpful from the moment I decided to start pinhooking, though he is busy in the flat season he does find time to help me if I need a hand.
What challenges/problems have you faced so far?
Since deciding to start my own business while still working full-time for Dad at Glenburnie I struggled with juggling everything at once, so I took a step back from Glenburnie last year to figure out what my priorities were and what I can and cannot do.
I think I’ve found a happy medium now for this year on what is possible while still being on the Glenburnie team and not sacrificing anything at Siskin Lodge.
Long term, it is hard to think of growing the business with the current staffing crisis that is facing our industry so it seems more realistic for me to keep the business small for now.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to get involved in the industry professionally?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the majority of people are very willing to help and most encourage you to get stuck in.
If you show an interest and you are willing to put your head down and learn, then there are plenty of opportunities in the industry for you to get started.
If you are interested in bloodstock, I would advise shadowing an agent and working cards for a consignment as it’s a great way of getting to know everyone.
What are your hopes for the next 12 months?
To see horses that I’ve sold or helped buy win on the track, and have a successful sales season with our yearlings which will in turn help us buy some nice foals!