In this instalment of the ITBA Next generation 30 under 30 series, The Irish Field spoke to Caitriona Conry, the newly appointed broodmare manager of Baroda Stud. Caitriona has also been involved in the preparation of some of Baroda Stud’s recent seven-figure yearlings at the sales including the Dubawi colt out of Urban Fox sold at Book 1 last year
How you got involved in racing/sales/breeding?
I don’t come from a racing background, but I loved riding as a kid and always had ponies at home. I worked in a riding school from a young age right up until I went to college. I did Equine Science in the University of Limerick and, from that, completed my work experience at Valkyre Stud in Kentucky. I was there for five months. It was my first time working on a stud, so I learned so much from it.
Who helped you along the way or gave you advice?
I spent a lot of time in Australia working for Newgate. While I was there Bruce Slade was always very encouraging. He loved seeing young people getting involved and progressing within the industry. He was always very positive and keen to help.
My predecessor Noel Rasmussen thought me so much about foaling, he always made an effort to share his knowledge. I learned so much from him, and I am grateful to him as he really helped prepare me for my current role.
From starting at Baroda David Cox progressively gave me more and more responsibility. I always enjoyed a challenge and appreciated the opportunity to progress and gain more experience. There’s a great team here at Baroda. Brian Delahunt is also someone who deserves a mention for sharing his years of wisdom.
What challenges/problems have you faced so far?
In the past, I’ve worked in a lot of sales. I did enjoy sales work but now if I was to work sales I would keep it very limited. Sale days are long and when you’ve worked hard all week and the sale itself is pushing on into the darkness of the night, it can be challenging.
I’ve noticed a lot of mares for foaling being turned away due to being at capacity. This is not really a problem for the studs who provide foaling but it is a concern for me because, in a few years, I hope to have my own bunch of broodmares. I want to find a place to foal all of them for me. That will be challenging for me to get that secured.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to get involved in bloodstock professionally?
I don’t come from a racing background and if you’re in the same situation don’t let it faze you. It’s a very inclusive industry. Young people and newcomers are encouraged to be involved. I would say travel and learn as much as you can.
Your skills of working with horses could bring you all over the world. You can go to the likes of Australia, America, Japan, or New Zealand to work at a stud and have accommodation provided for you. For a young person traveling, that’s one less thing to worry about.
It can be such an enjoyable experience too to see other parts of the world. If you work hard, your hard work will speak for itself and opportunities will arise from that.
What are your hopes for this year?
As the newly appointed broodmare manager of Baroda, my main hopes for this year are to have a successful foaling and breeding season. I look forward to working with David and Tamso in my new role for the season. Maybe some pinhooks later in the year but we’ll see what happens!