Nicole Groyer provides technical support and sales in the Irish market, specialising in stud and performance sport horse nutrition

Tell us about your background in equine nutrition.

I grew up surrounded by farm animals and I have been fortunate to be involved with horses from a young age. I studied Agricultural Science at UCD, specialising in Animal Science - Equine. This degree is science-based, covering areas of equine health, reproduction, genetics, nutrition, and exercise physiology all of which are integral parts of my role in equine nutrition today.

Having come from a sport horse background, I completed my work placement in Coolmore, Kentucky, USA. This opened my eyes to the scale of the thoroughbred industry. I completed the British Horse Racing Authority Graduate Scheme in Newmarket, working at Weatherbys UK before moving back to Ireland to join Connolly’s Red Mills as part of their graduate internship. Eight months into the internship, I joined their International Team.

Connolly’s Red Mills export to over 80 countries worldwide, it was an invaluable experience travelling and working closely with stud farms, trainers, and horse owners in Europe and the Middle East offering technical support across all aspects of equine health and nutrition.

My current role is in the Irish market where I look after the stud and performance sport horse customers. The technical element of my job consists of supporting customers with nutrition advice, product selection, forage analysis, and nutrition planning.

Who helped you along the way or gave you advice?

There are so many people I am grateful for who have helped me along the way. This practical knowledge, hands-on experience, and being active and immersed in the industry is very beneficial in my day-to-day role.

I would like to thank the Connolly family and my team at Connolly’s Red Mills. Michael Connolly and Michael Shields have been great mentors and entrusted me with responsibilities, which have allowed me to grow. Lorraine Fradl and Rebecca Watson have guided me from the start and I am grateful for all the technical skills and knowledge they have shared with me.

What challenges/problems have you faced so far?

The last year has been extremely challenging with the rising cost of feed. Now more than ever there is value in analysing your horses’ diet - you might find you are adding in something you do not need or falling short on a nutrient you do need.

What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to get involved in equine nutrition?

Follow your passion, if equine nutrition is something that interests you, look towards a scientific degree that will set you on the right path. Work in as many places as possible when you’re starting out, meet as many people as you can, and learn from them. Be prepared to put in the hard work, it always pays off in the long run!

What are your hopes/ personal goals for the next 12 months?

To continue to grow my knowledge and keep up with new research so I can provide the best advice to our customers. On a more personal note, I hope to start my own breeding programme and I am looking forward to competing with my horses this year!