This week’s ITBA 30 under 30 features Scott Innes. Scott is currently on the Irish National Stud course and upon completion will commence a role with Yarraman Park in Australia
How you got involved in breeding/bloodstock?
I didn’t grow up around horses, so my way into the industry began through watching racing. In my second year of university, my friend invited me to his flat to watch the Cheltenham Festival. Long story short, I have been hooked ever since. Once I graduated from university, I was at a loss as to where I wanted my career to go. I decided why not try and pursue a career in what I love, which is racing. I did a bit of research to see how I could break into the industry, and I found the Level 1 in Work-Based Thoroughbred Horse Care at The National Stud in England. This course gave me a great insight into how the industry operates and provided a great platform for me to build from.
Who helped you along the way or gave you advice?
My parents, first and foremost, have always been massively supportive in whatever I’ve wanted to do. My grandad, Gerald O’Flynn, has also been a massive support to me, and he has given me great advice since I started out. He is the only person in my family that really has any experience with horses, as he had a couple of hunters and show jumpers on his farm before I was born. He in fact won the supreme performance championship at the RDS in 1982 with a horse named Plantagenet, which he likes to remind me of! Tom Blain from Barton Stud has been a massive help to me. When I worked there, Tom made it his mission to give me the best experience possible and gave me endless amounts of advice along the way.
What challenges/problems have you faced so far?
Making the transition from being a university student to working early mornings and sometimes late nights was a shock to the system at the beginning. Also, making the transition from living in a city to a more rural setting was a big change for me, but I love it now. I try to learn from any challenges or problems that I encounter in a work setting and better myself from them.
You are currently on the Irish National Stud course, can you tell us a little bit about the course and how you are finding it ?
Applying for and enrolling on the Irish National Stud course has been the best thing I have ever done. The course has a worldwide reputation, and for a very good reason. I have been here for around five months now, and the knowledge I have gained has been monumental. Day-to-day, you are exposed to every aspect of what a stud farm has to offer. We also have daily lectures from industry professionals who pass on their expertise to us. The foundations that this course provides are unmatched, and I would recommend anybody who has aspirations to thrive in the industry to consider applying.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to get involved in the industry professionally?
There is a common misconception that this industry is very much a closed book. As somebody who came into the industry with literally no thoroughbred experience, I have managed to work my way through four different stud farms with open arms so far. My advice would be to take any opportunity you can find and just work hard. Making connections is a massive aspect, so try to create a good reputation with everybody you meet, and it should stand you in good stead.
What are your hopes for the next twelve months?
I have just accepted a job with Yarraman Park in Australia to commence after my graduation at the Irish National Stud, so I am looking forward to that. For my personal development, I want to get as much global exposure of the thoroughbred industry as I can, so this is the first checkpoint!