What spiked your interest in bloodstock and racing?

While growing up in Dublin, without horses in my life, a random riding lesson with a friend at Killegar Stables in Wicklow when I was eight years old sparked a love for these animals. The excitement of race days at Leopardstown Racecourse with friends fuelled this passion further. However, it was a transformative work experience at Coolmore Stud during my fourth year in secondary school that truly ignited my interest in the thoroughbred industry. It was there that I discovered the Godolphin Flying Start programme, and the opportunity it presented completely fascinated me.

Who has been the biggest influence in your career so far?

Many people have played a role in supporting and guiding me to where I am today, but two individuals stand out. Clodagh Kavanagh, the executive director of the Godolphin Flying Start, has an incredible ability to identify people’s strengths and interests, connect them with the right people, and set them on the path to success. She has been instrumental in getting me to this point in my career. I met Gai Waterhouse during the Australian phase of the Godolphin Flying Start. Gai is the mover and shaker of Australian racing; she is a true inspiration and lifts the mood in every room she walks into. She embraces young talent, provides endless opportunities to learn and listens to any ideas or suggestions you have. Her attention to detail is unmatched and her eye for a horse is remarkable. Being a part of the Waterhouse/Bott bloodstock team for close to three years has been invaluable to both my career and personal growth, allowing me to develop my communication, sales and horsemanship skills in a supportive, fun and professional environment.

Are there any challenges you’ve had to overcome?

The thoroughbred industry thrives on connections, and coming in without a background in racing and breeding meant I needed to become comfortable stepping outside my comfort zone. I had to build my network from scratch. This meant approaching and introducing myself to people at any opportunity available, be it at the sales, races or an event. Thankfully, I quickly discovered the welcoming nature of the industry. People in horse racing are passionate about sharing their knowledge, so I learned to never be afraid to ask questions or seek opportunities.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself starting out in the industry?

If I could go back in time, I’d tell my younger self to embrace one of my favourite quotes, “the expert in everything was once a beginner”. Everyone starts somewhere, so there’s no need to compare your knowledge and experience to others. The thoroughbred industry can be daunting for newcomers because there’s so much to learn. But that’s also the beauty of it, there’s always something new to discover.

What goals have you set for yourself going forward?

As an advocate for women in racing, I’ve enjoyed following the growth and development of Women’s Irish Network for Racing (WINR) back home in Ireland. It’s a wonderful initiative that supports and inspires women employed in all aspects of the industry and I would love to set up something similar in Australia. Additionally, I believe syndication, a cornerstone of racehorse ownership in Australia, has so much untapped potential in Ireland. In Australia, it’s common for trainers to spec multiple horses at the sales and sell them down in as little as 2.5% shares to their database of owners. One of my long-term goals is to establish a syndication company in Ireland based on the Australian model, ensuring racehorse ownership is a fun, inclusive and affordable activity.