What spiked your interest in bloodstock and sales?

Fortunately, I grew up on my family’s Stud, Monksland Stables, which seemed to grow as I grew up. I got the bug from a very young age, regularly taking sick days from school to go to sales. My teachers eventually noticed that the Hassett kids always seemed to have a bad dose of the flu’ around Fairyhouse and Goffs week and again in the end of November! I get a lot of satisfaction from producing horses, so I got involved in the game as soon as I could.

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

I have so many people that I look up to, the biggest being my parents, Tom and Clodagh. I have them to thank for dragging myself and my sister around the country for lessons and shows. They have taught me the value of hard work, as their dedication is admirable.

I have worked for, and with, so many outstanding horsemen and women. Two days after finishing my Leaving Cert, I left home to do a yearling prep for Paul and Marie McCartan of Ballyphilip Stud; they have always steered me in the right direction. I spent over a year working for Paul Shanahan’s Ashtown Stud under the management of Paul McGrath. I spent three summers in James Hanly’s Ballyhimikin Stud under the management of Helen and Frisk Jones, who are outstanding at their job. I owe these people so much. Not only did I learn some of the best horse management skills, but I also had great fun doing it and made so many friends for life.

I am currently doing the Irish National Stud Course and I couldn’t recommend it enough. It will not only be the best six months of my life, but the education I am gaining from their staff, vets and lecturers has exceeded my very high expectations.

Are there any challenges you’ve had to overcome? And how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge so far has to be getting into pinhooking. Myself, my brother and sister have been pinhooking for a few years now and we have learned some expensive lessons along the way. The real education comes when you put your money where your mouth is. Thankfully, the three of us have since had a bit of luck swing our way eventually. In 2023, we got the fourth highest price in the Sommerville Sale for a Prince Of Lir filly who made £130,000, and £52,000 for a Zoustar colt, both of which were homebreds.

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

My perspective on things has not altered much since I have started in the industry. I have always had the mindset to go out there and make a name for myself and not to expect anyone to do it for me. No matter how bad things are going, perseverance and hard work will always be rewarded at some point. If it was easy, everyone would be at it! I would say to any young person in this industry, no matter your background, work in as many places as possible. You can’t expose yourself to enough practical knowledge.

What goals have you set for yourself going forward?

As much as I love working with horses and all of the trials and tribulations that go with it, I would love to attain an industry office job at some point in the future. Ideally, I would love to expand my own broodmare band and continue to pinhook foals while combining an industry related job into my life. Quite frankly, I can’t imagine myself not being involved with horses.