On a glorious Thursday 11 July Faith Ponsonby BHSI, Representative for the Fellows & Instructors Association, arranged for a group of us to visit Coolmore Stud in Co. Tipperary. A small but select group of 15 with visiting BHSI Ann Bostock & her husband from Buckinghamshire England were very ably guided round by Peter Steele who spent two hours showing us the prepping areas for the mares, the covering yards, stallion boxes and stallion paddocks. Here we were lucky enough to see, Danehill Dancer and Holy Roman Emperor and in his stable the wonderful Galileo.

Peter was a complete encyclopedia of knowledge regarding Coolmore; it’s origins as a 150-acre farm to the present 3,000 acres in Tipperary including out laying mare and foal farms.   Here 600 people are employed, whilst with the Coolmore Studs in America and Australia taking the work force to 1,500.

Peter answered all our questions with great depth, giving us an insight to the history of Coolmore Stud, right up to the

present. Explaining how stallions spend six weeks resting after their serving season in Ireland prior to being shipped to the Southern Hemisphere for another six-week break and then working at that end of the world. They fly in style in their own ‘stables’ from Shannon Airport to Singapore where there’s a refueling stop before going onto Australia. Their lads go with them and for the younger men it’s a real experience, it certainly sounded far nicer than Ryanair! At present there are 23 stallions in Coolmore Co. Tipperary, 13 in Coolmore America and 12 in Coolmore Australia. Some of these will have ‘worked’ in both hemispheres by the end of this year.

The stallion paddocks were pristine, as were the stables and yards – (The stallion yard pictured left). To see the great Galileo certainly took my breath away, these flat racing stallions are SO small even I would be able to mount from the ground. We learnt about the regularity of the stallions’ timetables so as to keep them chilled and happy throughout the year. The feeding regime and the work regime during their serving season, and when on time out. Peter was extremely enthusiastic about his position at Coolmore Stud and we all felt very privileged to have been there.

AND THEN – we went to lunch in MacCarthy’s pub in the middle of the walled town of Fethard. Where much discussion took place across a range of subjects.

My thanks go to Faith for organising the first official day for the F&I Association in Ireland.

Please diary date Ballindenisk Int CCD* for the course walk with Irish Team Trainer Nick Turner. Date confirmed as September 20th 4pm  OPEN TO ALL.

Dressage training with a Difference with Joyce Head BD List 2 Dressage judge on 21st October OPEN TO ALL. There will be 2-hour sessions with different levels of judges/tests, for both judges, pre listed judges and riders at the different levels.

For details of the above email Jillie Rogers on jillrl@eircom.net or check my web page Jillie Rogers .com.   More details can be found on Faith Ponsonby’s web page bhstraining-ie and email kilcoolv@.indigo.ie

Jillie Rogers Chairman F&I Association


Middle right – Peter Steele talks to some of the group including Faith Ponsonby in red who organised the trip, Ann Bostock and husband Ian (yellow tops) and chairwoman Jillie Rogers (purple top).

Bottom left – the stallion yard.