HTBA 2020 Irish National Stud Scholarship Announced

Breednet - Wednesday October 30

Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association, awarded the 2020 Irish National Stud Breeding Course scholarship to local lass Ms Rachel Thompson of Barador Stud in Martindale.

Rachel ThompsonThe HTBA scholarship has boosted many students going on to have hugely successful careers in the breeding industry and remained in the Hunter Valley. This opportunity of a life-time will see the locally born and raised Rachel, gaining valuable experience and further knowledge in many aspects of Thoroughbred Breeding and Racing during her time in Ireland. Both Mr Thew and Mr Ward-Thomas feel confident that she will be yet another great ambassador for the HTBA.

Each year the HTBA receives an amazing line up of high-quality applicants, a true credit to the studs proving the Hunter Valley is both a productive nursery of champion thoroughbreds and young leaders of the future. "We could have easily sent all three finalists this year" Sub-Committee Chairman Mike Thew said. The Hunter Valley has always prided itself in sending outstanding calibre students to the INS breeding course each year and is proud to have had such a long-standing scholarship available.

“The high calibre of candidates again this year highlights the strong competition for this prestigious scholarship.  The HTBA congratulates Rachel and wishes her every success with the course.  We are confident that Rachel will be a great ambassador for both the HTBA and Australia.” Mr Thew said.

Rachel joins a long list of HTBA sponsored graduates to the INS Course. Most recent graduates include Tyler Frazer (Godolphin 2019), Georgie Cavanough (Vinery 2018) and Damien Fitton (Arrowfield 2016). Scholarship recipients return to their Studs to carry out the Breeding Season on completion of the course, gaining the further knowledge giving the industry in the Hunter Valley another valuable assets and high calibre member of staff.

The HTBA, congratulates all applicants and encourages them to consider applying for the 2021 scholarship round next year.


The first Thoroughbred Breeding course was held in the Irish National Stud in 1971 and remains the best-known equine training program to this day.  The aim of the course is to educate young people for a career in the thoroughbred industry.  Since its inception in 1971, graduates have progressed to fulfilling careers in the industry and many have become prominent in thoroughbred breeding throughout the world, racehorse training, bloodstock sales, insurance and the media.

The full-time residential course begins in February and continues throughout the Northern Hemisphere’s breeding season culminating in exams and prize giving in July.  The course covers all aspects of the science and art of horse breeding and racing along with the ever-expanding areas of the thoroughbred industry such as Marketing, Human Resource and Work Health & Safety. 

Students are provided a hands-on approach while they live and work on the stud, gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding of each business area, with lectures held each afternoon. Students are taught by leaders of the Irish Thoroughbred industry.  They are also exposed to other Stud farms, racing stables and sale complexes in the area to broaden their experience.   Written, oral and practical exams are held at the end of the course. Successful candidates receive the Irish National Stud certificate, which is a highly acclaimed award recognised worldwide throughout the Thoroughbred industry.  

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