Flying Start files: inspiration from Coco Chanel

The Flying Start trainees get to grips with their leadership lectures at the University of Sydney

PICTURE: Patricia Bowman Flying Start files: getting inspiration from Chanel
By Patricia Bowman 1:42PM 11 OCT 2016

Second-year trainee Patricia Bowman sends a dispatch from down under for the Godolphin Flying Start course

THIS past month has been a whirlwind for the second year trainees on the Goldolphin Flying Start programme. Located in the Hunter Valley in Australia, our group has been busy with a variety of lectures, visits, and our full-day practical rotations.

At the start of the month we had the pleasure of visiting Coolmore Stud, Kitchwin Hills, and Vinery Stud. We were treated to tours of the stud farms and were given an overview of their stallions, bloodstock interests, and had a peek into the overall management strategies of the respective organisations.

One of the aspects that always resonates deeply with us is being able to be in the presence of great stallions and racehorses alike. It's a privilege that we don't take lightly and an acknowledgement of just one of the great opportunities that the Godolphin Flying Start programme provides.

This past month has seen us focusing on our leadership module. We've had lectures conducted by renowned professors from the University of Sydney. These lectures have allowed us to focus on our roles of leadership within our group of 12 and we've been able to recognise and appreciate the progress that each of us has made over the past year.

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Our lectures also focused on our individual character traits and helped us narrow down just what we embody that can make us effective leaders in our industry.

One of the projects that we were assigned was to pick a successful leader who revolutionised their respective industry; the catch being that it had to be somebody outside of the thoroughbred Industry. We were assigned the task of narrowing down the leadership traits of our chosen leader and then presenting them to our entire group.

My group picked the fashion designer Coco Chanel and how she modernised the fashion industry for women. It was interesting to step outside our own industry and learn about specific icons and how they managed their respective leadership roles.

The bulk of our month has been designated to practical rotation placements. The trainees are assigned two rotations over a period of five weeks. Within that time period, trainees also spend time with the nominations team at Godolphin and ride along with veterinarians who are based at Scone Equine Hospital.

The trainees have been assigned to a variety of locations including Godolphin. Rotations take place at Godolphin's Kelvinside Stud, where a few of the trainees will be assigned to stallion duty or pre-training and rehabilitation, Godolphin's Woodlands Park Stud, where trainees are assigned to broodmares or yearlings, and various allocations at outside studs including Arrowfield, Vinery, Segenhoe, Yarraman Park, and Newgate.

I was lucky enough to be placed with trainer Rod Northam who is based at Scone Racecourse. Through this placement I was able to fully immerse myself into the Australian way of training and racing and appreciate the differences from what I am used to in America.

After finishing my three weeks with Rod, I can say that I feel as though I am a part of his team. I worked as a stable hand, strapped horses for races, and was able to exercise ride a couple of the horses. My time there was nothing short of incredible and I can honestly say that I've never seen happier horses.

Our Australian phase is really flying and my classmates and I are making the most out of the time that we have here. We're always regulars at the Sydney races on the weekends where you'll find us rooting home the horses in blue.


The Flying Start trainees get their glad rags on for Randwick races

PICTURE: Patricia Bowman

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