Helen Cottrell, Stud Hand
How long have you worked for Juddmonte and what does your role involve?
I have been lucky to work for Juddmonte both in Kentucky and the UK, for three years in total.
My work involves a variety of husbandry duties for mares and foals including leading in and out of paddocks, holding for veterinary practices including injections etc. and teaching foals how to be groomed, picking feet etc.
You joined in the capacity of a student, what experience have you gained since joining Juddmonte?
Before coming to work at Juddmonte I had not worked with thoroughbred mares and foals, and to work with such a top class band of broodmares is wonderful. I have also gained experience of sales work; leading horses around the parade ring and presenting to clients. Sales work can be tiring but is an interesting experience.
What would you consider to be the most satisfying aspect of working at a stud?
The foals make the experience of working at a stud worthwhile, although handling them can be a bit of a challenge. Watching the foals character take shape and seeing them develop, grow strong and independent is really rewarding. I am particularly looking forward to keeping a keen eye on my first crop of yearlings when they take to the race track.
What advice would you offer anyone looking to start a career in the stud industry?
Although I didn’t attend The National Stud myself, I would recommend their NVQ or Diploma Courses as they provide practical as well as theoretical experience and offer industry specific training.
The stud industry offers a great variety of careers as well as opportunities to travel abroad in Ireland, USA or the Southern Hemisphere.