2 June 2015
Visually, Ireland is GREEN all year around, it is no wonder the country embraces the poetic name of the Emerald Isle. People here love to talk about their weather, which sometimes felt like we had four seasons in a single day. One thing is for sure, it is always wet on this island. People would look at the RAIN and tell you that the RAIN makes the grass, which of course, makes the GREEN.
Irish people are very FRIENDLY. My colleagues made me feel like I was one of the team from the very first day. I also love their distinctive ACCENT. Last but not least, people here are very HORSEY. Children start to ride ponies from as young as four, with many growing up to achieve a very high standard of horsemanship. This country supplies top thoroughbreds across the world, thanks to their high quality grass and horsemanship.
About Kildangan Stud and life on the farm
The biggest stud farm of Darley’s operation in Ireland is named Kildangan, which everybody says is a five-star hotel – for horses, not for us! I have spent 10 months here, working with yearlings, mares and foals, from a beginner who even did not know how to use a rake to a small expert in farm work, from a city child who had not enjoyed the birds singing to a country girl who understand what horses are telling us. Because of horses, I laugh a little harder and cry a little less. I remember every morning when I walked into the barn, when I saw horses poking their heads over the door and staring at me, I really feel it is a sheltered place where life’s true priorities are clear – take a step back, Kildangan is not just a place about horses, it’s about LOVE, LIFE, and LEARNING.
About Horse Racing in Ireland
During the 10 months we attended several main racing festivals, including Irish Champions Weekend and the Guineas Festivals in May. The experience of being at the races was fabulous and we learned a lot. We now know that the type of races include Maiden, handicap, novice, bumper, Group 1,2,3, Classics, Listed and conditions race; we learnt what a good horse looks like, what the ‘going’ is, all about weights and distances, how to read the race card and betting, to name but a few. Our enjoyment of racing grew as we began to understand how it works and the charisma of horse racing gave us a feeling that if there was a chance, we really want to contribute to this industry back in China.
About business tour in Dubai
Our three-week Dubai culture and business trip was a great opportunity for the interns to get a deeper understanding of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s vision as well as how this fascinating desert country has developed from scratch to one of the world’s leading business centres.
Apart from business visits to companies like Falcon, Jumeirah, Dubai Mall, Dragon Mart, etc, the interns also visited Meydan Racecourse, Godolphin Stables, Hatta Stables and were lucky to meet one of the most successful trainers - Saeed Bin Suroor - in person. We also went on a Desert Safari, went racing at Jebel Ali, took a tour of the world’s tallest building - the Burj Khalifa – and all were a fantastic opportunity for interns to experience the Arabian culture and history. As a mid-point of the whole program, to be better prepared for further study on the program, interns also received coaching on topic of personal awareness and development, plus leadership, management, goal setting, career planning, which were all very helpful workshops.