The Thoroughbred Breeders' Association's Next Generation Club (NGC) provides young people with an in-depth insight into how the bloodstock breeding industry works. In its latest venture, the NGC has linked up with a graduate programme run by the British Horseracing Authority. The objective is to encourage and foster a passion for the Thoroughbred horse, and knowledge of the bloodstock breeding industry, which will enable young people to become the next generation of industry participants, through breeding, racehorse ownership or having a passion for racing and breeding.
Sean McGuinness started out in racing as an apprentice jockey, but that didn’t work out when he was found to have a heart problem. After completing a foundation degree and an NVQ3 in Horse Care and Breeding he’s now been awarded a two-month work placement with the Newsells Park and Tweenhills studs. He’ll be working with them in the run up to the Tattersalls October yearling sales.
McGuinness said, “I am delighted and grateful to have been offered the opportunity to gain experience at two of the leading studs in the UK. Having listened to Matt Coleman (Newmarket bloodstock agent), Sam Hoskins (bloodstock agent) and Joe Grimwade (Manager of The Royal Studs) speak on the breeding industry during the graduate programme, I am keen to learn as much as I can, as I believe this is the industry in which I wish to make my career.”
No doubt he will gain an enormous amount from the work placement, but for McGuinness it isn’t all about what he can take from it. Along with former jump jockey Phil Kinsella, he’s putting in to racing by heading up a Racing Welfare initiative to help stable and stud staff who encounter difficulties in their workplace.
The two have set out to recruit five volunteers in Newmarket to trial a scheme that Racing Welfare would seek to roll out nationally if it is successful. McGuinness explained why there was a need for additional people to support the charity. He said, "The full time Racing Welfare officers in Newmarket are already stretched to breaking point with the number of staff seeking their help, therefore it is essential that the charity undertakes new measures to support as many people as possible."
Who better to understand the pressures stud and stable staff face then those people themselves?