Meet Caroline Turnbull – National Stud course adminstrator

  • Caroline Turnbull from the Thoroughbred Breeder’s Association takes us through a typical day helping young people study for a career in the breeding industry

    About Caroline Turnbull

    Initially Caroline started work on an Arab stud before moving to the Thoroughbred breeding industry at Eaton House Stud in Leicestershire.

    After a two year spell at Johanna Vardon’s National Foaling Bank, Caroline moved to Newmarketand spent the next six years working at the TBA’s Equine Fertility Unit for Professor Twink Allen. During this time she became involved in all aspects of its research and clinical work.

    In 1998 Caroline took up the position of British stud staff training scheme administrator at the TBA. This involved overseeing the NVQ training scheme for school leavers.

    In February this year Caroline relocated to the National Stud to run both the Modern Apprenticeship Programme (NVQ 2 and 3 plus key skills) and the National Stud Diploma course.

    An average day

    7 am

    Head to a stud outside Newmarket to assess two students currently on work placement. I watch them teasing mares, handling mares and mucking out.I discuss their progress with them and their supervisor, set targets and arrange my next visit.

    10.30 am

    Drive back to the National Stud and put a call in to the housekeeper that all is well with the 19 residential students currently on the residential diploma course.

    11.30 am

    In the office at Wavetree House I catch up with the assistant stud manager who updates me so I can organise the work rota. I catch up on some paperwork do some marking and respond to any queries regarding careers in the breeding industry.


    I return back to the hostel to deliver the student’s post, answer questions and sort out any problems. Lunch is normally spent at my desk catching up on equine periodicals such as the Racing Post and Horse & Hound.

    2 pm

    I plough through more paperwork and deal with applications for the next Foundation Modern Apprenticeship course which starts in October.

    3.30 pm

    Collect student mark sheets from the stud yard’s foreman and find out how the students are progressing.

    6.15 pm

    The student training programme includes two evening lectures a week which are also open to stud staff around Newmarket.

    A number of veterinary and bloodstock breeding experts are always happy to contribute to our lecture programme and it is always interesting to sit on these sessions.

    7.30 pm

    I visit the foaling unit at least once a week and so far have been lucky to see a number of mares foal, it also gives me an opportunity to see the students at work.

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