“I get to work with some of the best horses around, such as Oaks and multiple group winners”
Sam Owens – Stud Hand
My first job most days is to check the horses and feed. During the breeding season I will assist the vet in scanning mares and other vet work and I’ll also sit up in the evenings to keep an eye on the pregnant mares and help with the foalings. During the off season I get more involved with sales prep and working sales, as well as other day-to-day jobs.
I’ve always had a passion for horse racing since I was young, but being 6ft1 and having never ridden I felt that working in studs was the best route for me. So, I decided to give it a go through The National Stud and I’ve loved it ever since.
I started by completing a training course at the National Stud which led to me getting a placement at Glebe Farm Stud, where I worked for 2 years. To further develop my career I went back to the National Stud to undertake their 6 month Diploma Course and, after spending a breeding season in Australia, worked for Juddmonte Farms for a year before moving to Newmarket to join Godolphin in January 2016.
The best part for me is getting to work with some of the best horses around, such as Oaks and multiple group winners. I enjoy looking after their offspring and watching them grow up, with the hope of seeing them perform well at a racecourse one day.
The best advice I could give is to work hard and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. The National Stud is a good place to start to get a good understanding of the stud sector before embarking into the workplace. I would also say get as much experience as you can to broaden your CV, such as working abroad.
Becoming a Stud Hand
A Stud Hand is often the first job in the breeding industry for young people after leaving education. The Entry to Stud Employment Programme will teach you the skills required to care for mares, foals and also wider stud work. The Programme involves a 9 week residential training course at The National Stud, followed by a work placement at a Stud Farm. The course runs once a year, starting in October.
Most Stud Hands will progress their career in the breeding industry, many will go on to become a Stud Groom, Stud Manager or Bloodstock Agent.
Search for Stud Hand jobs on the Job Board, or if you’re looking to advance your career in the breeding industry find out more about The National Stud Diploma in Stud Practice and Management