TASMANIAN thoroughbred racing enthusiast Sam McMillan has won a scholarship to study horse husbandry overseas.
MacMillan will head to the UK and Ireland early next year to gain an insight into the international Thoroughbred industry.
He recently graduated with a Diploma of Horse Business Management from the renowned Marcus Oldham College in Geelong, Victoria where he received the Marcus Oldham College/Lanwades International Stud Management Award (UK).
The award is meted out to a high-achieving student and MacMillan was a popular choice.
MacMillan will spend a year at the historic Lanwades Stud at Newmarket, Cambridgeshire in England and also at their sister stud, Staffordstown Stud at County Meath, Ireland.
He will gain experience in all areas of equine husbandry including stud work that covers broodmares, foals, covering barn, yearling preparation and he also will enjoy such highlights as the Goff’s and Tattersall’s yearling sales.
Thoroughbred racehorses have been bred in Newmarket and surrounding villages for over 300 years and Lanwades nowadays encompasses nearly 1000 acres of prime grassland in Newmarket and Ireland.
Students of bloodstock management and veterinary medicine from all over the world have trained at Lanwades and former trainees are now managing some of the top stud farms in Australia, New Zealand, USA, France, Germany, Japan and Poland.
MacMillan, 26, is thrilled with what next year may bring.
“I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in the thoroughbred industry and I expect I will benefit greatly from the experience this award presents,” MacMillan said.
“Gaining international experience of any sort is invaluable in the thoroughbred industry and I’ll be exposed to all different methods and techniques.”
“It will also help me decide exactly what role I see myself playing in the industry in the future,” he said.
Prior to embarking on the popular year-long course at Marcus Oldham, MacMillan worked with leading Tasmanian trainers, David and Scott Brunton and he also part-owned two racehorses, Assent and Ishtar King, that are trained by the Bruntons at their Seven Mile Beach stables south-west of Hobart.
As winner of the $15,000 Australian Thoroughbred Scholarship to Marcus Oldham, MacMillan joins a long list of well credentialed winners who have forged careers in the industry in Australia and overseas.
“Sam is enthusiastic about his decision to attain a tertiary qualification and open up wider career opportunities,” said Marcus Oldham College Marketing Officer Janet Craigie-McConnell.
MacMillan said he found the curriculum at the college offered a good balance of practical and theoretical study, and the veterinary science units, practical units and industry placements were most beneficial.
“I especially enjoyed the study tours in Australia and in New Zealand. The places we visited and the horses we saw left me absolutely awestruck,” MacMillan said.