Finalists – Horsemanship Award 2016
Author Mike Hedge, November 28, 2016
On a thoroughbred stud, the stallions are kings.
But there are plenty of horsemen and women working tirelessly on every farm to ensure the regal behaviour isn’t too excessive and that their offspring are brought up correctly.
Two such horsemen are Godolphin’s horse-breaking foreman Scott Eeles and Coolmore’s stallion manager Gerry Ryan, the finalists in the Horsemanship category of the Godolphin Stud and Stable Awards.
Scott is one of the first people to get his hands on the foals born each year at Godolphin’s Australian studs, having performed the job for the organisation’s predecessor, Woodlands Stud.
“I suppose being a finalist is the culmination of all the years of work,” Scott said.
“But it really doesn’t feel like that. I’ve had the privilege of watching horses who I’ve helped to develop go on to win some of the best races in Australia. I can’t thank Godolphin enough for their sponsorship and support.”
One of the aspects of Scott’s job that has set him apart has been his ability to out-think the horses he works with.
“You’ll always get a horse that is difficult and I’d lay awake at night trying to figure out how to handle them, how to get them happy so they could eventually show their best,” he says.
As well as his job at Godolphin’s Kelvinside Stud, Scott was commended in his nomination for his roles in the local community, particularly for his work with Riding for the Disabled.
At Coolmore, there is no doubt that Gerry Ryan has everything it takes to deal with some of the most valuable stallions on the planet – and do a lot more as well.
As a man who has played a crucial part in launching and maintaining the stud careers of so many Coolmore stallions, Gerry has gained plenty of satisfaction from his work.
But becoming one of the final two candidates for one of the stud and stable staff awards is a special thrill.
“To be honest, it meant a lot to me to be nominated in the first place,” he says.
“It’s satisfying to know that the people that I work for consider my work good enough to put me forward for something like this. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the recognition that has come with the nomination and then getting through to the finals – this is very flattering.”
Coolmore Australia principal Tom Magnier described Gerry as “an exceptional horseman who has consistently excelled”.
“Gerry has the best understanding of anyone at Coolmore of the psychological, physical and nutritional aspects of the stallion business,” he said.