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Course Overview


The Godolphin International Thoroughbred Leadership Programme is a two year full-time management training programme. It combines a dynamic range of lectures, visits and hands-on experience. There is continual assessment throughout the course which includes appraisals and a challenging series of projects, assignments and examinations on the theoretical and practical material covered. Individual work placements are organised for trainees throughout the course. There is a significant element of self-study of prescribed course materials. The Godolphin International Thoroughbred Leadership Programme has developed links with established universities and training providers worldwide who deliver and certify business and equine modules. Trainees who reach the standard required will be awarded the Godolphin Flying Start Diploma on completion of the course.

Horse Management

Practical horse management takes place in Ireland, England, Kentucky, Australia and Dubai. Trainees are involved in the running of thoroughbred breeding and racing operations at each location. This includes daily care of horses along with some exposure to the administration and management aspects involved. There are skills assessments in the areas of horse care and handling, veterinary and farriery.

Business Management

Management modules are delivered in blocks throughout the programme culminating in an enterprise and business planning skills module. Trainees develop a broad range of leadership and management skills and produce their own business plan as a final assignment.

Thoroughbred Industry

Lectures and visits are scheduled to take place in each country. Lectures are delivered by Godolphin personnel, professional training providers and by industry leaders in the relevant topics. Visits include studs, training yards, sales complexes, racecourses, veterinary hospitals and research facilities. Key personnel at these locations give a behind the scenes insight into the inner workings of their operations.

Visits and work placements

There is a six week placement in the USA and four week placements in Australia and Europe. These usually take place outside of the Godolphin organisation and trainees are placed individually giving a great opportunity to develop their personal and professional skills.

“The Thoroughbred Daily News has been fortunate to have four Godolphin Flying Start trainees on work placements, and now employs two graduates as part of our full-time team. Darley Flying Start isn’t just our first stop when we are looking to add staff–it’s our only stop. Their graduates are well-trained, well-connected and professional, and immediately become valued members of our staff. Their performance speaks highly of the program, which consistently turns out well-educated young men and women who go on to become our industry’s leaders.”

Barry Weisbord, TDN President