Clodagh Kavanagh became Godolphin International Thoroughbred Leadership Programme Executive Director in 2003. Motivated by HH Sheikh Mohammed’s vision of creating a management training programme to recruit and develop the “Future Leaders of the Thoroughbred Industry”, Clodagh’s role is to provide strategic leadership and maintain a global perspective on the programme. She oversees the quality and relevance of the syllabus, provides coaching and mentoring to the trainees and guides a team of coordinators based in Australia, UK, USA and Dubai.
Previously General Manager of the Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE) in Kildare, Clodagh was a part-time Racing Official with the Irish Turf Club.
Clodagh has worked in Kentucky, New Zealand, Hunter Valley, Melbourne, Sydney and Kildare for some of the leaders in the thoroughbred industry including Eaton-Williams consignors, Segenhoe Stud, Colin Hayes, Ballysheehan, Moyglare, Airlie and Derrinstown Studs.
She is a graduate of University College Dublin, obtaining a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree in 1988 and MSc in Business (Leadership and Management) in 2019. Clodagh is a Step II MBTI Practitioner. Clodagh jointly founded the Women’s Irish Network for Racing (WiNR) and she is a board member of the Irish National Stud.
Martin began working with Godolphin Flying Start in February 2014. Alongside the programme’s Executive Director Clodagh Kavanagh, he helps to deal with the day to day running of the course from Kildangan Stud His roles include overseeing the practical horse skills module, website maintenance, administration, education technology, marketing & PR for the programme.
Martin got involved with horses from a young age working at Paul & Tom Monaghan’s Cottage Stud in County Kildare. The Cottage Stud were the breeders of dual international stakes winner Ezzoud and Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip to Paris. It is there he gained his experience in the thoroughbred industry and also where Martin’s love of horses began. He is driven by horse racing and breeding and follows all race meetings at home and abroad and when time allows he gets to as many race meetings as he can.
Martin is a graduate of Maynooth University, obtaining his Honours Degree in Computer Science & Geography.
Martina Dempsey joined the Godolphin Flying Start team in October 2021 as Ireland Coordinator.
Martina grew up near the Curragh in Co. Kildare and was involved with horses from a young age. She has worked for racehorse trainers on the Curragh and in Australia. Prior to joining Godolphin Flying Start, Martina was an Equine Lecturer at the College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), the Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE) and Kildalton College. She has pursued her career in education within the Irish Thoroughbred industry. Martina has a Master’s Degree in Applied Equine Science (UCD) and a Degree in Equine Management (CAFRE). She has also completed a Mental Health First Aid course which is accredited by Mental Health First Aid Ireland.
Bethan started her role as Godolphin Flying Start UK Coordinator in 2013 combining this new position with her existing role as Management Assistant in the nominations department at Dalham Hall Stud. Bethan is responsible for organising all aspects of the trainees’ stay whilst they are based in Newmarket on their UK phase of the programme. This includes arranging practical rotations both within and out-with Godolphin in addition to liaising with key industry professionals to create a diverse calendar of visits and lectures.
Bethan grew up around horses on her parent’s stud farms in south Wales and from a young age went racing all over the UK. Bethan’s parents founded Usk Valley Stud which saw success both on the racetrack, in the sales ring and at national award ceremonies. This is where Bethan’s love of the thoroughbred industry stemmed from.
Prior to joining Darley Bethan worked at Tattersalls, Newmarket in the bloodstock department for 5 years. She completed the British Horseracing Board’s Graduate Development Programme after graduating with an MA (Honours) degree in Mediaeval History and German from St Andrew’s University, Scotland in 2000.
Kathryn started her role as Godolphin Flying Start USA Coordinator in 2021. Growing up in County Kildare she enjoyed horse riding on the Curragh plains. Kathryn graduated from Dublin Business School and worked in administration for Irish Continental Group. During her time in the UK, she held the position of Corporate Hospitality and Marketing Executive for Newmarket Racecourses Trust. After relocating to the US, she worked for Darley USA for four years in an administration and accounting role. Most recently she has worked in the education field.
Central Kentucky Riding for Hope is a non-profit that Kathryn supports and has volunteered as a side walker.
She enjoys traveling, horse racing, rugby, soccer, and time spent with her family and Bernese Mountain dog.
Tayla commenced working with Godolphin Australia, based at Kelvinside Stud in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, in July, 2017. She accepted the Australian Flying Start Coordinator position in 2018 and added it to her existing responsibilities as the Community & Industry Program Officer . She is responsible for organising and coordinating the course facilities and itinerary as well as liaising with the trainees throughout their Australian phase from August to December each year.
Prior to joining Godolphin Tayla completed a Bachelor Degree in Human Resource Management at the University of New England. She is passionate about the horse industry and has competed in Hacking and Dressage from a young age. She worked hands on in the thoroughbred industry from the age of 16 at Vinery Stud assisting with yearling preparations and attending a number of sales in both Australia and New Zealand.
On June 27th 2023, at Kildangan Stud in Ireland, we had our first ever gathering of the International Coordinators of Godolphin Flying Start. The aims of the meeting were to build relationships, understand the different phases of the programme, promote collaboration and best practise for Godolphin Flying Start, its trainees and the management team. This was achieved through a mix of experiences, workshops, presentations, brainstorms and visits over a five-day period. Coordinators attended the Irish National Stud graduation, racing at the Curragh and the 20 year reunion and conference as part of this action packed week. Onwards and upwards for our fantastic team!