Graduation 2022

The 2022 Godolphin Flying Start graduation ceremony took place in the Cape Cross Centre at Kildangan Stud in Ireland on the afternoon of Friday, June 24th. Invited guests included the parents of the graduating class, Godolphin management, University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Business School representatives and Godolphin Flying Start Trustees who have supported the Flying Start trainees throughout their two years on the programme.

Godolphin Flying Start Executive Director Clodagh Kavanagh warmly welcomed guests and trainees’ families from as far away as the USA and Australia. She spoke about the inspiration for the programme from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the impact of the experience on the trainees’ personal and professional lives. Clodagh paid tribute to the support received from programme coordinators and the Irish and USA thoroughbred industries, especially in early 2021, when the impact of COVID-19 was at its highest.

Trainees during their graduation in the Cape Cross Centre


Helen Brophy, Director of Executive Development at University College Dublin, Michael Smurfit Business School, addressed the assembled guests and emphasised the academic oversight by UCD and the quality of the modules completed as part of the Graduate Certificate in Management.


Joe Osborne, Managing Director of Godolphin Ireland and Trustee of Godolphin Flying Start, was highly complimentary of the Class of 2022 and added, “On behalf of the global Godolphin team, I congratulate this graduating class and wish them success and encouragement for their futures in the thoroughbred industry.”

It was the role of 2005 graduate and Godolphin Flying Start Trustee, Lisa-Jane Graffard, to present the eleven trainees with their Godolphin Flying Start Diplomas, and she congratulated them on their achievements given the challenging circumstances of the pandemic. She welcomed them to join the alumni network and to become active contributors and leaders.

The 2022 graduates comprised trainees from five countries, including Angus Robertson (Australia), Samantha Bussanich (USA), Devon Dougherty (USA), Erin McLaughlin (USA), Tommy Lyon-Smith (UK), Brigitte Murphy (Ireland), Donncha McCarthy (Ireland), David Skelly (Ireland), Marine Moussa (France) and Solene Hudbert (France).

The diploma for the top trainee was presented to George Broughton (UK), who achieved the highest grade among the 2022 graduating group, attaining a Distinction award.


Godolphin Flying Start Trustee Lisa-Jane Graffard presents top trainee George Broughton with his Diploma


Angus Robertson and Samantha Bussanich spoke on behalf of the class, reflecting on the experience of the two years with their fellow classmates. Angus recited a poem which he wrote paying tribute to the programme, his classmates and the relationship they have built over the last two years.

“We have had the most unorthodox experience in the 19-year history of the program, yet it is one that we would not exchange. At a time when people’s lives were sent into turmoil through lockdowns, social distancing, and furlough, we were 11 fortunate individuals who still managed to travel, gain incredible practical and theoretical experience, and develop personally and professionally. This was due to the resilience of the Thoroughbred industry, the fortitude of the Godolphin Flying Start management team, and the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.”