Shéa Connolly

Why did you apply for the Godolphin Flying Start scholarship?

I was fortunate enough to work with some alumni of the course, it was evident from my time spent with them that the course had helped them in their professional development and industry knowledge. From alumni testimonials and engaging with current trainees, I knew it was something worth working toward, and applying for.

Where has been your favourite phase of the programme?

The course allows for an array of experiences both inside and outside of the syllabus, in first year we were fortunate enough to travel to Paris and attend the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, embedded in this weekend was a brilliant tour of some trainer’s yards and the infamous Chantilly Gallops. Referring to the practical learning, I thoroughly enjoyed our week at the Kentucky Horseshoeing School, this gave us an entry level knowledge on horse hoof care.

Who has had the most influence on you since you commenced the programme?

We have been very fortunate to spend time with some extremely generous people throughout the course. Gerry Duffy of Stonerside Farm in Kentucky was a significant mentor to me during my US phase. During my Australian externship with Michael Freedman Racing, both Caitlin Smith and Andrew Williams were very accommodating, and made the build up to the Magic Millions sale a gratifying and educational experience.

How would you measure your progress since August 2021?

The course has provided me with an abundance of personal development opportunities, my understanding of international racing has primarily been enhanced, due to the exposure received by our externships and placements.

What is your biggest learning from the last two years that will help you in the future?

Throughout the syllabus of the course, I have gained a huge appreciation toward the people who make up our industry. The industry is full of natural leaders that are extremely approachable and generous with their time, they are very adherent to young people’s growth and visions.