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Godolphin Flying Start class of 2016-18 graduate at Kildangan Stud

The graduating class of 2018: back L-R Jack Carlino, Christopher Farrell, Michael Yi, Joe Callan, William Freedman, Tim Donworth, Luke Morgan, Todd Pollard; front L-R Madison Scott, Jessica Berry, Laura Robertson, Megan Hebbert, Amie Karlsson
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This year's Godolphin Flying Start graduation ceremony took place in the Cape Cross centre at Kildangan Stud in County Kildare last Friday.

Invited guests included the parents of the graduating class, Godolphin management and thoroughbred industry leaders who have supported the Flying Start trainees throughout their two years on the programme.

Those gathered for the formal ceremony included Godolphin Flying Start alumni such as bloodstock agent Barry Lynch, consignor Michael Buckley and Great British Racing International's Amanda Prior, as well as Horse Racing Ireland CEO Brian Kavanagh, Goffs chief executive Henry Beeby, Christy Grassick of Coolmore, Leo Powell of The Irish Field, Sarah McNicholas, CEO of the Irish Equine Centre, and trainer John Oxx.

Top trainee of the graduating class Jack Carlino receiving his diploma from Joe Osborne

Alayna Cullen, MC and Godolphin Flying Start graduate of 2017, opened proceedings by welcoming guests and trainees’ families from as far away as Arizona and New Zealand. She looked back on her own experiences of the programme having graduated only 12 months earlier on the same stage.

Cullen then called on Godolphin Ireland managing director Joe Osborne to speak. He described how each graduate should always try their very best given the education received and his message to the trainees for the future was to “work like bees to support the hive”.

Clodagh Kavanagh spoke about gender diversity and inclusion in the industry, explaining that it makes good business sense to have women represented at board and management level, and that 30 per cent representation is needed for them to have an impact.

Kavanagh explained that Godolphin Flying Start will continue to run professional development conferences for the alumni network all over the world with the next event planned for Sydney on September 28. She congratulated the class of trainees on some of their sporting, community and thoroughbred initiatives achieved during the two-year programme.

Osborne was then called back to the stage to present diplomas to the 13 trainees. Six of the graduating class received a distinction award and Jack Carlino from Phoenix, Arizona, was toasted as the top trainee of 2018.

New graduates Christopher Farrell and Megan Hebbert then thanked the guests, Godolphin Flying Start management and Sheikh Mohammed on behalf of their classmates before calling Clodagh Kavanagh, Joe Osborne and Martin Larkin to the stage to receive gifts from the class.

Guests were then invited to Kildangan House for a celebration lunch.


The 13 trainees who graduated on July 6 commence roles with the following employers this month:

William Freedman Freedman Racing, Australia
Amie Karlsson Svensk Galopp, Sweden
Joe Callan WinStar Farm, USA
Todd Pollard Stephen Marsh, New Zealand
Luke Morgan Tally-Ho Stud, Ireland
Michael Yi TBC
Tim Donworth TBC
Christopher Farrell Magic Millions, Australia
Laura Robertson Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, UK
Megan Hebbert Godolphin, UK
Jack Carlino Hill 'n' Dale Farm, USA
Madison Scott Solis/Litt Bloodstock, USA
Jessica Berry Team Valor International, USA

Discover more about Godolphin Flying Start

Six of the graduating class received a distinction award and Jack Carlino from Phoenix, Arizona, received a huge round of applause as the top trainee
E.W. Terms