THE College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE)’s equine campus is located near the town of Enniskillen, on the edge of Lough Erne in County Fermanagh. It consists of breeding, equitation and racing yards, which are used to educate the next generation of equestrians in all aspects of equine management.
In the early hours of Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the breeding yard welcomed the arrival of ‘Xander’, a gorgeous Thoroughbred colt foal. This is particularly exciting for the students this year, as they have been seeing less of the Campus horses because Covid-19 restrictions have determined that they are attending most of their classes remotely.
‘Xander’ is by ‘Getaway’, out of ‘Whatduhavtoget’ (or ‘Whatty’ as she is affectionately known on campus). ‘Getaway’ stands at Grange Stud, County Cork and is one of the top National Hunt sires currently standing in the country, having produced many very successful racehorses. ‘Whatduhavtoget’ is unproven as a broodmare as ‘Xander’ is her first foal, however, she has proved herself as a racehorse by winning over both hurdles and fences during her career. She is also extremely well bred, as she is by ‘Presenting’ out of a ‘Saddler’s Hall’ mare.
It is planned that ‘Xander’ will stay on site until the autumn, when he will be weaned by students, who will then devise and carry out a management programme to prepare him for the November Foal Sales. The students play a major role in the breeding yard at Enniskillen Campus. They carry out morning and evening yards, prepare foals and youngstock for sales, select stallions for the mares and, every spring, they take part in ‘foal watch’ in the hope of being lucky enough to see a foal being born.
Students and staff will be hoping that ‘Xander’ will follow in the footsteps of previous Thoroughbred foals from CAFRE, such as ‘Make Me A Believer’, a 2015 National Hunt gelding running over hurdles. He is by ‘Presenting’, out of ‘Kiltiernan Robin’ (or ‘Frenchie’ to the staff and students). ‘Make Me A Believer’s’ half-brother, ‘King Roland’, a 2014 National Hunt gelding by ‘Stowaway’, out of ‘Kiltiernan Robin’ is also doing the breeding yard proud in his career. Students and staff hope to one day see ‘Xander’ meet or exceed the success of these two brilliant racehorses. For now, ‘Xander’ is already becoming a very popular member of CAFRE’s four-legged community!
The initial UCAS deadline for September 2021 applications was January 29, 2021 but late applications for FdSc in Equine Management and BSc (Hons) in Equine Management are still being accepted. Applications for Further Education courses can be completed through the CAFRE website: www.cafre.ac.uk.