Working for Irish Breeders

ITBA Next Generation

ITBA Next Generation


The ITBA Next Generation is the junior wing of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association. It is aimed at students and young breeding enthusiasts. We provide a platform to educate young people with an in-depth insight into the breeding and racing industry.

The committee is governed by an independent board of dynamic, young professionals, passionate about the growth and sustainability of Irish racing.

Learn Today. Lead Tomorrow.

Membership with ITBA Next Generation provides access to exclusive events and opportunities, while generating new social and professional connections within a network of young, like-minded breeding and racing enthusiasts.

  • Seminars
  • Panel Discussions
  • Industry Tours inc trainers yards and stud farms
  • Networking and Social Events
  • Apprenticeship Scheme

Click here to sign up today


Stay tuned for future events...


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ITBA Next Generation Internship Scheme launches for 2024/25

ITBA is delighted to relaunch the Internship Scheme and give individuals the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry. There will be two levels of the scheme: one for individuals ages 18-30 who are looking to increase their skills and knowledge; and another for Transition Year students who are looking to gain experience in the industry and develop their interest.

ITBA Internship 2024

ITBA’s Internship will be a year long, fully paid internship offering two successful candidates invaluable experience working in three different industry areas for four months each. There will be two types of internship, one focusing on office placement and working with businesses within the industry. The second placement will be a practical placement with work on stud farms offering hands-on experience.

There is a degree of flexibility for the successful candidate and dates can be adjusted if needed. Each employer will be required to appraise their intern throughout the relevant semester and report back to ITBA at the end of the period in question. In addition the intern will be required to post a blog in industry publications and work on short video projects during each placement, designed to give exposure to both intern and employer.

ITBA Junior Internship 2024

ITBA’s Junior Internship will be targeted at secondary school students before they go into their Transition Year and is for ages over 16. The aim is to link students up with a stud farm in their locality where they can spend their work experience. A short Health & Safety and Basic Handling course will be offered to those to give them confidence going into a new environment, as well as continuous development of skills and knowledge from the stud farm team.

There will also be several opportunities to shadow ITBA’s Next Generation Committee during sales days, race meetings and other industry events.

ITBA Chairman, Cathy Grassick comments: “We are delighted to develop ITBA’s Internship for 2024 and think this a fantastic opportunity for anyone who has a passion for the thoroughbred industry. The scheme is a great way to help develop skills and network with industry leaders, as well as encouraging the next generation into the industry. The placements and people you meet offer an invaluable experience in the industry.

We are looking forward to introducing two different levels of the scheme, as well as developing the Una McElroy Business Internship. This was a project that was very close to Una’s heart and it is very fitting that this Internship will honour her memory.”

Applications for both the 2024 Internship and Junior Internship Schemes will open on Monday 15th April, with interviews being held in May/June. Application forms and full terms can be found below and must be submitted to before close of business on Friday 10th May 2024. For further information or to request an application form please contact ITBA HQ on 045 877 543 or email Hannah on

ITBA Internship Application Form (ages 18-30)

ITBA Junior Internship Application Form (Transition Year Students)

For more information and full details click here.

ITBA Next Gen Committee 2023/2024

  • Conor Wixted (Chair) – Senior Bloodstock Executive Goffs
    • Conor is a member of the Goffs Bloodstock Team and is also part of the inspection team.

      Conor has experience as a breeder and a national hunt vendor. He hails from a showing and farming background in Co. Clare and in 2019 he won the Teagasc and Horse Sport Ireland National Young Breeder Competition. Conor holds a BBS in Agribusiness and has just recently completed an MSc in Supply Chain Management from the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School.

  • Ross O'Mahony (Vice Chair) - Bloodstock Sales Executive, Tattersalls Ireland
    • Ross is a member of the Tattersalls Ireland Bloodstock team, he holds a degree in Equine Science and a diploma in Digital Marketing both from UCD, and completed the Irish National Stud Course in 2020.

      Ross got started in the industry in 2017, doing weekends with Mick Buckley, before heading to Coolmore America in 2018 for the season as part of his university placement. Since then, he worked for the Castlemartin Division of Ballylinch Stud and worked for a number of sales consignors before starting the Irish National Stud Course. On completion of the course, he gained valuable experience with Mount Coote Stud,, and Castlehyde Stud before beginning his role with Tattersalls Ireland.

  • Luke Bleahen – Intern at Goosebump Marketing, Student & Lakefield Farm
    • Luke is a Business graduate from UL. He majored in marketing and recently spent eight months with Goosebump Marketing Agency, as well as working for a sports prediction start-up app called Herd.

      Luke has experience as an amateur jockey and was Champion pony racing rider in the 14.2-15hh division in 2015 having ridden 51 winners in his career. He pinhooks National Hunt foals with his father John of Lakefield Farm and hopes to build on this in the future.

  • Taragh Brady – UK
    • Having grown up on a stud farm in Co.Meath, Taragh was involved with horses and ponies from a young age. Taragh spent her teens eventing and worked part time at Tattersalls Ireland on the bloodstock counter and rostrum on sales days.

      After graduating from Dublin Business School with a degree in Marketing & Event Management, Taragh worked as Marketing Manager for a fashion company in Dublin for three years before returning to Tattersalls Ireland to work full time in the Marketing department.

  • Michelle Fogarty – Pedigree Research Manager, Weatherbys
    • Michelle holds a degree in Equine Science and a Diploma in Business Management. She has worked for Kiltinan Stud and Lanes End Farm as well as part taking in sales with Castlebridge, Watership Down and Trickledown Stud. Michelle now manages a team of eight staff at Wetherbys and is responsible for organising the completion of over 30,000 sales catalogue pedigrees and private client pedigrees throughout the year. She is also secretary to the IFHA Tactical Committee.

  • Padraic Gahan – Bloodstock & Consigning Executive, Baroda Stud
    • Padraic works with Baroda Stud Consigning which consigns at all leading flat and National Hunt sales in Ireland, England and France. He studied Commerce in University College Dublin and since then has worked in the bloodstock industry on stud farms, racing stables and industry bodies in America, Australia and Scotland. Padraic also enjoys breeding and trading his own stock.

  • Clare Manning – Owner / Manager Boherguy Stud
    • Clare consigns under the Boherguy Stud banner. She was the top vendor at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling sale in Newmarket in 2020, with a new record price top lot. Having completed the Irish National Stud course in 2016 she gained experience in Arrowfield Stud, Winstar Stud Farm, Paca Paca Stud Farm and Baroda Stud. She set up her own operation in 2019 and offers a number of services to clients ranging from sales preparation, consigning to foaling, boarding, breaking and pre training.

      In 2021 she was the recipient of the ITBA Next Generation Award.

  • Fiona McEnery – Rossenarra Stud
    • Growing up on their family run stud farm in Kilkenny, horses were always a big part of Fiona’s life.

      Fiona graduated from Maynooth University with a double Honours BA in Business & Geography. She gained valuable experience at Woods Edge Farm Kentucky for a yearling sales prep and then at Ed Dunlop’s in Newmarket as secretary and pupil assistant.

      Fiona plays a significant role at Rossenarra Stud, where they breed and sell horses for both Flat and National Hunt racing, board mares, sales preparation, breaking and breeze-ups.

  • Rob O’Callaghan- Manager, Yeomanstown Stud
    • Along with his brother David, Robert runs the O’Callaghan family farm of Yeomanstown Stud as well as overseeing the stallion & broodmare operation at Morristown Lattin Stud, home to flagship stallion Dark Angel and over 100 mares.

      Robert has gained experience further afield, working for his brother Peter at Woods Edge Farm in Kentucky & Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Farm in Ocala. Robert has been trading under Cavalier Bloodstock for eight years, with successful pinhooks success such as subsequent G2 winner Atomic Jones. Homebreds include Royal Ascot Stakes winner Mountain Angel & dual Stakes winning 2YO Diabolic.

  • Leanne O’Sullivan – Marketing Executive HRI
    • Leanne graduated from CAFRE Enniskillen with a BSc Honours in Equine Management before completing a Masters in Marketing at UCD Michael Smurfit Business School.

      Upon graduating, Leanne completed an internship with The Irish Field Newspaper where she went on to become a full-time Journalist. Leanne then took up a position at Horse Sport Ireland before her current role as Marketing Executive at Horse Racing Ireland.

      Leanne is actively involved in the sport horse industry, producing and competing young sport horses.

  • David Skelly Bloodstock Manager, Rathmore Stud
    • David Skelly first began working in the thoroughbred industry while completing his Bachelor of Business Studies at the University of Limerick. Since then, David has gained valuable experience working both in Ireland and overseas, as well as being a graduate of both the Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Breeding Course, and more recently Godolphin Flying Start. He currently holds the position of Bloodstock Manager at Rathmore Stud, Co. Limerick.

  • Joan Tyner – Bloodstock Executive, Goffs
    • Joan is a Bloodstock Executive at Goffs with vast industry experience having assisted her parents in training National Hunt horses, prepared yearlings at Dromoland Farm in America and having worked at Yarraman Park Stud in Australia as Assistant Foaling Manager.

      She graduated from Maynooth University with an Honours BBS in International Business & Management, completed the Irish National Stud Course and is also a graduate of the BHA Graduate Development Programme.


Fantastic attendance at ITBA Next Generation Panel

Following a highly successful rejuvenation of the ITBA Next Gen in 2022-2023, the committee hosted a fantastic Pinhook Panel as the opening event of the 2023-2024 season. The well-attended event was held at Goffs, where attendees had the chance to network ahead of the event and then got plenty of inside tips and laughs from the expert panel.

Jane Mangan led the discussion with Alice Kavanagh(AK Thoroughbreds), Paul McCartan (Ballyphilip Stud), Tom O'Brien(Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital) and Philip Stauffenberg (Stauffenberg Bloodstock) and gained an insight in to how their careers developed and how they became highly successful pinhookers. The panel touched on the cycle of preparing to purchase at a sale, considerations when buying, care and management of young horses, sales preparation and re-offering stock at sales.

ITBA would like to thank the amazing panel as well as all those who attended the informative evening. Watch back the recording of the panel discussion here:

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Quiz Night

The ITBA Next Generation Quiz Night was welcomed back for 2024 and took place on Thursday 15th February, 2024 at the Silken Thomas in Kildare.

The event, held in collaboration with WINR, the Irish National Stud and Godolphin Flying Start, held a charity raffle on the night with proceeds going to Festina Lente.

Pinhooking Panel Discussion

Following a highly successful rejuvenation of the ITBA Next Gen in 2022-2023, We invite you to join us for our opening event of the 2023-2024 season at Goffs as Jane Mangan chats to our fantastic panel and gains an insight in to how their careers developed and they became highly successful pinhookers.

Our panel on the evening includes;

  • Alice Kavanagh, AK Thoroughbreds
  • Paul McCartan, Ballyphilip Stud
  • Tom O'Brien, MVB DACVS Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital
  • Philip Stauffenberg, Stauffenberg Bloodstock

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Conor Wixted (Senior Bloodstock Executive with Goffs) takes over the role of ITBA Next Generation Chairman for 2023-24, with Ross O'Mahony (Bloodstock Sales Executive with Tattersalls Ireland) stepping up as Vice Chair.

Both have held active rolls in the resurgence of the Next Generation since August 2022 which saw many successful events including panel discussions, table quizzes and stud visits.

ITBA Next Gen would also like to welcome Fiona McEnery of Rossenara Stud as a new committee member. Fiona has worked for Woods Edge Farm Kentucky for a yearling sales prep and then at Ed Dunlop’s in Newmarket as secretary and pupil assistant. She plays a significant role at Rossenarra Stud, where they breed and sell horses for both Flat and National Hunt racing, board mares, sales preparation, breaking and breeze-ups.

Keep an eye on ITBA Next Gen Socials for the upcoming schedule of events and join for just €20 for an exciting year of events and networking opportunities!

Successful year sees ITBA Next Gen reach new heights

Following the re-launch of ITBA’s Next Generation, Chairperson Orla Donworth steps down from her role this month having re-established the hugely successful platform for young breeding and racing enthusiasts around the country. Originally formed in 2008 and known as Young ITBA, the Association’s ‘Junior Wing’ was hampered by inactivity over the past number of years, primarily due to Covid. A key priority of ITBA Chairman Cathy Grassick was to reestablish the presence it once had.

Orla, together with her Committee have firmly reignited activity, hosting a number of well-attended social and educational events. Most recently a successful National Hunt Panel Discussion took place at Tattersalls Ireland, preceding the May Store Sale with a stellar panel hosted by Richard Pugh. Other activities held under Orla’s chairmanship included a Pinhooking Panel Debate held at Goffs, a Stallion Tour to Coolmore and Castlehyde Studs and a Table Quiz in conjunction with the Irish National Stud at which all monies raised were donated to Treo Eile.

Commenting on her time as Chairperson, Orla said: ‘’I was delighted to take on the role of Chairperson of ITBA’s Next Gen and am grateful for all the hard work of the Committee which made the last 12 months a huge success. As a Committee we set out a number of targets for the year and are really pleased with the feedback received and what we have achieved to date. Our 30 Under 30 campaign in collaboration with The Irish Field, has been well received and highlights the many young enthusiastic professional people within our industry. A huge thanks to Chairman Cathy Grassick and the ITBA for the opportunity to re-launch it’s junior wing.’’

ITBA CEO Una Tormey commented: ‘’The ITBA’s Next Generation has always been an integral part of ITBA activity and I am very grateful to Orla and the Committee for the drive and commitment they have shown over the past 12 months to reignite activity. From informative panel discussions to networking events the Committee put together a comprehensive plan which catered for young breeding and racing enthusiasts. Plans are also in motion to relaunch the successful Apprenticeship Scheme next year. Former graduates of the scheme have gone on to successful careers in stud farms, sales companies and racecourses both at home and internationally. I look forward to seeing the ITBA Next Gen continue to grow under the Chairmanship of Conor Wixted and the Committee for the next year and would encourage those who have not yet got involved to do so.’

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NH Panel Discussion

ITBA Next Generation held its recent National Hunt Panel Discussion at Tattersalls Ireland following the inspection day of the May Store Sale. The committee welcomed MC Richard Pugh, who introduced the expert panel of Tessa Greatrex, agent with Highflyer Bloodstock, Sluggara Farm consignor and vet Walter Connors, Aidan Fitzgerald of Cobajay Stables and bloodstock agent Tom Malone.

The evening kicked off with each panelist’s experience of how they got involved in the industry and continued with plenty of laughs and words of wisdom throughout the evening. Topics discussed included selection at sales, what to forgive in a pedigree and conformation, the recent prevalence of French bred stores and final advice on how to progress in the industry.

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Student Raceday

ITBA Next Generation was proud to sponsor the ITBA Next Gen Handicap on the Leopardstown Student Raceday, Wednesday 5th April. Congratulations to the winner, ASISAID, trained by Pat Murphy and owned by Tylery Road Syndicate. Michael Kavanagh, breeder and part of the syndicate accepted the award from ITBA CEO Una Tormey, ITBA Next Generation Chairman Orla Donworth and members of the ITBA Next Generation committee, including Vice Chair Conor Wixted, Taragh Brady, and Ross O'Mahony


ITBA Next Generation Quiz Night

Over 110 were in attendance to test their knowledge on all things racing and bloodstock. The winning team collected the €500 prize that was kindly sponsored by a Leading Irish Stud Farm.

A charity raffle was held on the night with funds raised going to Treo Eile. A massive €765 was collected and ITBA Next Generation would like to thank all the generous supporters for their raffle prize contributions.

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Breeding Season Preparation Workshop

  • Assisting mares during foaling: Olive O’Connor, respected breeder and consignor
  • Foaling Preparation & postnatal care: Andrea Ryan, Veterinary Surgeon, Kilcash Equine Clinic
  • Nutritional plans for pregnant mares during & post foaling and nutritional plan for foals: Lorraine Fradl, Nutritionist with Connolly’s RED MILLS
  • Mating Plans: Getting mares back in foal & selecting the most suitable stallions: Micheál Orlandi, Compas Equine

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Coolmore & Castlehyde Stud visit

On Friday January 6th, Coolmore and Castlehyde opened their doors to 30 ITBA Next Generation members.

Orla Donworth, Chairman of the ITBA Next Generation thanked the Coolmore and Castlehyde teams, commenting “We are extremely grateful to Coolmore & Castlehyde for providing our members with unparalleled access to their elite stallions and senior management today.” Conor Wixted, Vice Chairman shared Donworth’s sentiment, adding “the generosity and backing of Coolmore & Castlehyde left its mark on us today, throughout 2023 we want to keep building the momentum of the Next Generation”.

Click here to read the full story.

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Pinhooking Panel

The ITBA Next Generation kicked off their series of events with an exciting Pinhooking Panel. The panel featured a great evening of insights from Bernard Condren (MC), Vikki Hancock, John Hanly, Timmy Hillman, Guy O'Callaghan.

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Jul 21
ITBA Seminar - Girl Power
Jul 31
ITBA Western Region Awards
Aug 08
Irish Farriery School Tour
Aug 14
Connollys RED MILLLS Feedmill Tour
The EFTBA 2024 AGM took place in Chantilly, France, over the weekend of the Prix de Diane Longines, which celebrated the 175th running of the prestigious race and was hosted by the Fédération des Eleveurs du Galop (French TBA)
Girl Power - The Importance of Fillies in Breeding & Racing
ITBA is pleased to have been informed by the Department of Agriculture and the Revenue Commissioners of the removal of the need for a guarantee for the Temporary Admission of Horses in particular circumstances.
ITBA HQ, Greenhills, Kill, Kildare, Ireland. W91 FY62
+353 45 877 543