Enniskillen Campus student Luke Norton shares his passion for horses and life at CAFRE
February 11, 2021
“I was born in Dublin and lived in Blanchardstown until I was nine, before moving away from the city life and heading for the countryside of Longford. It was here that my love and passion for all things equine began, and I have fond memories of travelling the country with my dad for various race meetings.
At 15, I secured my first job in a racing yard based in Co. Meath. This was initially a weekend job and it was after this that I really “caught the bug” for caring for horses. After this, I was lucky enough to spend school holidays working for various industry representatives including Kennett Parkhill of Boyne Bank Stud as well as Joanna Morgan and Rathasker Stud.
Having spent time working in the industry, I knew that I wanted to further my skill set and so you can imagine the excitement when I found the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE). I attended numerous Open Days at Enniskillen Campus, and I knew for definite that my goal was to study there. After completing my Irish Leaving Certificate, I was delighted to be offered a place on the Foundation Degree in Equine Management at CAFRE. The two years gave me an abundance of experience due to the extensive amounts of practical elements completed during the degree. The practical education and the idea of ‘learning by doing’ was something that played a huge element in my decision that CAFRE was the place for me.
At the Campus Careers Day I was given the opportunity to make contact with Godolphin Ireland’s Managing Director, Joe Osborne which later resulted in me being given the opportunity to spend six months working at Kildangan Stud during my work placement. I was extremely proud to be able to work at such a well regarded company and I will be forever thankful to CAFRE for giving students the opportunities to make such links with major industry representatives.
On completion of the Foundation Degree, I was able to progress on to the BSc Honours Degree in Equine Management and my experience on this programme has been equally as fulfilling as my previous degree.
The breeding industry is something that I have a huge interest in and for second year students on the BSc programme, managing the Breeding Unit has enabled us to take part in foaling down, foal preparation for sales, and getting the opportunity to take the foals to the sales at the end of the year.
In the summer prior to the commencement of my final year in CAFRE, I was thrilled to be offered a position with Archie Watson Racing based in Lambourne, West Berkshire. During my time there I was responsible for travelling with racehorses both at home and abroad. One of the many highlights was travelling to Deauville and leading up the horses I was responsible for back at the yard. Without the education I received at CAFRE I would not have been able to take such opportunities.
Now currently in my final year of study, I will thoroughly miss being part of the everyday life at the campus, but I know that CAFRE has truly prepared me for all aspects of the industry and to me that is the most perfect way to graduate as a student from CAFRE Enniskillen.”
The initial UCAS deadline for September 2021 applications was 29 January 2021 but late applications for FdSc in Equine Management and BSc (Hons) in Equine Management courses are still being accepted. Applications for Further Education courses can be completed by clicking here