Senior House recently welcomed Mr Hugh Anderson, managing director of Godolphin, who came to speak to the children as part of their Thursday Enrichment Programme. This series of talks and activities is aimed to provide the children with access to speakers from a diverse range of careers. Godolphin is a global thoroughbred breeding operation and horseracing team, which spans across four continents from its home in Dubai to Europe, Japan, Australia and America.
Mr Anderson explained it was the founder’s aim, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to transfer his passion for horses into champions around the world. Since its start, Godolphin has celebrated victories in over 5,000 races worldwide. The children discovered that every modern thoroughbred traces its beginnings to Arabia and the three foundation sires, one of which gives Godolphin its name. Team Godolphin had their 5,000th winner worldwide when Expecting To Fly won a Maiden in France on 16 August last year.
The children learned that not only is Godolphin a worldwide horseracing operation it is also a thoroughbred breeding operation with first-class stables situated in several countries around the world. In the UK, Godolphin Stables is also a state of the art training yard with a swimming pool, sea walker, equine spas and private grass and all-weather gallops and has a capacity for up to 115 horses. Mr Anderson explained that Dalham Hall Stud (Newmarket) is split into two parts, with one part used as a private stud for Godolphin mares and their offspring and the other containing the stallion unit and stallion paddocks, home to the Darley stallions. One Form 3 child commented, “I never knew so much care went into breeding horses and training them to be the best at racing. We found out how the horses are transported in planes across the world, where the Melbourne Cup lives and how bandages help stabilise the weakest part of the horse to give it confidence. It was a fascinating talk.”