Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Smilin Ireland

There has been a lot to make me smile here in Ireland since my last post. I'm getting to know more people, the weather has been great, I finally got out of Dublin to see some country side and have been spending some time at the Goffs Thoroughbred sales! Yep, that would make me smile!

KILLARNEY!!!! I went with my friends Erika, Marial and Alyssa to Killarney for the weekend which included a tour of the Ring of Kells on Saturday, so a lot of country side was seen by all! It was truly beautiful and everything and more I would have thought of Ireland to look like. You truly have not seen green until you visit the Emerald Isle! Everything worked out perfectly! We never had to wait long on a bus, we found our hostel and all our destinations very easily, got some crazy good discounts and had a BLAST!!!!!

You may not believe me, but I felt as if I was partially on business for the Wesley Foundation at Purdue on Sunday. We rented bikes and biked a few miles to Killarney National Park where we saw the Muckross House and Abby, Turoc Waterfall and a lake. While admiring the beautiful country side, I was very intently evaluating the location for the next Bikers For Jesus location. Although I've never been on the trip myself, I think if they were to do it in Ireland, I would make some time in my busy schedule to go!

I saw a lot of my favorite four-legged creatures this weekend and week as well. Several of our stops on our bus tour included some horses in the scenery! The Irish Draft to the hardy Bog Pony- I saw the whole range :) Plus Killarney National Park was crawling with horse and carriages! We stuck to our two-wheeled transportation though.

Hmm... a few highlights from the weekend: Erika holding a sheep, meeting Seamus O'Connell (the Bog Pony), walking in quaint Killarney, finding the Killarney Methodist church, getting half of my souvenir shopping done and slamming on the bathroom door to open it until we realized you just had to push the handle down all the way! :)

I've also been to my first horse sales! And apparently I picked a good one for my initation! Goffs Thoroughbred Sales! The sale that just finished up this evening is the premier one and the top horses in this year's sale brought in up to 1/2 million euro! These were all yearlings being sold- so unproven on the track and the breeding shed. Pedigrees were the name of the game these past few days. Hours have been spent pouring through the catalogs and evaluating the black type by many before shelling out the dough on these horses. Crazy is all I have to say! I picked out a pretty grey, well balanced and a good moving filly in the parade ring, and sure enough looked her up and she had a sire that was pretty popular this afternoon and a proven dam- she brought in 140,00 euro. The popular sires from the ones that I saw today were Galileo, Holy Roman Emperor and Danehill Dancer. Saddler's Wells' mares' produce were raking in some big bucks as well. A manager from a stud farm came over and talked with us for awhile about the Irish Thoroughbred industry. He was filled with information after working in the industry all his life. He pretty much said that the Irish industry is pretty much monopolized by two stud farms and it is really hard to break into, especially if you're a nobody. He was encouraging my friends to look into the Thoroughbred Industry in either America or Australia- you can start out as a no-body, work bloody hard and make a name for yourself.

All and all I lack so much knowledge about the Thoroughbred industry, not to mention the Irish industry, so I was enjoying the atmosphere and the nice horses and just tyring to pick up whatever tid-bits of knowledge that I could. I still like my Quarter Horses and wish I was home to check out the Congress- the largest breed show in the World going on back in Columbus!

Alright- I have to do some homework and get things ready before my trip to Cork this weekend! I can't wait to see what puts a grin on my face this weekend!


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