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Graduation celebrations for National students

NINETEEN students have graduated after successfully completing the 2011 National Stud Diploma course. This year'sgraduation ceremony was combined with a celebration of 25 years of the course at which former students, including Nigel Impie, who attended the first one in 1987, were present.

The course offers students the opportunity to work a season on a commercial stud, allowing them to gain practical experience as well as attend lectures and workshops relating to the racing and breeding industry.

Thomas Biggs, 24, from Wiltshire received this year's top award, the Tim Dunlop Memorial Award, which is presented annually to the student who demonstrates outstanding performance in all aspects of the course.

Three other high achievers were awarded additional prizes. The National Stud's Certificate of Merit went to Nicola Hayes, 27, from County Cork, Ireland while the award for Most Improved Diploma student went to Mackenzie Fairbairn, 26, from Ontario, Canada. Luke Dignam, 24, from Dublin, received the award for Best Practical Diploma Student.

The other graduates were: Alison Bennetts-Brown, 24, from Sussex; Daniel Briggs, 20, from Cambridgeshire, Alice Clarkson, County Carlo; Emma Gibb, 21, from Lancashire, Peter Kerins, 30, from County Antrim; Charles King, 21, from Suffolk; Michael McAvoy, 25, from West Yorkshire; Donal McCarthy, 35, from Suffolk; Alex Mahony, 20, from Spain; Vanessa Mansfield, 21, County Kildare; Carol Murphy, 22, County Tipperary' Anna Robertson, 24, Humberside; Tara Savage, 25, County Sligo; and Catherine Waters, 22, from Berkshire.

Christopher Spence, chairman of the National Stud, said: "We are delighted that all 19 students have successfully graduated; they have been a pleasure to have on-site, having worked incredibly hard and showna high level of commitment to their studies."

Anyone interested in applying for future courses at the National Stud should call 01638 675922, email or visit




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