Introducing our Writer

Sophie Mellett

Thoroughbred racing has always been a passion of mine. These days it’s now more than a passion, it’s a family connection as well as my job. My grandad, on my mother’s side, used to be obsessed with the game. In response, my dad started going to race-meetings with him to get in the good books. I wasn’t long behind joining them, especially after I started riding lessons at the age of 10. After I had attended all our local racecourses, me/ my brothers and sisters would drag dad up and down the country. Once, he even flew us up to Ayr for the day to see the Scottish National. Needless to say, I have extended the passion even more and taken my love for the Thoroughbred industry global. My participation in the National Stud Diploma Programme (2020) helped me to understand the breeding side of the industry and I automatically fell in love with pedigree lines and cheeky foals.

After the course, I was lucky to be placed over in Deauville, France, for 6 months. It was an amazing opportunity to work and continue my learning during the Covid Pandemic. Ecurie Des Monceaux were exceptionally good to me, and I am convinced that there was nowhere better for me to complete my first sales season. From that draft of yearlings alone emerged Angel Bleu, second in the European Champion two-year-old title last year, Mangoustine, winner of the French 1000 guineas, and Pure Dignity, half-sister to Coolmore Stud’s Sottsass and recent debut three-year-old winner brought for €2.5 million. I stayed until the December breeding stock sales after which, I ventured back across the channel for Christmas.

Ireland was my next stop, where I worked the breeding season (January- June) for His Highness Aga Khan and the sales season for top Irish consignor Baroda (August-December). It was an amazing experience to work and experience the English and Irish sales for the first time. Baroda taught me invaluable lessons and it was amazing to work for a company that consigned for such a variety of sales e.g stores, horses in training, yearlings and breeding stock sales. I loved my time in Ireland, so much so, I knew I needed to return as soon as I could. However, I couldn’t hang up my sales boots until I had done Australia.

Just before Christmas 2021, I flew over to Sydney prior to starting work in the hunter valley for Segenhoe Stud. After the new year I went straight to the Magic Million sales up in the Gold Coast. We had a phenomenal sale, with three lots selling for over 1 million dollars.  I returned to the farm for Inglis Easter Sydney Sale prep. It was a surreal experience to see the horses develop and mature, even more so than at home due to their lack of handling as youngsters. My last task before flying home was the Magic Millions weanling prep and I have since returned to Ireland to start work in a Dublin racing office.

Sophie, parading one of Segenhoe Stud’s Yearlings at the Inglis Sale earlier this year, 2022.

I am more than happy to answer any questions from anyone wanting to work in the industry or participate in the National Stud Programme, please feel free to contact me using