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Henry Von Doussa

Melbourne Polytechnic graduate Henry Von Doussa spent years putting off his dream of working with horses.

Completing a course at Melbourne Polytechnic gave him the skills and knowledge he needed to start a new career, while a $12,000 study grant award gave him valuable experience working on a stud farm.

Melbourne Polytechnic graduate, Henry von Doussa, spent ten years working in public health research before deciding it was time to follow his passion and work with horses. “I always wanted to work with animals, especially horses and I thought if I don’t do something soon it’s not going to happen.” When he applied for the Diploma of Equine Stud Management at Melbourne Polytechnic he wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do. “I knew the course would get me back around horses and help me find out about the industry, which it did.”

Now 41, Henry graduated last year and is currently looking for work in the equine health research field. He says the course opened his mind to the possibilities of a career in the equine industry. “It allowed me to really get my horse handling skills up to scratch and learn much more about the industry. It’s enormous – you can have a career in racing and other horse sports, breeding or equine health. I hadn’t realised that before.”

As part of his diploma, Henry spent time working at Melbourne Polytechnic’s horse stud, Northern Lodge, in Eden Park, and completed several placements at stud farms. “It gives you a really good idea of what life is like on a stud farm.” He also won a prestigious $12,000 study grant award (through the Melbourne Polytechnic Study Grants Program) which allowed him to spend eight weeks working on a stud farm in New South Wales during yearling season. “That was marvellous because it allowed me to travel to the sales including the Magic Millions Sales on the Gold Coast and the Sydney Classic Sale. There were heaps of horse people around and a lot of really good horses. It was one of the country’s old well-established studs so I got to see how a big stud farm is run.”

Henry is still deciding where in the industry he will ultimately work but is keen to do seasonal work with yearlings for part of the year while he looks for research opportunities in equine health. “Working full-time on a farm might be too isolating for me and a bit repetitive. I want to explore other things. Luckily there is a huge amount of flexibility in the course.”

One of the best things about the course was having so much contact with horses and learning industry codes and conventions like how to put on a head collar in a standard way, he says. “That was really valuable. When I was working at horse studs I did things in a way that I knew was correct. That meant my employers were confident in my abilities.”


Diploma of Equine Stud Management