Applications Open For The 2022 Nolan Scholarship

Applications for the 2022 Nolan Scholarship are now open.

The Nolan Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate of the TBA Fast Track program in memory of the late Basil Nolan Jnr, a highly respected and much loved member of the Australian breeding community.
The successful graduate will travel to Ireland for six months to take part in the Irish National Stud Breeding Course. Pictured is 2021 scholarship recipient, Tess O’Connor, receiving her certificate after successfully completing the course earlier this year.
The scholarship will be awarded to the student who best displays the qualities that Basil Jnr himself was so widely admired for.

The Irish National Stud Breeding Course

The Irish National Stud Course was established in 1971 and is regarded as the best-known equine training program within the thoroughbred industry. Many graduates have gone on to hold prominent positions on farms and within organisations around the world.
Unlike university based programs, the training is mainly of a practical nature and is designed to provide students with a hands-on approach to every aspect of horse breeding. The course is full-time residential and starts mid-January each year and runs for the Northern Hemisphere breeding season.

Learn more about the Irish National Stud here.

Scholarship Criteria

  • Applicants must have successfully completed the TBA Fast Track program. This includes graduating with a Certificate III in Horse Breeding from TAFE and having their formal traineeship signed off by their employer. Students who were not eligible for formal traineeships (ie. those based outside NSW) must have completed a minimum 12 months employment with their farm.
  • Prior knowledge and/or industry experience will not be taken into account during the selection process. The scholarship will be awarded based on what the individual has achieved since commencing the Fast Track program and the contribution they have made to their workplace and/or the industry during this time.
  • Although academic ability isn’t the sole focus, applicants will need to have displayed a level of dedication and a positive attitude towards their studies, and have been a courteous member of the classroom during their time on the program.
  • In the workplace they must have consistently demonstrated an excellent work ethic and have been a team player; someone who is kind and supportive and always willing to help others.
  • They must demonstrate a genuine passion for the thoroughbred industry.

The successful applicant will be the person who best fulfills the above criteria and who the interview panel believe will be a great ambassador for the Australian breeding industry and honour Basil Jnr’s legacy.
The following attributes were central to Basil and what he most looked for in staff members of his own:

  • Honesty
  • Enthusiasm
  • Motivation
  • A strong work ethic
  • A passion for learning more on the job

The Application Process

To apply for the Nolan Scholarship, you must complete an online application form.

You are also required to upload a Letter Of Support from your employer and/or an industry referee (someone who currently works in the thoroughbred industry).

The letter should outline why they think you are a deserving recipient of the scholarship with particular focus on your attitude towards learning, contribution to the workplace, your relationships with your peers and colleagues, and your passion for horses.

Only shortlisted applicants will be invited to sit an interview via Zoom, with a panel of TBA representatives and members of the Nolan family. 

Successful Fast Track graduates are eligible to apply for the scholarship at any time. You are not restricted to applying in the year that you graduate and if unsuccessful, you can always reapply the following year. There is no limit on how many years you can apply. 

Click here to begin your application.

Applications for this year’s scholarship close on Monday 10th October at 11.59pm. Those shortlisted will be contacted shortly after to arrange a suitable interview time. 

The successful applicant will need to arrive in Ireland in early January 2023 and remain there until the end of June, when the course finishes.

The full cost of flights and tuition will be covered by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia.

This is an incredible opportunity for anyone looking to develop their career in the thoroughbred sector. The Irish National Stud Course is world renowned and many of Australia’s industry leaders are successful graduates of the program. 

For more information, contact Madison Tims at

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