In 2019, the thoroughbred and racing industry lost one of their longest and most devoted figures. Les Young was a renowned industry all-rounder. A respected bloodstock agent, journalist and long serving committee member of Thoroughbred Breeders NSW as well as a foundation member and vice president of the NSW Racehorse Owners Association, Les spent a lifetime committed to the thoroughbred. Les was a highly influential figure within the breeding and racing world providing a voice to both owners and breeders.
Among Les’ many talents as a successful owner-breeder, Les was passionate about helping the next generation, providing young people with encouragement, mentoring, and support to further their careers. He was also heavily involved in the continued research and development into the thoroughbred breed. In 1995, Les was a foundation member of the Equine Advisory Committee to AgriFutures allocating funding for equine research projects.
To this day, AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program continues to invest in high-impact research and development that improves the sustainability, productivity, and competitiveness of the Australian Thoroughbred Industry. The program supports investment in projects across key priority areas including thoroughbred horse breeding and welfare, workforce safety and community engagement, and the prevention of thoroughbred diseases and parasites.
In honour of Les’ lifetime commitment to the thoroughbred and racing industry, AgriFutures Australia has announced the establishment of a new scholarship – the Les Young Scholarship. This scholarship will continue Les’ legacy as a supporter and mentor in the industry he dedicated so much to by providing young people the opportunity to further their skills and knowledge.
The scholarship will provide funding and support to the successful applicant via a combination of theory coursework and a paid placement with an international horse stud in the United Kingdom or Irish National Stud where they will develop further understanding around foaling and breeding, bloodstock husbandry and stable and equine management. All travel, visas and accommodation will be covered by the scholarship.
To be considered for the scholarship, applicants should be aged between 18 and 25 years, have at least two years industry experience as well as a passion to remain part of the thoroughbred industry as their career progresses. For more information regarding the Les Young Scholarship, selection criteria and how to apply, visit: 2023 Les Young Scholarship | AgriFutures Australia