Stud Start Applications open

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) has today opened applications for its successful Stud Start program, which provides a gateway for people with little or no previous experience to enter the breeding industry.

Fully funded by TBA, Stud Start was launched last year to compliment TBA’s flagship training program, Fast Track, and is designed for people – particularly in rural areas – who are looking for a career change or to re-enter the workforce, who are keen to pursue a career in the thoroughbred breeding sector.

Successful applicants will be inducted into a six-week taster program that combines online learning with an intensive week-long learning block in Scone (NSW).

During the week in Scone, students will receive class-based education and hands-on experience with horses, which puts into practice the online lessons they have completed over the previous five weeks. Other activities include farm visits, hearing from guest speakers and networking opportunities.

On conclusion of the six-week course, participants will have completed three units of competency which can be used in their Certificate III in Horse Breeding, should they choose to pursue this qualification.

The aim is to provide participants with the basic skills, knowledge and contacts necessary to take their first steps towards joining Australia’s thriving breeding industry.

“Stud Start will provide successful participants the confidence and skills to enter a career within thoroughbred industry. This year we are excited to offer not only face-to-face learning but a hybrid structure of online study and hands-on practice throughout the six weeks, which is a development from the launch of the program in 2023,” says Madison Tims, TBA’s education and projects manager.

“The course structure provides the foundational horse skills needed to begin a career on farm as well as putting trainees on a path to securing a formal qualification.”

TBA is encouraging any interested parties to apply for the program by Friday, 17th May. Successful applicants will commence their online learning from Monday, 17th June, with the course ending on Monday, 22nd July.

Following the online learning component, students will participate in an intensive course at TAFE in Scone from Wednesday, 24th July to Wednesday, 31st July.

Students will be provided with accommodation during the week in Scone. Depending on the participant’s travel requirements, financial assistance may also be provided.

“Thoroughbred Breeders Australia are always looking for new initiatives to bring people into the breeding sector. This is a national program designed to provide an opportunity for those seeking a career change or looking to re-enter the workforce to get a job with horses,” says TBA chief executive, Tom Reilly.

In addition to Stud Start, TBA also runs Fast Track, a 12-month traineeship program that places students in full time employment on stud farms around the country while they study for the Certificate III in Horse Breeding – a nationally recognised formal qualification. Now in its seventh year, the 2024 Fast Track intake is set to commence in late May.

For enquiries about the Stud Start program or Fast Track, please contact Madison Tims at madison@tbaus.com or by phone on 0405 535 436.

Start your Stud Start application here.

Les Young Scholarship Applications OPen

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 infuential 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 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 where they will develop further understanding around foaling and breeding. bloodstock husbandry and stable and equine management. All travel 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 industry as their career progresses.

For more about the scholarship and to apply, click here.

Finalists announced for the 2024 Australian Stud And Stable Staff Awards

The Australian Stud And Stable Staff Awards have been a beacon of recognition, appreciation and motivation for industry professionals over the past decade. Racing Australia, Thoroughbred Breeders and Godolphin are pleased to announce the 14 finalists for the 2024 edition.

These 14 finalists embody the dedication and passion that define the backbone of our industry and the spirit of our great sport. Each finalist has demonstrated exceptional commitment and expertise in their respective roles, upholding the highest standards of professionalism and care for the thoroughbred, staff and fellow colleagues.

“The calibre of nominees this year reflects the depth of talent and commitment within our industry. Selecting the two finalists in each category was incredibly challenging, yet it was great to see the passion that each individual brings to the table,” remarked Johan Petzer, Chair of the Stud And Stable Staff Awards judging panel.

The finalists for each category are as follows:

Leadership Award (Stud or Stable) sponsored by Victoria Racing Club

· Fionnan McCarthy – McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC

· Paul Reid – Godolphin, NSW

Horsemanship Award (Stud or Stable) sponsored by Inglis

· Arda Tascioglu – Freelancer, NSW

· Hazel Fertier – Freelancer, SA

Dedication to Breeding Award sponsored by Magic Millions

· Diane Colebrook – Armidale Stud, TAS

· Ngyrie Gonzalez – Alwyn Park Stud, WA

Dedication to Racing Award sponsored by Australian Turf Club

· Fiona Fletcher – Greg Eurell Racing, VIC

· Trudie Clarke – TRNT, NT

Administration and Ancillary Award (Stud or Stable) sponsored by MRC Foundation

· Belinda Miller – Sledmere Stud, NSW

· Emma Cully – Star Thoroughbreds, NSW

Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award sponsored by Queensland Off-The-Track

· Julie Bramucci – Self-employed, VIC

· Nicole Mutimer – NT Institute of Equestrian Sport, NT

Newcomer Award (Stud or Stable) sponsored by Marcus Oldham and Thoroughbred Industry Careers

· Isabelle Toole – Vinery Stud, NSW

· Jack Fonteyn – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing, NSW

Congratulations to all the finalists of this year’s Stud And Stable Staff Awards, along with the individuals who put forward their nominations.

It’s important to highlight that the Stud And Stable Staff Awards are designed to amplify your voice and showcase exceptional talent within the thoroughbred industry.

“This annual event is one I eagerly await and marking a decade of these awards will make it a truly special celebration,” enthused Petzer

The ceremony to announce the winners of the 2024 Australian Stud And Stable Staff Awards will take place on Wednesday, 29 May at The Star Gold Coast hosted by Ally Mosley and James Tzaferis.

Stud And Stable Staff Awards Shortlist Announced

The Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards proudly shortlisting committee have announced the shortlisted nominees for the 2024 edition. The committee expressed gratitude for the exceptional quality of nominations this year.

Please find below the nominees for the 2024 Awards:  

Leadership Award (Stud or Stable)

  • Bailey Allen – Seymour Park, VIC
  • Ben Gunn – Yulong Investments, VIC
  • Fionnan McCarthy – McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC
  • Jim Carey – Newgate Farm, NSW Paul Reid – Godolphin, NSW  

Horsemanship Award (Stud or Stable)

  • Adam Daly – Newgate Farm, NSW
  • Adam Maitland – Godolphin, NSW
  • Arda Tascioglu – Freelancer, NSW
  • Dennis Gilmanov – Segenhoe Stud, NSW
  • Hazel Fertier – Freelancer, SA  

Dedication to Breeding Award

  • Diane Colebrook – Armidale Stud, TAS
  • Haley Forde – Aquis Farm, QLD
  • Ngyrie Gonzalez – Alwyn Park Stud, WA
  • Rhys Coghlan – Yulong Investments, VIC
  • Sorcha Sweeny – Yulong Investments, VIC  

Dedication to Racing Award

  • Fiona Fletcher – Greg Eurell Racing, VIC
  • Ian Smith – Annabel Neasham, NSW
  • Peter Jones – Self-employed, SA
  • Timothy Hanley – McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC
  • Trudie Clarke – TRNT, NT  

Administration and Ancillary Award (Stud or Stable)

  • Belinda Miller – Sledmere Stud, NSW
  • Emma Cully – Star Thoroughbreds, NSW
  • Emma Parkinson – Vinery Stud, NSW
  • Matt Harrington – Danny O’Brien Racing, VIC
  • Matthew Comerford – Widden Stud, NSW
  • Sophie Johnson – Michael Freedman Racing, NSW
  • Wayne Massingham – Inglis, NSW

Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award

  • Emily Kendall – Sheany Park, NSW
  • Julie Bramucci – Self-employed, VIC
  • Kate Rogers – Self-employed, QLD
  • Nicole Mutimer – NT Institute of Equestrian Sport, NT
  • Rebecca Henry – Self-employed, QLD  

Newcomer Award (Stud or Stable)

  • Erin Lowry – Godolphin, NSW
  • Isabelle Toole – Vinery Stud, NSW
  • Jack Fonteyn – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing, NSW
  • Matilda Jones – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing, NSW
  • Shane Wormington – Clear Mountain Fairview, QLD

We would like to extend a thank you once again to all who nominated and for your continued support of the Awards, which honours the commitment and passion of the individuals who form the backbone of our industry and great sport.

The two finalists for each category for the Awards will be announced on Friday, March 29, 2024 and the ceremony to celebrate these finalists will take place at The Star Gold Coast on Wednesday, 29 May 2024.  

Nominations now open for the 2024 Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards

The Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards proudly announce the commencement of nominations, welcoming you to appreciate, celebrate and motivate individuals shaping the future of our industry. This is your chance to show your gratitude as we honour the commitment and passion displayed by the backbone of our industry and great sport.

These Awards offer a platform for everyone to amplify their appreciation for colleagues, friends or family members who work within the thoroughbred industry. While the nomination process remains simple, it stands as a powerful and significant means of acknowledging their work and contributions.

Sebastian Hutch sums up this sentiment, expressing, “I encourage anyone with an inclination to nominate to do so, it’s a tremendous way to recognise people who commit their heart and soul to our great industry.”

This year, a six-week submission window is available, closing 5.00pm AEDT on Monday, 19 February 2024. As you submit a nomination, consider how this small amount of your time and effort will not only instill pride in your nominee but also highlight the value of their contributions to the industry.

Every individual within the thoroughbred industry has a place in these Awards, with nominations accepted across seven categories:

  • Leadership Award (Sponsored by Victoria Racing Club)
  • Horsemanship Award (Sponsored by Inglis)
  • Dedication to Breeding Award (Sponsored by Magic Millions)
  • Dedication to Racing Award (Sponsored by Australian Turf Club)
  • Administrative and Ancillary Services Award (Sponsored by Melbourne Racing Club Foundation)
  • Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award (Sponsored by Queensland Off-The-Track (QOTT Program)
  • Newcomer Award (Sponsored by Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Marcus Oldham College)

Each category offers a cash prize of $10,000 for the winner and $3,000 for the runner-up, except for the Newcomer category, where the winner receives $5,000 and the runner-up $3,000.

The overall Excellence Award presented at the end of the evening, honours an individual who has made significant, exceptional contributions to the industry. In 2023, John “Crewie’ Brady received this honour for his remarkable 70-year tenure in the thoroughbred industry, among icons like Tommy Smith and Gai Waterhouse.

That narrative captures the primary goals of the Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards. These Awards are proudly presented by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Racing Australia, supported by Godolphin, and sponsored by the Victoria Racing Club, Australian Turf Club, Queensland Off-The-Track (QOTT Program), Inglis, Magic Millions, Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, along with Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Marcus Oldham.

Ready to nominate? Amplify your voice! Nominations close at 5.00pm AEDT on Monday, 19 February 2024.

Key dates:

  • Nominations open: Tuesday, 9 January, 2024
  • Nominations close: Monday, 19 February, 2024
  • Shortlist announced: Wednesday, 13 March, 2024
  • Finalists announced: Friday, 29 March, 2024
  • Awards ceremony: Wednesday, 29 May – Gold Coast, QLD

Strong Political Support For The Thoroughbred Industry

Federal politicians have pledged bipartisan support for the thoroughbred industry, emphasising its importance to the economy and the integral part it plays in the social fabric of rural, regional and metropolitan Australia. 

More than 40 MPs and Senators from across the political divide gathered with industry leaders at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday evening for an event hosted by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) and the Parliamentary Friends of Primary Producers, which was staged for the first time since the pandemic. 

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt reaffirmed the government’s support of the thoroughbred industry and its assistance with issues such as biosecurity, horse traceability and equine welfare initiatives.  

“It is a really important opportunity for us all to celebrate this important industry and I guess I just want to convey to you the support from the Albanese government for your industry,” Mr Watt said.

“There’s a lot of collaboration going on between our government here and the industry and I look forward to continuing to do that in the future.” 

Nationals Leader David Littleproud backed up Mr Watt’s bipartisan approach to the thoroughbred industry. 

“To each and every one of you, please don’t underestimate the role and the significance that you play in regional and rural Australia, and that you play for this nation,” Mr Littleproud said. 

“The thoroughbred industry is so important from the city to the bush. It plays not just a financial one and an economic one in jobs, but it’s our outlet, an outlet for so many Australians to come together.” 

The cross-party event was run by co-convenors, Western Australian Liberal MP Nola Marino and NSW Labor MP Meryl Swanson, and held in the private courtyard of Speaker Milton Dick. 

TBA chief executive Tom Reilly conducted a range of one-on-one meetings with officials and politicians prior to the cross-party event discussing issues such as the government’s impending wagering reforms.  

“Events like this are so important for the thoroughbred industry. In breeding and racing we have lots of touch points with the federal government and these can throw up some complex issues to deal with,” Reilly said. 

“To have the people who make decisions on policy in the room and listening and engaging with people from breeding and racing is a great opportunity. I was delighted with the turn-out of over 40 politicians including senior members of the government and opposition.” 

Ms Marino, a long-time thoroughbred breeder, said that it was imperative that the industry remains a thriving one. 

“I know this industry employs thousands, but it is critical to underpinning many rural and regional economies as well and the employment opportunities that go with that,” Ms Marino said. 

Ms Swanson urged thoroughbred leaders to continue to advocate for the industry. 

“Keep doing what you’re doing, keep representing the industry as brilliantly as you do and onward and upward for thoroughbred breeding and racing in Australia,” she said. 

The thoroughbred industry creates more than 80,000 jobs while the breeding sector alone is responsible for 11,500 employees, nearly all of which are in regional Australia. 

Australia also has more than 100,000 racehorse owners, more than Europe and America combined, underlining the public’s engagement with the sport.

Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell, who was a key figure in helping negotiate the reintroduction of thoroughbred exports to China, also attended the evening as did his cabinet colleague Bill Shorten, whose electorate of Maribyrnong is where Melbourne racecourses Moonee Valley and Flemington are located. 

Member for Riverina Michael McCormack, the former Deputy Prime Minister and passionate racing person, also attended as did former National Party leader Barnaby Joyce, liaising with industry figures including champion trainer Peter Moody, auction house representatives from Magic Millions and Inglis as well as a range of breeders from across the country. 

Widden Stud principal Antony Thompson, who has thoroughbred breeding farms in the Hunter Valley in NSW and near Romsey in Victoria, said: “It’s so important that the thoroughbred industry is getting its voice heard in Canberra and I’m grateful that TBA has taken the lead in this space. 

“There was a lot of support for breeding and racing among those that attended and it’s crucial we now work with those politicians to deal with the challenges the industry faces.”  

Nolan Scholarship Applications Open

Jarrod Robinson receiving his Irish National Stud graduation certificate.

Applications for the 2023 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 2022 scholarship recipient, Jarrod Robinson, receiving his certificate after successfully completing the course earlier this year.

“My six months abroad at the Irish National Stud was an incredible experience. The highlights were getting to work with the stallions and developing my knowledge of the Northern Hemisphere breeding practices”, explains Jarrod.
 
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 Sunday 24th September 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 madison@tbaus.com.

Next Crop Stallion Tours

TBA Next Crop is excited to announce its first official event for members.

Stallion tours will be held in Nagambie (VIC) and Scone (NSW) in the lead up to the breeding season, giving young participants the opportunity to visit some of the country’s most respected stud farms and inspect a number of stallions. The tours will be followed by lunch, compliments of TBA, and the chance to mingle with fellow members.

The details for the tours:

Nagambie VIC | Sunday 13th August
10.45am – Yulong Stud 
12.00pm – Darley Northwood Park
12.45pm – Swettenham Stud
1.30pm – Lunch @ Nagambie Brewery and Distillery  
Attendees to organise own transport – cost of lunch is covered by TBA.
Scone NSW | Sunday 20th August
10.30am – Bus Departs Scone Coles Car Park*
11am – Newgate Farm
11.45am – Darley Kelvinside
12.30pm – Vinery Stud
1.15pm – Lunch @ Scone RSL
* Seats on the bus must be reserved when registering – cost of lunch covered by TBA.

Registration is essential and spaces are limited, so we encourage anyone interested to get in quick. Attendees must be a member of TBA Next Crop – you can sign up for free below:

To reserve a spot for either parade, click below:

TBA Next Crop was created to provide people aged 36 and under working in breeding with the chance to network and socialise with their peers in the industry, as well as the opportunity to continue their professional development and education.

For more information on Next Crop or the stallion tour you can Maddy Tims at madison@tbaus.com or call on 0405 535 436.

Scholarship Announced In Memory Of The Late Les Young

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

TBA Funded Management Skills Workshops

Last year TBA hosted a series of workshops across the country to help managers develop their leadership and communication skills. The feedback from those sessions was overwhelmingly positive so we are hosting an expanded series this year which will be run over two days.

Day One will focus on how to motivate and manage a team, respond appropriately under pressure, and navigate difficult conversations in the workplace. All who attend will complete a profile before the workshop,which provides great insight into each individuals’ management style and work preferences. Everyone who came last year said these profiles were incredibly helpful.

Day Two will be an extension of day one with focused learning on skill development around assertiveness, influencing, building trust and other key elements of communication and leadership. This session is available to anyone who attended Workshop One on the day prior.

If you came to a TBA Management Skills Workshop in 2022 you can choose to attend both days this year (if you want a refresher), or to just come to Day Two. If you didn’t attend last year you can come both days, or just join us for Day One.

The cost of the training is fully-funded by TBA and the content is primarily designed for team members in middle-management/supervisory roles.

Workshop Dates:

Scone: Monday 26th & Tuesday 27th June

Nagambie: Monday 10th & Tuesday 11th July

Toowoomba: Thursday 20th & Friday 21st July

Perth: Monday 24th & Tuesday 25th July

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