Big Talk


If you could meet any breeder in the world, who would it be and why?

Over the past few years I have been very fortunate to meet with, and learn from, successful breeders around the world. These encounters have had a significant positive influence on my own breeding programme at Quarryfield Farm in County Sligo. Each year I make a number of horse-related international trips and, on my return, friends and fellow breeders call or message to ask about the farm visits, new contacts, learnings and so on.

Big Talk For Breeders is a podcast series of interviews with internationally-successful sport horse breeders. The interviews help to bring the breeding world closer by sharing insights into the experiences and influences that have brought these breeders to where they are today. The international reach of the podcast has been incredible with the top ten listener countries at present being Ireland, UK, USA, The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Australia respectively.

Equestrian sport can often leave even the most successful of breeders in the shadows. How often are we given the opportunity to learn about the makers of our sports greatest equine athletes? This podcast aims to put those being interviewed in the limelight. Unlike a conference or event, these interviews offer breeders an opportunity to listen in their own time. Some breeders choose to listen to the interviews while mucking-out, while others listen to them on long drives. The absence of video and text gives greater power and context to the speakers words.

Intrigued by Kalina Silverman’s TEDx talk “How to skip the small talk and connect with anyone”, I subsequently came across her Big Talk Question Card Game. The game struck me as an interesting way to encourage breeders in the Knowledge Transfer programme to share their own background and experiences in the sport horse industry. Using the Big Talk card game concept I developed 30 new questions, specifically oriented towards horse breeders. The game was trialed with the Waterford Sport Horse Breeders group in early 2018. I then played the game with each of the five Knowledge Transfer groups that I facilitate throughout Ireland.

The enthusiasm that the game received encouraged me to go further with the concept and create a series of interviews with successful breeders, using a similar style of questions. The interview is based on approximately 10 ‘Big Talk’ questions, with a final interview duration of 20-30 minutes.

Big Talk For Breeders has been nominated for the Social Media award at this years Irish Sport Horse Industry Awards, which takes place in The K Club on April 13th.

Available episodes:

Episode 1 - Luc Henry (Stud Hero)
Episode 2 - Marily Power (Suma Stud)
Episode 3 - Tom Brennan (Mill House Stud)
Episode 4 - Floris Van Leuken (Holsten Stables)
Epiosde 5 - Alan Waldman (Waldman Horses)

I hope that you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Michael Doherty