Amy Holtby

My RAU experience

The highly credible reputation of the RAU and its alumni network mean that studying at Cirencester is more than a degree - it is an experience that shapes your future. The Equine Management degree combines business, finance and marketing modules with specialist anatomy and physiology topics. With input from leading industry figures, and trips to large equine operations, the RAU provides a high-quality and industry-specific education that for me has laid the foundations for a career at the cutting-edge of the Thoroughbred industry.

What I gained from the RAU 

While on study tour in Ireland during my second year, I attended a genetics lecture at the equine genetics start-up company Equinome that is famous for the ‘Speed Gene’ test for Thoroughbreds. I was hooked!

Following a collaboration with company co-founder Professor Emmeline Hill for my final year dissertation, I moved to Dublin to undertake a role at Equinome (now Plusvital) using experience and knowledge from my time at the RAU. Since then, I have worked in various aspects of the company including business administration, sample management and testing, and assisting with field trials.

I have always been interested in research, particularly industry application of the latest equine science to enhance training and production, and so I pursued the opportunity to work with Plusvital as an industry partner to carry out a PhD project at University College Dublin. My research investigating genetic contributions to behavioural traits in the Thoroughbred horse is currently in its final stages. Working with Professor Hill and Plusvital I am looking forward to translating my scientific findings into accessible, useful insights for the Thoroughbred industry.

It has been hugely empowering, as a woman working within a scientific field, to frequently hear positive feedback in relation to the employability and esteemed reputation of RAU alumni. It has been a privilege to work with the global leaders in equine genetics over the last seven years, and I have no doubt that the scientific training and industry expertise I acquired during my time at Cirencester kick-started my career in this growing and exciting field of research.