Caroline was born and grew up in a large, old house near Kilcock, surrounded by horses, dogs and cats. She went the usual Pony Club and hunting route into a career with horses. In 1980 she did her BHSAI exams in England and a couple of years later went back to complete the BHSII qualification. The following ten years consisted mainly of instructing and grooming international three day event horses. In 1990, she got sense and started to go into the business side of the equine sector and set out to learn as much as she could about marketing. This led to her working as Marketing Manager for a large leisure company and then for a major riding centre. In 1994, she married Stan and a year later set up Equipeople. In 1997, she and Stan had a son, Logan who is the apple of his parents eye.
Au Pair/Long-Term Co-ordinator
Mandy’s job is to look after student placements on the farm-, agro-home- and tourism programmes. Hers is the voice at the end of the line for our students and hosts and one of the friendly faces they could expect to see for their visit. Having worked in Barclay's Bank for over 20 years, some of those in the complaints department, she is well equipped to help new arrivals get around any little ‘settling in’ issues. Mandy came to Ireland in 2007 from Essex in England bringing with her a cat, a dog, and two teenage sons and having ‘finally’ recovered from the journey is happily settled near our Portarlington Office. Since then Mandy has developed a passion for coloured horses and has bred her own out of her mare. When she manages to grab a minute to herself she likes to immerse herself in the pages of a good science fiction or fantasy novel coupled with the essential cup of good strong coffee.
ABOUT EQUIPEOPLE WORK EXPERIENCE
Equipeople has been placing young Europeans in equine and agricultural work experience placements throughout Ireland since 2003. We have a network of over 400 hosts who share their way of life with students that work on the farm as part of the family, while learning and experiencing the Irish way of life and its culture. Students should go home with a comprehensive understanding of Irish farming and our agricultural way of life. We also expect that our host farmers will have learnt from the students, both agriculturally and culturally.
l-r Mandy, Irene, Caroline, Val, Valérie, Trish
Travel Co-ordinator & Student Contact
Valérie is a French native. She moved to Ireland in 1994 after being contracted as a jewellery designer. In 1999 she started her own business as a fashion designer, specialising in bridal wear. She has also taught art to classes of young students, and offered sewing lessons for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. She is a mother to three sons, ranging in age from 23 to 4, so understands the demands of teenagers! She is also perfectly equipped to help our students to get the best from their time here and assist with any problems they may have, having been in the position of moving to a new country and having to learn a new language - she knows how difficult the language barrier can be! Valérie talks to our short term students every week, and is the brains behind their travel to and from placements.
Heather is one of our short-term coordinators. She works with the equine, agri-tourism, landscaping and small-animal students, as well as helping Caroline with Study Tours. Heather was brought up on a dairy farm, has also had a lifetime involvement with horses and helps her husband with his busy landscaping business. With two daughters of university age, Heather has plenty of experience with students!
Short-Term Co-ordinator & Student Contact
Linda is one of our fantastic placement coordinators working on placing short term agricultural students. She and her husband run a beef farm near Portarlington and she has children now in their twenties, so she knows about placing from both the farmers' and a parent's perspective. Linda also helps out with travel arrangements if needed. Outside of work and farming, Linda is a fantastic cake maker and makes customised cakes for every occasion.