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.
Short-Term Equine/Landscape & Study Tour Co-ordinator
Trish deals with the equine, landscaping and tourism placements. She has spent the last decade working as a professional traditional Irish musician and has been lucky enough to tour the world through that work, so understands what it’s like to visit new countries and cultures, and deal with language barriers. She began working with Equipeople in March 2018, but still performs and teaches regularly as a musician. Trish also grew up surrounded by animals - she started horse-riding at a very young age, and her mother is a dog behaviorist and trainer. Trish has coached numerous riders, specialising in flatwork, and is currently owned by Monty, her 17.2hh Irish Draft gelding, whom she has rehabbed from injury to compete in Dressage. Her goal in life is to win Mastermind with her specialist subject, Father Ted.
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
Agricultural Short-Term Co-ordinator
Val studied Sociology at West Virginia University, where she received a swimming scholarship to attend. Going to America on her own at 17 to study she knows exactly how it feels to be homesick and work through it. Valerie then worked in financial services in Dublin for ten years before taking time out to concentrate on the younger years with her three children. She then worked in the leisure industry, teaching and coaching many swimmers for a few years before joining us for a new challenge. Val’s husband comes from a long line of Offaly farmers. Val’s role with Equipeople is to look after student placements on the farm and is a friendly voice for students and hosts. Val loves to travel Ireland with her family and dog. She has ticked most counties off her bucket list, but the joy of Ireland is there is always more to explore and not enough time.
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!
Airport co-ordinator & Student Contact
Irene started work as a local radio reporter in the north of Scotland, covering everything from farming to political issues. Later she studied Marketing and Business at University in Scotland. She worked in Marketing and PR for hi-tech companies all over the UK for a number of years. Following a move to Ireland over 10 years ago, Irene worked as a host and guardian to Spanish boarding school students. This has led to a personal interest in looking after overseas teenagers and ensuring they enjoy their learning and cultural experience in Ireland as much as her own teen has. Now free time involves pilates, cats, dogs and a very musical teenager.