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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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French student studying degree in Northern Ireland

In this article, Manon Varenne, an international student completing a BSc (Honours) Degree in Equine Management at CAFRE – Enniskillen Campus, who lives in Lyon, France, provides an account of her first two years of studying with CAFRE.

I have had a passion for horses from a young age and I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the equine industry, writes the CAFRE student.

I had been looking for an equine college in France. However, I could not find one that combined all of the disciplines necessary to work in the equine industry. During a prominent horse show in Lyon, I met an Irish man, whom I talked to about equine colleges.

He suggested that I looked for an education establishment in Ireland, a country well-known for its horses and suggested that I research CAFRE courses.

I visited the CAFRE website and instantly liked what I saw. Enniskillen Campus delivers the widest range of equine courses in Ireland, courses that have been developed by balancing the industry’s needs with the career aspirations of students.

I attended an open day at the campus; it was very impressive. The college had everything I wanted; a comprehensive university course, great horses, amazing facilities and very kind staff.

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Besides, I knew CAFRE would give me a great insight into all areas of the equine industry and provide me with hands-on experience that I would not get anywhere else. I decided that Enniskillen was the right choice for me and applied to study at the college.

Practical sessions and theory classes

I am enjoying my time at CAFRE; it is exactly what I was looking for. There is a perfect mix of practical sessions and theory classes that will prepare me for working in the equine industry.

CAFRE has amazing industry links. It provides students with high profile industry contacts through hosting careers days, offering industry bursary schemes and attending foal sales.

Before studying at CAFRE, I had limited knowledge of the breeding and racing aspects of the equine industry. I have learned a lot very quickly, and now I am riding out the college racehorses in the mornings.


I am delighted I decided to study at CAFRE. I would highly recommend the college to anyone with an interest in horses.

You will get lots of opportunities to further your knowledge of horses and be introduced to the wide variety of equine careers available. I have had many great experiences here so far and had lots of fun.

I gained invaluable skills and experience.  Also, I encourage you to look at the further and higher education courses available at CAFRE.

Through studying at the college, you will get equipped with employability skills for life and benefit from the superb on-campus facilities.

How to apply

Applications for September 2021 enrolments onto the BSc (Honours) Degree and Foundation Degree in Equine Management are still being accepted through UCAS.

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) is well known as the specialist agri-food and land-based college in Northern Ireland.

To note, the reputation, which CAFRE has developed, attracts applications from both local and international locations.

Lastly, applications for Further Education courses at Level 2 and Level 3 can be completed online, up to the end of June, through the CAFRE website.

You can find more CAFRE student and graduate testimonials.

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