University News Indigenous student tops in sport of kings

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A young Albany Indigenous man who recently completed his Honours at The University of Western Australia is about to embark on a scholarship that will enable him to be part of the international thoroughbred industry.

Bryce Bevan (24) who has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and a Bachelor of Commerce will be one of the first West Australians to fly to Ireland on a prestigious two-year Darley Flying Start scholarship.

The former St Joseph's College (Albany) and UWA School of Indigenous Studies student is one of only three Australians and 12 people world-wide to win a 2014-2016 scholarship into the Darley Flying Start management program.

Bryce said his grandfather, Keith Bevan, got him interested in horses when he was a boy by taking him to the trots in Albany.  From then on, he has been passionate about horses, gaining his trainers and reinsman's licence in the standardbred racing industry when he was 18 as well as completing various work placements in the thoroughbred racing industry while studying at UWA.

"I decided to study two broad degrees at UWA because although it had always been my ambition to pursue a career in the racing industry, I thought I should have something to fall back on while still studying something that was relevant," he said.

"I don't know why I like horses so much, but there's a saying that sums it up for me: ‘There is something good about the outside of the horse that is good for the inside of a man.'"

Bryce did work experience with auction house Magic Millions and Perth trainer Simon Miller before applying for the Darley Flying Start scholarship.  The application process involved a thorough written application, sending videos of him working with horses, online and written assessments and a face-to-face interview with Darley management in Sydney in April.  

Bryce will fly to Kildangan Stud in Ireland to begin his scholarship on August 18 and over the next two years will gain valuable experience at various Darley locations including the United Kingdom, United States, Dubai and Sydney.

Previous graduates of Darley Flying Start are currently running their own enterprises or working for thoroughbred industry leaders in Australia and throughout Europe, in the USA, Canada, South America, Asia, South Africa, New Zealand the United Arab Emirates.  Career areas include media, racing, breeding, bloodstock, sales, consultancy, veterinary and marketing.

"I'm very interested in breeding and stud management," he said.

While at UWA, Bryce won several other scholarships including the BHP Billiton Iron Ore Indigenous Scholarship, Mitsubishi Corporation Indigenous Scholarship, and the Grain Research and Development Corporation Indigenous Training Award.  

In 2012 and 2013, Bryce was an exchange student at Indiana University in the US where he was involved in the university's Western Equestrian team as well as organising work experience with Darley at their stud, Jonabell Farm in Kentucky.

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