Gemma Armeni tops the class in Equine Studies (VCE VET)

Gemma Armeni from Damascus College in Mount Clear has received a score of 47 for Equine Studies (VCE VET) in 2017.

Gemma feels priviledged to have had the opportunity to be apart of the Cert II VET Equine Studies class is 2017 run through Skillinvest. "This course has no doubt opened doors for me and given me new possible career pathways that I didn't even know were there. The knowledge and experiences that I have gained are truly invaluable, and to have gained these in such a fun, respectful and supportive class/prac environment is phenomenal!"

"I am forever grateful for the team at Skillinvest for facilitating this course that has been so influential to me, and to my amazing teachers Kim Packer and Ruth Taylor. They both played such a large role in my success, always encouraging me to do the best I possibly could and always going above and beyond to provide me with the resources and help/advice I needed. For that, my study score of 47 is a true asset to their dedication and teaching." highlighted Gemma.

Gemma's horse, Archie, or 'Seaside Weekend' as he is known in the racing world, is an 8 year old OTT Thoroughbred gelding by the famous American Stallion 'Any Given Saturday' and out of the Canadian Mare 'South Bay Cove'.

Archie was born and bred in America, and then travelled to Ireland en route to Hong Kong to commence his racing career. After an unsuccessful career - having been too slow, Archie then came to Australia (just casually gaining his frequent flyer points!). Having no use for him, unfortunately he was put on a meat truck. Thankfully, he was rescued and turned into a  'show pony' aspiring for the Garryowen.                        

However, he inquired an injury in the paddock by a kick to the leg from another horse, and although he recovered sound, he was deemed too 'ugly' to show because of the splint he now has.

After being turned out into the paddock for a little while, a girl Gemma's age living in Frankston purchased him as a project horse, and saw a future for him as a showjumper.

He quickly excelled in this, proving to be a natural jumper with a willing attitude, great technique and scope - and a lot of potential.  Two years later after he was competently training 120cm, his owner put him up for sale. This is where Gemma comes into his life.

Purchasing this spunky boy has to be one of the greatest things Gemma has ever done. In the short two and a half months that she has owned him, Archie has transitioned beautifully into his new home and is loving his new life as an eventer. He has been a quick learner in the dressage phase, establishing some fancy moves, and a natural talent in the cross country phase, always jumping so honest and bold.

"I am at awe everyday by his laid back attitude and amazing capability to take everything in his stride. He is a pure example against the typical negative stereotype of 'hot OTT Thoroughbred' and I believe I owe the opportunities he has been given since his life in Hong Kong in terms of life after racing for this. It has shaped the horse he is today, and I am proud to call him mine" said Gemma.