Jessie off to "Flying Start" in thoroughbred career

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'It would be a dream to bring a Derby winner back here.'

By James Roberts

John Jessie is enjoying the warm, dry Kentucky weather.

Jessie is spending the summer back home in Campbellsville. But for the past six months, he has been in Ireland as part of the Irish National Stud horse program. There, he and 26 other students from around the world got an inside look at the breeding of thoroughbreds.

"You hear about Ireland getting a lot of rain and being damp," Jessie said. "It was definitely that."

But it was also a beautiful country, Jessie said, with its lush green countryside.

The weather was the most difficult obstacle to overcome, Jessie said.

"You just had to get used to that."

But National Stud is just the beginning for Jessie, who will return to Ireland in August for the prestigious Darley Flying Start program, which offers intensive management training for those who seek to be thoroughbred industry leaders.

The son of Vicki Mullins and the late Keith Jessie and the stepson of the late Doug Mullins, Jessie's interest in horses began as a youngster during his many trips to Keeneland.

Read more about this story and others in Monday's print edition.