Why this former jockey swapped life in the saddle to manage a 6,000 acre Aussie farm
Switching from a life riding out racehorses in Westmeath to working with sheep in the wilds of Australia might not be on everyone's bucket list, but it seems Ben Brabazon has landed on his feet.
After a stint on the point-to-point circuit, former jockey Ben left Ireland in 2013 to do a spot of travelling with his brother Alan.
It was an adventure that would eventually lead him to a manager's job with the Minto Pastoral Company, the largest supplier of grass-fed lamb to the Coles supermarket chain in Victoria.
"It all kind of fell into place," 28-year-old Ben says of him being offered the post at Mansfield, one of three farms owned by the company, last September.
"When I arrived here a few years ago I did various farm jobs. Early last year I ended up doing a three-month stint with Chris Stoney at the Minto Pastoral Company.
"I was back working in an old job when he contacted me to say the post was available as one of the managers had to go on sick leave."
It was too good an offer to turn down.
When we think of large sheep farms in Ireland, 2,000 or 3,000 ewes might be extreme. In Australia a smaller farm might have in excess of 10,000 head.