Godolphin farm manager still smiling


Six months later, Phil Harris cannot help but laugh.

Because you could not have scripted a crueller twist to his first week as the farm manager of Godolphin’s Woodlands Stud near Jerrys Plains.

Originally from Gloucester, before serving as a dairy farmer on the South Coast, he made the move to the Stud as a farm supervisor in June 2008.

By March this year, he was appointed the top role on the farm.

“We got all the guys together and had a discussion of how we wanted to all get along and work more efficiently and all that sort of stuff,” he recalled.

“We also had meetings in the afternoon so we could get to work in the morning.

“Then, the morning after I took over, the Covid lockdowns take place.”

To quote Harris, all changes he had implemented on Day 1 had been ‘thrown out the window’ with temperature checking and social distancing strictly implemented at the Stud.

“But we’ve still got it all down pat,” he added.

Harris, who used to specialise in one section of the farm, is now responsible for the whole farm from activities on the paddocks to road and building maintenance.

Did we mention the machinery?

The workshop on the farm also is also home to 300 types of farming equipment which all needs maintenance.

Thankfully, Harris is still smiling because he can continue to balance these jobs with the style of farming he does appreciate.

“I love the cattle side of the farming operation,” he explained.

“I could not tell you one horse’s name on the farm, so I have nothing to do with the horses as such.

“But I love producing beef cattle and I have always loved growing the grass and having paddocks presented as good as they possibly can.”

When tours of the Godolphin Stud return to schedule in the future, visitors will be intrigued by his knowledge of the farm.