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Equine Studies students participate in multi-state tour of the horse racing industry

This summer, six West Virginia University students got an inside look at the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing industries during an intensive, week-long travel course offered by the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. Students participating in Racehorse Industry Tour course

Designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the horse racing industry, the Racehorse Industry Tour gave students the opportunity to visit breeding farms, sales facilities, race tracks, veterinary hospitals and connect with WVU alumni working in the industry.

“This course gives students a behind-the-scenes look at the industry, the job opportunities within it, and allows them to network with industry professionals,” said Crystal Smith, teaching associate professor of animal and nutritional sciences. “Meeting WVU equine studies alumni who work at some of the best farms in the country allows current students to ask candid questions, gain valuable advice on skills needed to be marketable, and helps them realize a career in the industry is attainable if they have the work ethic and passion.”

Beginning at a large-scale breeding and racing facility in Pennsylvania and ending at the prestigious Churchill Downs in Kentucky, the tour allowed students to learn more about internship and employment opportunities within the industry.

“On this trip, we met with internship program coordinators and were given the opportunity to ask questions and get a better idea of what it takes to get in and what they’re looking for in their interns,” said Samantha Osborne, a senior animal and nutritional sciences major from Walkersville. “If I hadn’t gone on this trip, I might not know about the variety of jobs available in the industry.”

Highlights of the trip included learning about stallion management from one of the first female stallion managers in the industry, a tour of Keeneland which is home to America’s largest sales company specializing in Thoroughbreds, and watching horse races at Churchill Downs.

“Watching the races added a whole new perspective to what the trainers, jockeys and farm staff do to get the horses to where they are,” said Jill Eberlein, a junior marketing major from Staten Island, New York.

The Racehorse Industry Tour is offered every other summer and is open to students in any major who are minoring in equine studies.



CONTACT: Lindsay Willey, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design