Kandace Tignor Shares Her Internship Experience at Fair Hill

By Kandace Tignor | Link to Original Post

My time spent in the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation’s (MHIF) Work Experience Program was invaluable. Based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, I had a tailor-made internship that fit my interests exactly and truly helped increase my experience as I pursue my long-term career goals.

This fall, I will be entering my third year of undergraduate school as I pursue a degree in Animal Science: Pre-Veterinary, with hopes of becoming a veterinarian one day. My tentative plan is to take a break after I graduate from the University of Findlay, in Findlay, Ohio, and enter the workforce to establish financial stability before entering vet school.

Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to work with horses and always felt a strong connection to Thoroughbreds in particular. Thanks to this program from the MHIF, I now have the connections, experience, and skills necessary to find a successful career in the industry.

During my six-week internship, I spent each morning at trainer Mike Trombetta’s Racing Stable, learning the ins-and-outs of how a training barn operates. I took on many roles while I was there, from grooming and hot walking to preparing equipment for races, observing training, ponying horses, and caring for equine injuries such as hoof abscesses. Interacting with employees at the barn also allowed me to learn about their unique roles.

In the afternoons, I would spend my time with Dr. Kathy Anderson, past-president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and owner of Equine Veterinary Care at Fair Hill. Dr. Anderson has a wealth of knowledge to share and I learned about sport horse medicine, such as evaluating lameness and rehabbing injuries, as well as many business aspects of this career. By observing Dr. Anderson’s interactions with clients, I learned what trainers and owners need and want for their horses, as well as how to handle educating clients about the best quality of care for their horses. Along with that, I gained experience working with high-strung horses and became more comfortable with routine procedures that I will most likely need to perform one day.

Dr. Bernadette Smith and Dr. Charles Arsenburg also allowed me to tag along on their farm calls occasionally. When assisting Dr. Smith, we discussed many things pertaining to the schooling required to become a vet. She provided me with good advice and motivation to keep pursuing this difficult yet rewarding career.

I cannot express how grateful I am to the MHIF for providing me with this unique opportunity, specifically designed to help me achieve my short and long-term career goals. My time at Fair Hill was life changing, and as I enter my next year of college, I feel energized and prepared to take on the remainder of my undergraduate studies before embarking on a career as a vet in the Thoroughbred industry.