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Research Intern Enthusiastic about Kentucky ExperienceBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · October 15, 2014

This year’s group of Kentucky Equine Research interns has settled in, learning the protocols and carrying out all phases of horse care and management for the Thoroughbred geldings used in nutrition and exercise physiology trials. Read what one new intern thinks of the experience so far:

My name is Natalie Ireland and I live in Kendal, Cumbria, UK (Lake District). I’m currently a student at the University of Glasgow, studying veterinary biosciences. I came to Kentucky Equine Research (KER) to complete my master’s placement as my fourth year and then will go back to Glasgow for my final year in September 2015.

Before coming to KER, I did a lot of competing at riding club and affiliated levels. I mainly evented on my Thoroughbred mare, but we also competed successfully in dressage and show-jumping. I also have a 14-hand pony and with him I also competed in a bit of everything. We had a lot of success in dressage and eventing. I worked on a racehorse stud in the Lake District, where I was involved in foaling, general yard work, and breaking in the young stock. That is where I found out about the KER internship, as my boss knew about the internship from previous dealings with KER and Polly Bonner, an equine nutritionist at Saracen Horse Feeds.

Whilst here I am going to be completing a research project that will go toward attaining my master’s degree. I love every minute of being here and being surrounded by horses, as well as learning on the job. The opportunity to come to KER is one I couldn’t pass up, and so far I’ve had so many new experiences, including the Keeneland yearling sales, scoping horses, and carrying out various trials and studies. It’s great to be brought together, living and working with people from all over the world, and hopefully all sorts of doors will be opened from the experience.

As interns, we try and get out to see as many of the things that go on in the area as possible, including watching shows at the Kentucky Horse Park, going to the races, and of course trying some of the local hot spots. It seems a long way off that I’ll be leaving, but unfortunately it will come around in no time! I plan on doing a little bit of travelling around the country and maybe visiting a couple of the other interns at their homes before going back to England to start my final year at Glasgow.

To find out more about the intern program and other career opportunities at Kentucky Equine Research, click here.


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