Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Guest Blog Contest: Third Place | Racing for Education, by Ciara Bowen

Morrisville State College Thoroughbred racing students
Photo courtesy of Ciara Bowen

Racing for Education
By Ciara Bowen

Along a seemingly endless thruway in central New York, there’s a small town that most people don’t even realize exists. Some would call it a sleepy place, one that’s slightly homey. The students that go to college there call it boring. There are no movie theaters, no mall, not even a Wal-Mart or a bowling alley. There are a few restaurants, a couple gas stations, a bank, and an abundance of cars marked with the words University Police. A small library is nestled between a couple other buildings, making it slightly hidden and rarely used.  To find any excitement here, you have to delve deeper into Morrisville. Find the equine students – the equine racing students, to be exact.

There aren’t many of us, which is both nice but unfortunate. In a sport that’s struggling, we need all the newcomers that we can get. Morrisville needs more exposure, as it is one of the only colleges throughout the country that offers a degree in Thoroughbred racing management. It is the only one, to its knowledge, that trains its own horses and then takes them and students to racetracks to run. Students are responsible for the daily care of at least one horse, and work at least four weekends per semester. When horses are taken to the track to either breeze or race, students accompany them. They tack them, cool them out, school them, and take them to the paddock, among other tasks.

Morrisville is as close to the real life racing world as a school can get, and nearly all of us there enjoy it. There are days when we wonder why we chose this industry, and then there are other days where we don’t have to question it at all. I can’t speak for my fellow students, but I can honestly say that I’m thankful for what Morrisville has offered me.

This hardly even scratches the surface of what it’s like there. . . I guess anyone who wants to see more about it needs to come check it out themselves!

Be sure to check out Ciara's own blog, Into the Stretch! She has a Facebook page dedicated to her endeavors in writing about racing and photography, which you can "like" here, and can also be found on Instagram @intothestretch.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting to learn about a school with classes in horse racing! Thank you for sharing your story, Ciara, and I wish you all the best in your studies.