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See the World

September 9, 2019 Jill Wegenast
Equine students in Argentina and Uruguay

Every other summer for the last decade, Equine students spend 10-14 days abroad on a trip that immerses them in the horse industry of a different country.  This summer, students spent 11 days in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay where they experienced first-hand the similarities and differences between the U.S. and South American horse industries.

Adjunct Professor Michele Fischer, an alum of the Equine Industry Program at UofL, led the student trip along with EIP Coordinator Terri Burch.  Michele used her international experience to work very closely with the tour company to enure that every stop on the trip tied into topics that students learn about in the equine program.

Michele had the following to say about the trip to Argentina and Uruguay:

One of the most remarkable things was everyone that hosted us, they spent so much time with the students and with the tour.  What blew us away was even though it was a group of students, they had three course meals prepared, special rooms for us at the track, and they were genuinely glad that we were there to learn.  At every location we visited, they were really interested in what our program was about and showing us as much as we wanted to see.  One of many examples of this was our visit to Palermo (racetrack) for one of their largest racing days of the year.  Ignacio Pavlovsky, who is a veterinarian, board member, and vice president, met us at the entrance, took us up to our room, and spent some time with us. From a business standpoint, looking at the challenges that the South American racing industry may face, while they may be slightly different from what we see in the United States, they’re similar in many ways. Whether it be sports betting, casinos, attracting people to the races – those are all common themes… Being able to see those similarities as well as the differences was so valuable for our students.

As (student) Lee Lenkoff said, “the thing that strikes you throughout the whole trip is just how much they love the horse in Argentina…Everyone was passionate about horses – whether it was the polo groups or the racing, [or] the breeding, they were very passionate about what they were doing and the care of the horse.”

For Sophomore Hailey Jaggers, these 11 days changed her perspective on her career path. “I didn’t go into the trip to pursue [racing], but after the trip, I want to learn more about racing. I left Majestic Oaks Hackney Farm to work with Thoroughbreds at Hermitage Farm.” Ultimately, Hailey would like to continue to travel, and feels like her equine degree will give her those opportunities. “I want to work in marketing and am excited about where racing could take me.”

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