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Class of 2023

Sam Franklin
“The Maryland Thoroughbred Career program was more than I could have thought it to be. The people we got to meet exposed me to all aspects of the thoroughbred industry, many of which I didn’t know existed. The program opened my eyes to all the careers in the industry and helped to connect me to knowledgeable people in the industry. While beautiful and rewarding, the thoroughbred industry is hard to break into, and through this program I believe I have gotten a head start on my career. I would highly recommend this program to any prospective candidates, as although the program is short the experiences and people you meet make it a great use of your time.”

Olivia Kaltenbach
“Taking part in the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program was nothing short of a life changing experience. Throughout the week, we were able to talk with countless industry professionals and farm managers that were able to give some of the best advice I have heard about working in the horse industry. Before taking part in the MTCP, I had no idea that there were so many different opportunities within the horse industry that may seem as though they have no relation at all. I have a totally different outlook on my future now, especially after hearing the advice that there are sorts of jobs where having horse experience is incredibly valuable and not a common trait among applicants. I highly recommend this program to any and all horse enthusiasts who are looking for their place in the industry!”


Class of 2022

Liz Ridenour
“I participated in the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program in June 2022. I grew up in Maryland and had some prior experience in the Thoroughbred industry, but this program was an incredible opportunity to dive deeper into the Thoroughbred industry and learn its inner workings, and the job opportunities available within it. If I had to pick a favorite visit from the week, it would be the visit to Fair Hill Training Center. There, we watched the horses exercise, and spoke with both individuals who run the center, those who train horses there, as well as those who run the Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center. That experience solidified my desire to work in the field of equine sports medicine, and I would unreservedly recommend the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program to anyone who is interested in a career in the Thoroughbred industry, and the equine industry at large.”

Marina Rohbeck
“I finished the program in 2022. The program gave me such an in-depth experience in the racing industry. I had no prior experience or knowledge of the industry coming into the program. I always wanted to be an equine veterinarian, but now I have an interest in reproductive health. When we visited Country Life Farms, I was able to witness an ultrasound on a pregnant mare. As soon as I saw the foal’s heartbeat, I knew that is what I wanted to spend my career doing. The whole program was such a positive experience; everyone was friendly and welcoming. I will always recommend students to apply to the program, regardless if they know anything about the industry or if they do not know what they want to make their career. I learned so much over the course of the week and I came home with a higher knowledge about the racing industry. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.”

Class of 2021

Charles Churchill
“The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program was an incredible experience, one I will remember forever. As a first generation horseman, I’ve begun to learn that the industry can be an exclusive network that creates a barrier for newcomers, which makes it hard to find your footing. This program does a terrific job at bringing in intrigued young minds who are seeking out educational experiences and connecting them to the local heroes that drive the success of the Maryland Thoroughbred industry. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to learn from the array of talented members contributing to the advancement of the next generation within Maryland’s Thoroughbred Industry. I thoroughly enjoyed the program this summer and highly recommend it to all young adults interested in the Thoroughbred Industry.”

Ashlee Marcy
“When applying for the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program, I had no expectations. My experience in the horse industry is minimal and even less in the world of Thoroughbreds, but I was and still am eager to learn all that I can. Spending a week fully immersed in all things Thoroughbred, surrounded by people just as hungry to know more, while learning from those who are clearly passionate about this industry is an invaluable experience that I am incredibly grateful for. We visited many farms and places I would have never thought to associate with the Thoroughbred industry, like the kennels and an unsuspecting field on Tufton Ave. At each of these places the lessons seemed to boil down to one common theme: ‘blend your passion for horses with your unique skill set and there is certainly a job for you in the Thoroughbred industry’. I am excited to take what I have learned this week and find my place in this industry.”

Sophie O’Connor
“The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program allowed me to expand my knowledge of the multitude of career paths in the thoroughbred industry. It also allowed me to make extremely valuable connections to important people within the industry. As a member of the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program, I was able to visit many Thoroughbred operations which showcased the incredibly rich history, the robust state of the industry and the positive future outlook of Maryland Thoroughbreds. I would recommend this program to anyone interested in a career with Thoroughbreds, regardless of whether you have been involved with horses your whole life or if you’re looking to find a pathway into the industry. Everyone will take something important away from this experience.”

Cayla Reeder
“The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program gave me an opportunity to dive deeper into the industry I love the most. I was able to explore many different careers within the horse industry, from marketing and communications, to breeding and racing. The program itself introduced me to all aspects of the industry, as well as put me in contact with extremely knowledgeable people who I know can help guide me in pursuing the profession I choose. The whole week was exciting, as we got to visit on average three places per day. I come from a horse racing family so I knew the most about that side, but the program took me through parts of the industry that I did not have as much experience in and it really opened my eyes! Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire week and I would recommend this program to anyone who is looking to expand on their knowledge within the industry.”

Zaharia Selman
“The Maryland Thoroughbred Program was such an amazing opportunity and invitation into Maryland’s Thoroughbred industry. Before starting the program I was most excited about being around horses for the entire week and learning about different careers in horse racing. To my surprise, these were not the only things that I took away from this experience. I am so glad that I have gained more knowledge, new friendships and contacts from those that are willing to help me in my future endeavors. With five packed days, we explored many areas of the industry from breeding, on the mare and stallion side, to desensitizing young horses to the starting gate. This opportunity has not only allowed me to gain firsthand experience in areas of the industry that I am interested in (behavior, nature preservation and equine therapy), but it has also given me valuable insight into other areas of the industry that I no longer want to pursue (breeding and training). I am so excited for the hope that has been created and the many doors that have been opened to me because of this program!”

Class of 2019

Thomas Dobbins
“Upon being accepted into the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program I was not sure of what to expect. But by the end of the week, I had to come to the realization that there are so many more opportunities in the Thoroughbred industry than I had ever imagined. Each of the places we visited welcomed us with open arms and answered every question asked, as they want to invest in us so that we as a whole can make a positive impact. Beyond the MTCP, the staff at the Maryland Horse Breeders Association has made an impact by gearing this program towards each individual interests and guide us along whatever path we choose.”

Molly Harris
“Being able to take part in the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program opened my eyes to all the different career options that are available to me. I was able to dive deeper into the different jobs that interested me while networking and talking with passionate and knowledgeable leaders in industry. The MTCP provided me and the other participates with a diverse look into the Thoroughbred industry by allowing us to travel to numerous farms and business that gave us a well-rounded look into what the industry has to offer. Having been able to take part in this program allowed me to narrow down my future career goals and the steps I will take in order to achieve them. I would highly recommended this program to anyone who is eager to learn more about the Thoroughbred industry, you will not regret it!”

Elizabeth Moorman
“The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program was a terrific opportunity that allowed me to see firsthand many different aspects of Maryland’s Thoroughbred industry. Talking to professionals in the industry to hear what their careers consist of and how they got there helped me in narrowing down what I want as a career. I went into the program open-minded and was blown away by the diversity of this industry. Seeing how passionate everyone we talked to was about horses and racing really encouraged me that this is the industry I want to go into. I am very thankful for the connections this program provided and I am so excited for my future in the Thoroughbred racing industry.”

Emily Shiloh
“The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program has been an invaluable experience. Speaking with people from every part of the industry gave different perspectives and everyone we spoke with was truly invested in the future of the sport. I now have a much better understanding of the industry in general as well as somewhere to set my sights on for the future. The opportunity to meet so many industry professionals within the span of a week has opened up so many doors for me, now the only issue is being able to choose one!“

Rachel Stockslager
“After learning of this program, I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of it. I am on the fence about what I want to do as a career, but I know it has to be involving horses. This program allowed me to see so many different kinds of jobs within the industry that I never knew existed, so it really opened my options up. I found interest in a few of the jobs we got to witness as well, so I have added them to my career possibilities to consider. Not only that, but the networking opportunities this program provides are truly outstanding. Everyone we came in contact with, whether it be at the MHBA or those we met at each location we visited, were all willing to provide their contact information and welcomed us to reach out to them for help or advice any time, and that was really the best part. The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program is an extraordinary experience that anyone chosen to be part of is very lucky to do so, I highly recommend applying for this opportunity. It was eye-opening and incredibly refreshing, and I walked away from the week with a new feeling of hope and excitement for my future.”

Zara Pyzowski
“When I applied for the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program, I expected to travel to many farms and organizations across the state, make connections with influential trainers and breeders, and meet outstanding people. Not only did the program achieve my expectations, but surpassed them tenfold. Alongside a group of five of my peers and guided by two outstanding mentors, we were granted the unbelievable opportunity to meet some of the most influential professionals in the Maryland Thoroughbred industry. Upon meeting all of these people and learning about their day-to-day lives and hearing about their experiences, I was able to make decisions to narrow down the broad and ever growing spectrum of careers in the equine industry to what I’m truly interested in. I was astounded by the number of unique, different professions scattered throughout Maryland both in the office, on the track, in the breeding shed, and in the hunt fields. Everyone that we met was eager to help, excited to share their experiences, and many have already helped to point me in the right direction to advance in my favorite fields of interest. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and will highly recommend it to other friends who have expressed an interest in learning more about careers with Thoroughbreds. It has helped to pave a path for me, and it is a path that I’d never have known to travel had I not been introduced to this fantastic program and all of the generous people involved.”

Class of 2018

Camille Lee
“My experience with the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program was truly memorable and really helped me shape my career goals. Throughout the week, I was able to speak one-on-one with professionals in all facets of the Thoroughbred racing industry. Learning about what their profession entails on a day-to-day basis as well as what they accomplished in order to be successful really helped me see what I want to be a part of. I was amazed (and still am) at the number of jobs in the racing industry; without participating in the 2018 MTCP I would still be trying to understand all of the different careers I am interested in, instead I feel much more confident about my future plans. To anyone that is interested in the Thoroughbred racing industry, I would highly recommend applying for the MTCP, it was an amazing experience and I am so thankful for the opportunity!”

Farah Staebell
“The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program allowed me to delve into the many unexplored facets of the Thoroughbred industry and gain experiences that I might not have the opportunity to encounter, including sales, track management, and rehabilitation. I was able to gain important connections and new tools that I can carry with me for the rest of my career. My favorite part of the program was the diversity that it provides. Although I am studying to be a veterinarian, each and every individual I met, be it a jockey, track manager, or horse breeder, gave me valuable advice that I can apply in my work. The most important things I learned during the MTCP couldn’t come from a textbook or class, but only from years of errors and successes that our hosts had experienced. It was truly incredible to see how open these individuals were to share the lessons that they had learned and to be mentors for the future generation of the industry. I came out of the MTCP with dozens of new connections in all aspects of the industry who are willing to guide me through any path I choose.”

Lauren Carter
“The MTCP is an amazing program that allows participants to learn more about employment in the Maryland Thoroughbred industry. It made me rethink my career path, and opened my eyes to the size and ability of the horse industry to provide sustainable jobs. As someone who always knew I would have to work with horses as a career, I thought I needed to get either a DVM or PhD. I was set on a PhD, but the program allowed me to discover jobs I would love doing that don’t require another degree. It has also helped me to discover my love for racing and excitement to get out to the track. We met some amazing and well-respected members of the industry, each shared important information to steer us to our niche. I plan to stay updated on races and news within the industry, and to keep contacts with those that had the greatest impact on me.”

Brianna Higgs
“When I began the application for the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program I was excited for the possibilities I believed it would provide, but after completing the week, I can say that it has provided so much more than just possibilities. This program opens doors into the Thoroughbred industry that I did not even know existed. From traveling to the many different successful breeding and training programs to exploring the workings of a major racetrack, the MTCP has provided me and my fellow participants with connections to some of the most welcoming, passionate, and knowledgeable people. I have no doubt that I will be able to find my place within the industry after completing this program. I have gained great friends and mentors from the week, and for that I will forever be grateful to have been a part of the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program. I would recommend this program to anyone interested in even the smallest aspect of the Thoroughbred industry.”

Amber Roher
“My experience in the MTCP was wonderful! I went into the program with an opened mind and continued to have one throughout the week. This program helped me narrow down the career path that I want to follow. The program showed the many different viewpoints and paths that have lead individuals to be successful in the equine industry. This was a great experience and I’m so thankful that I was able to participate.”

Kandace Tignor
“The MTCP was an incredible opportunity for me to see what’s out there and meet our industry professionals. The horse industry is also a people industry, so it’s so important to build these connections now for a meaningful career in the future. I saw careers and aspects I didn’t even know existed, and I even landed an amazing summer job at a breeding farm because of the people I met in this program. This is a great opportunity for any goal-oriented person that wants to see what’s out there.”

Class of 2017

Sidney Boots
“The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program aims to immerse you into each aspect of the Maryland Thoroughbred industry and the experience I had at the inaugural program far surpassed that intent. Each action packed day allowed us to network with people who were incredibly welcoming and knowledgeable, granted us access to phenomenal facilities and operations, and allowed us to grow as professionals with other youth with similar passions. I would recommend this program to anyone from anywhere who is passionate about horses and has a thirst for learning.”

Katie Brooks
“The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program allowed me to explore many different career options within the Thoroughbred industry. I met and spoke with leaders in the various fields of the industry, met some amazing fellow interns, and was able to visit many beautiful farms and facilities. Everyone was so kind and it was great to see that so many people were excited for us to be there. It truly was an insightful, worthwhile, and fun experience that I am grateful to have been a part of!”

Megan George
“Coming into the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program, I expected that I would meet several of the top leaders in the industry and make some important contacts along the way. What I didn’t anticipate was the overwhelming wave of support and encouragement we received from every single person, farm, and organization. Everyone we met expressed a sincere desire to see young students rise to become the newest contributors to the industry, and offered us professional insight and advice. I learned about areas of the industry that initially appealed to me, and was also able to see how my interests and career goals fit into a much larger picture. I now feel more educated and aware of the vast impacts of the industry, where it has been, and where it is headed.”

Sara Gordon
“I applied for the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program because I wanted to expand my knowledge about the opportunities throughout the Thoroughbred industry. But I found even more than that. I’ve met amazing people with great stories of success, spectacular breeding and training operations, and they all connect through one thing: a passionate community. One thing I heard quite often was that being in the industry isn’t just a job, it’s a livelihood. It’s something that touches everyone involved and connects them through their love of the horse and the sport. You get to witness and experience all of that, and even more, participating in this program. I truly will treasure the time I’ve spent in it and all the connections I’ve made. If you want to delve into the industry, if you truly want to be a part of a dedicated community, I recommend applying to this program. This experience is something I will never forget!”

Tabitha Gregory
“This week has been one of the best experiences I have had in the horse industry. I was chosen to be a part of the very first Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program, put on by the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation. We spent the week touring farms and talking to people within the MD Thoroughbred Racing industry, and I can honestly say I was blown away by the amount of possible careers and also by how open, kind, and genuine everyone was. All of the people we talked to were just as excited for us to be a part of the industry as we were! If you are interested in the Thoroughbred industry, I highly recommend this program. After this week, I truly feel like I could find a place in this industry, and I am thankful for the MTCP team for making this week such an enjoyable experience.”

John Piassek
“As a big fan of Maryland racing, I knew all about how great the racing was in the state, but I did not know much about all the behind-the-scenes components that make it work. Through the MTCP, I was able to visit numerous farms and racetracks, and learn all about the inner workings of the Maryland industry. I feel like a more well-rounded racing fan because of it, and would strongly recommend the experience to anyone.”