Equine Education and Internship Opportunities
Equine Science Minor for UD Students
A new equine science major option at the University of Delaware has been established for UD students with an interest in horses, through a funding initiative from our founders, Stuart and Suzanne Grant.
The minor program was designed for a wide range of students, from those who have previous equine experience, to those who do not have any prior experience with horses, but are nonetheless interested in learning about them.
Other academic courses in the minor include behavior and nutrition, and equine health and management.
Housed in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences Department at the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources equine science minor students are provided access and education through Stuart and Suzanne Grant’s C-Dog foaling farm in Chesapeake City, Maryland and the extensive Camden Training Center facilities. Instructor and Assistant Professor of animal and food sciences Amy Biddle remarked on how the Grants’ gift has allowed UD to expand its technologies for UD equine science minor students: “[the Grants have been] very generous in making that farm not only accessible for students, but retrofitting it with video cameras and viewing rooms to make it a place for students to come and learn.”
Stuart and Suzanne Grant were motivated by a goal to make the UD equine sciences accessible to all students at the University of Delaware. Dr. Annie Renzetti, another instructor of UD equine science minor courses made it clear that these educational courses are available to all University of Delaware students who have any interest in learning more about horses or equine sciences, “from everybody who’s never seen or touched a horse to people who have a passing interest, all students are welcome—and it’s not just welcome to the minor but the different classes, as well. I really see it as a way to get some science classes in if you’re a music major or an economics major. It’s a friendly science program.”
University Delaware’s Unique Advantage
Biddle and Renzetti are aware of how the equine science minor courses being available at the University of Delaware is uniquely advantageous for students: “Delaware is uniquely situated for horse research and education because we have so many different equestrian activities close by. Besides thoroughbred and standardbred racing at Delaware Park and Dover Downs, we have Fair Hill Training Center, with amazing facilities for race training, veterinary care and therapy, as well as Fair Hill International which hosts a wide range of competitive events from eventing to endurance. UD’s backyard is rich with horse activity in every direction.”
Equine Science Graduates
Since the program’s inception in 2015, program enrollment has steadily increased year over year. The comprehensive education and combination of in-class learning with hands-on experiences are attributed with the program’s success and popularity. 2015 graduate Elizabeth Vacchiano praised the program after her graduation with a minor in equine science: “My group created a therapeutic riding center and we had to go through every single step of creating a business. We had to think about everything from the pastures, the diseases our horses could have, the vaccinations, the zoning laws concerning how to keep horses, nutrient management, every single little step and I really enjoyed it . . . I loved learning about it all in class theoretically putting it together and then being able to go out and do it. I feel so prepared to go out and know what I’m talking about because I did it.” Vacchiano also confirmed that the program involves more than science classes about horses, “that is something that I think a lot of people forget about. The animal is obviously very important but what’s going in that animal? What’s in your pastures, and your water, and your hay quality?”
For anyone interested in getting involved or enrolling into the equine science program at the University of Delaware, contact the UD Registrar’s Office.