Passion for performance horses has aspiring vet on the right track


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The opportunity to work with elite equine athletes was the driving force behind Ella’s decision to apply for a Horizon Scholarship.

Sponsored by the AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program, 2023 AgriFutures Horizon Scholar Ella Fleming says she is looking forward to working with elite equine athletes and learning about equine reproduction. We recently caught up with Ella to talk about what drives her passion for the horse industry and what she hopes to achieve through participating in the scholarship program.

Tell us about your background and what drives your passion for agriculture.
I grew up in Brisbane with a love of all animals, especially horses. Wherever possible I got involved with horses, whether it was having lessons on my own horse, helping friends compete or reading about horses. I’ve been passionate about caring for performance horses for as long as I can remember.

My passion for animals led me to enrol in a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at The University of Queensland at Gatton. Before commencing my university studies, I undertook some short courses in equine handling and training, as well as reproduction.

Horses are incredible animals and it’s a privilege to be able to work with them. I hope to use my veterinary degree to learn how to best care for our equine partners and enhance their performances and lives.

In 2023 you were awarded an AgriFutures Australia Horizon Scholarship, sponsored by the AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program. What was it that appealed to you about the program and what are you hoping to get out of it?

The Horizon Scholarship provides an incredible opportunity to build my networks in the agriculture industry and gain invaluable experience across the equine industry. As I near the end of my veterinary degree, I’m excited about the opportunities that will be provided through the work placement as part of the scholarship program, to enhance my knowledge of equine medicine and learn from some of the best vets in the equine industry.

I’m also hoping to use the work placement to get a taste of the different career opportunities across the equine industry, whether they be as an equine medicine specialist, a racing industry vet or working with a large stud.

How do you think the AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship will shape your future and where do you see your career heading?

I’m really excited for the work placement opportunities and the chance to immerse myself in the industry to help further my passion in different equine areas. Progressing through my veterinary studies, I’ve become interested in reproduction and the best ways to optimise reproductive performance. Disease control is another area of interest.

I would love to do work placement with a large breeding centre to gain hands-on experience in optimising equine breeding performance.

Where do I see my career headed? Initially I want to work in a mixed practice, building a solid foundation and clinical decision making. Longer-term, I’m unsure of where my career will head, but I’ll be making the most of every opportunity presented to me and following my passions in equine medicine or reproduction.

Keep an eye out for the AgriFutures 2024 Horizon Scholarship cohort announcement coming soon.

Find more about the AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program

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