Meet little Sandy & little Molly.
You can recognize Sandy by her brilliant blonde hair. Her family had just purchased Count when Sandy was a wee thing, and Sandy learned to handle, ride & love horses on her childhood homestead. Molly's resting bike face happens to look awfully similar to the one seen here - all concentration & no funny business while learning to horseback ride. This was Idolon, a very patient teacher. What is not pictured in the subsequent years are photos of both showing their horses in events, underscoring just how horse crazy these two were.
Fast forward to 2019... we aren't divulging just how many years have passed from the taking of those photos to today. (Molly wanted to remind Sandy that terry cloth shorts are eternally fashion-forward to any young girl who just needs to be comfortable whilst working on the farm!) Since their misspent, awkward youth, both relentlessly pursued careers in veterinary medicine.
Sandy became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (Din 2001, graduating from Washington State University. After an internship, she then completed a three-year Internal Medicine residency at University of California, Davis, followed by a PhD back at Washington State University, completed in 2010. From there, Sandy moved to Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine as an Associate Professor in Large Animal Internal Medicine. She lectures across the globe (how cool is that?!) on topics like equine infectious diseases and neonatology. (She also like long, peaceful walks outside with her dogs...)
Molly was advised by her FFA adviser in high school to not go into the horse industry, but took his advice with a grain of salt. After finishing her Associate's Degree in Veterinary Technology at Purdue University in 2006, she landed an equine-only internship in Virginia and was hooked. After graduating with her Bachelor's Degree in 2007, she began working at Purdue University's Large Animal Hospital as a treatment nurse and now as a Surgery Technologist. She also obtained extra certification as a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Equine Veterinary Nursing.
Molly would like to think that they are the professionals you want in your corner if your beast of burden falls ill. Sandy gets embarrassed when Molly brags on her too much. Oh, well! What's up with the Curriculum Vitae, you may ask? First & foremost, how cute are those two in their respective "Before" pictures - pretty dang cute! Secondly, and more importantly, it explains why they selected their charity partnership with the Equitarian Initiative. As equine medical care providers, they understand just how vital it is for a horse, mule or donkey to be healthy to best perform. Of course, they are not referencing the developed nation's performance horse; rather, the performance of a working equid includes transporting people from one location to another, hauling agricultural equipment & products, and working farmland. And without routine, basic healthcare, or without care to address ailments associated with work, their performance is affected. And without a sound working animal, the people who care & own them will be negatively affected. It has been interesting watching the Equitarian Initiative gain traction over the years, particularly as Sandy & Molly have learned more from their friend and co-worker, Dr. Stacy Tinkler, who acts as an Equitarian and the Equitarian Initiative's vice president. Stay Tuned for our next Workhorse Wednesday!