Misti Nelson Quiring of Roff, a pre-veterinary medicine major at East Central University, has landed a prestigious internship next summer at a well-known facility dedicated to the recovery and conditioning of high-end athletes – horses.
Applicants from all over the United States and the world compete for only four slots in the Derby Internship Program at the Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Center (KESMARC) in Versailles, Ky., near Lexington.
Quiring will work six days a week, including weekends, from mid-May to mid-August. The KESMARC program aims to give students a “real-life” view into the world of equine veterinary medicine, rehabilitation and equine veterinary nursing, as well as the commitment required to succeed in those fields.
Commitment is a quality she already has.
“I have wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 4 years old,” she said, “and I’ve never wavered from that.”
She did not have a horse as a youngster in Canby, Minn., but her parents took her to riding lessons and she was hooked. She soon decided she needed her own horse so she could ride any time she wanted. So at age 8 Quiring earned a baby sitter certificate through her 4-H Club and began babysitting when she was 10. After two summers she reached her goal at age 11.
“I got up at 5 every morning and babysat two kids until 5 p.m. I made enough money to get my own horse,” she recalled.
She still has that horse, a mare named Pebbles.
“I’ve thought of trading up, but I just can’t do it,” Quiring admitted. “I remember how much work it took to buy her.”
At age 16, she applied for and received a grant from the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship at Southwest Minnesota State University to start her own business, MRN Pristine Paints. MRN stood for Misty Rose Nelson. She bred, raised and trained paints and later added quarterhorses.
She married Mitch Quiring, a certified farrier, or horseshoer, two and a half years ago and changed the name of the business to Double M Performance. They later sold their breeding stock and most of their horses and moved to Oklahoma, working for awhile for a horse breeder near Ada.
They may start training horses again this winter, breaking colts, “tuning up” barrel horses and working with roping horses. Right now she is concentrating on finishing her degree at ECU and barrel racing.
Quiring transferred to ECU from South Dakota State University and plans to graduate in May 2013. She is the president of the Rodeo Club at ECU, which she started last year. She plans to join three other ECU women students to compete in college rodeo competition later in the year.
She hopes to enroll at Oklahoma State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and wants to become a board certified equine surgeon, inserting metal plates in broken legs or reconnecting tendons, anything having to do with equine surgery.
That’s where the internship comes in. KESMARC, located in “the horse capital of the world,” says interns will be exposed to some of the best equine veterinarians in the world. They travel there to treat horses owned by KESMARC clients, many of whom are well-known owners and trainers.
“They are ranked No. 1 in the world,” Quiring said.
Her duties will range from administering medications and supplements, bandaging, putting horses on walking machines and daily record keeping, to the supervised operation of hyberbaric oxygen chamber treatments and assisting veterinarians as they perform procedures.
Interns also represent KESMARC at horse races as they watch the horses they have helped rehabilitate. They talk with trainers after the race to determine whether any problems still need attention.
Interns also can assist farriers and dentists, prepare horses to ship and perform general care, such as monitoring temperatures, grooming and bathing, and routine barn activities.
Winning the internship could help her reach another goal.
“We have high hopes to move to Kentucky when I finish veterinary school,” she said.
Quiring wants to be involved in the full circle of a horse’s injury, surgery, rehabilitation and return to good health. She hopes to be an equine surgeon in her own veterinary clinic that is part of a one-stop center that also offers training in roping and dressage, a farrier service and western store with saddles and other items horse owners might need.
Mitch Quiring will remain at his ranch job in Oklahoma while she is in Kentucky for the internship.
“When you’re married, have a house and animals, it’s a tough deal to leave for three months,” she said. “But I’ll get to know people in Kentucky and this will be a good way to get my foot in the door.
“I’m very excited. I’m just trying to get through two semesters before this next summer.”