For Kaila Sereg, her first experience working at the racetrack was a winning one. Kaila, who was an integral part of Rillito's Equine Wellness Program came in with the will to learn the veterinarian side of the racing industry. However, throughout the six weeks of racing in Tucson, Ariz., she gained a vast amount of knowledge all throughout the race track. Through the Equine Wellness Program as well as her time in PRISE, Kaila was able to learn the in and outs of how the racing industry runs and what it takes to keep everyone on the track running safe and sound.
Kaila put her heart into everything she did throughout the race day to help ensure the safety of racing's majestic athletes. Despite being new to horse racing, Kaila still has found a soft spot for a horse who just like her showed a lot of heart both on and off the track (or in this case double the heart), the great Secretariat.
Growing up, what was your involvement and interest in horse racing?
I'm from Des Moines, Iowa. Went to the University of Arizona for the opportunity to have a more specific major in vet science. I have wanted to be a vet since a very young age. Always knew I loved animals. Was a valedictorian in high school. Ready to take on anything and conquer my goals with hard work and determination.
What's the most important thing you've learned through your classes and job experiences?
The most important thing I have learned through my classes and job experiences is that it is always a good thing to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, like i did at Rillito. I watched my first horse race in person at Rillito.
What kind of work have you done at Rillito Race Track?
I was an intern at the Rillito Racetrack in the Equine Wellness program. I get to work with the vets, helping with taking notes in the mornings and watching for lameness before and after the race.
What's something you've learned about the racing industry that surprised you?
I was surprised to learn how much planning goes into each race and that they aren't just randomly picked horses and how many other regulations go into horse racing.
Talk about someone in the industry whose work you admire?
I admire the veterinarians at the racetrack. Their job is super important to make sure every horse doesn't already have an injury that could make a race a life threatening situation. This is a crucial step to avoid a bad situation and it's a hard call to make sometimes, but in the end it's all about the safety of the horse and the person who rides the horse.
Did you have a favorite horse or horse racing moment growing up that has stuck with you?
I am in love with Secretariat. I think his story has a great meaning and it is an inspiring one!
What do you consider the most important problem facing the racing industry? How would you go about solving it?
A big problem facing the industry is the health of the horses and making sure they aren't getting injected with things that they shouldn't be. A big way to prevent this is limiting the amount of people who are allowed with the horses and making sure that the vets are checking every horse with pre-race exams.
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