Patricia Scholle didn't grow up with a connection to horse racing or an aspiration to work in the racing industry. She enjoys racing movies, such as Secretariat and Seabiscuit, so when she discovered that the University of Arizona had courses specifically about horse racing she decided to see what they were all about. When she found them compelling, she changed her path of study to join the Race Track Industry Program. It's no surprise where her path in life is leading her.
Scholle has now spent two seasons at Rillito Park experiencing many different departments at the track. This year she can be found taking entries in the morning, working the clubhouse admission gate in the afternoon, and suppling programs to whoever is in need.
“This opportunity has been an awesome way for to me interact with people working at a real track to build valuable connections for the future as well as get that hands-on experience.” Scholle said.
Over this past summer, Scholle spent a week in the heart of Kentucky in Lexington to see the bloodstock side of the industry. While there she visited a farm with rich history, Claiborne, and saw one of the most in demand sires today, War Front.
“It was amazing to see War Front in the flesh, he's a beautiful stallion.” Scholle said.
She had the opportunity to work at the Breeders' Cup this past fall in Del Mar. While there, she was able to mingle with some of the biggest names in the industry and some of the top horses in recent memory including Arrogate and Gun Runner.
Although Scholle is new to horse racing, she has a strong equine background gained by volunteering at numerous organizations around Arizona that specialize in equine assisted therapy including TRAK (Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids), TROT (Therapeutic Riding of Tucson) and Saddles of Joy in Yuma, Ariz.
“They were all unique in their own way and I learned something meaningful from each experience.” Scholle said.
Scholle is a senior and will graduate from the program in May.
“I'm not exactly sure where I'll be after I graduate, but I'm positive I'll find myself at a track.”
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