William Woods University’s nationally acclaimed Equestrian Studies program received a major boost earlier this month thanks to a spectacular showing at a historic national thoroughbred symposium.
Kamerra Brown Allen, Assistant Professor of Equestrian Studies, was one of the top finishers in two events at the prestigious 2020 and 2021 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, which took place October 12-17 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. Allen placed fifth out of 72 competitors from all over the U.S. in the show jumping competition, and 16th out of 86 entries in the dressage event. The competition is organized by the Retired Racehorse Project, a charitable organization whose mission is to increase demand for off-track thoroughbreds.
“This was my first time in attendance at the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, after having assisted others in the past preparing for this event and having watched friends participate in it,” said Allen, a Hunter/Jumper instructor at WWU. “To be able to compete myself and find success was a dream come true. I cannot thank William Woods University and my students enough for their support; this would not have been possible without their help.”
Making Allen’s showing more impressive is the fact that merely being invited to participate at the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium is a significant accomplishment in its own rite. Trainers have to take a thoroughbred horse off the track and train it with horsemanship and knowledge in whatever event the trainer feels the horse is best suited for. They have 10 months to train a racehorse that has just come off the track, overcome potential injuries or other challenges, and have it ready to compete in one of the biggest equestrian venues in the nation. Trainers have to also apply to enter the horse they are training in the competition, beating out hundreds of other competitors from across the nation in the process.
“It is difficult enough just earning the opportunity to compete at Thoroughbred Makeover, and once you do, not all racehorses can just come off the track and place in a top-five category at an event as prestigious as this,” said Jennie Petterson, Professor, and Director of the William Woods Equestrian Studies program. “Kamerra’s outstanding showing is another demonstration of the quality Equestrian Studies program we have here at William Woods.”
For more on the Equestrian Studies program at William Woods, please visit https://www.williamwoods.edu/academics/undergraduate/programs_and_degrees/equestrian/index.html