16:02 PM

Kinesiology Student Gets Boost Toward Horse Training Career

By Brian Hiro

Carly Schuerger has been an ardent fan of horse racing for almost a decade and chose Cal State San Marcos in part because of its proximity to horse training centers.

Now, the CSUSM student has gotten a leg up on the career she intends to pursue in the industry after she graduates.

Schuerger, a junior kinesiology major, has received the Advancement of Women in Racing Scholarship from the Jockey Club, an organization that dates to the 19th century and is dedicated to the improvement of thoroughbred breeding and racing. The scholarship award is $20,000 for one year, or $10,000 per semester.

“I am extremely grateful for earning this scholarship,” said Schuerger, who also has a minor in business administration. “I am still in disbelief sometimes. This scholarship will help me tremendously in pursuing my academic goals with less financial trouble. I am very thankful to those who have supported me in my academic, athletic and career endeavors. Those individuals have played huge roles in my path to success in life.”

Schuerger is from Aliso Viejo and is a runner on the CSUSM cross country and track and field teams. But it’s a different type of running that really captures her imagination.

Growing up in Orange County, she was always interested in horse racing, especially the training and maintenance of racehorses. She didn’t live near any horse tracks, however, and was limited to following the sport through television and social media.

A big reason why Schuerger elected to attend CSUSM was because it’s relatively close to both a major track (at the Del Mar Fairgrounds) and training center (San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall). Since her freshman year, she has worked for several trainers at San Luis Rey Downs as a racehorse caretaker. On the side, she has worked for a different trainer at a nearby ranch, where she learned to ride and train younger thoroughbreds to be racehorses.

“I absolutely love working with horses,” she said. “Also, working within the horse racing business is like no other. As a favorite book of mine describes it, ‘Horse racing is full of interesting, unique characters and has a mysterious, romantic mystique about it that is compelling, if not addictive.’ ”

Schuerger said she picked kinesiology as her major because the field is a great way to supplement the art of training horses with a knowledge of exercise science to underpin it. Her faculty mentor is Sean Newcomer, the chair of the kinesiology department.

This summer, Schuerger plans to work as an intern for six weeks at New Bolton Center, the 700-acre campus of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and one of the busiest teaching veterinary clinics in the nation.

“At this internship, I will help conduct research regarding how different pharmaceuticals affect racehorse performance via exercise testing,” she said. “Another aspect of the research is to find ways to detect these pharmaceuticals with new drug testing techniques or through detecting abnormal biological markers within the horse.” 

Media Contact

Brian Hiro, Communications Specialist

bhiro@csusm.edu | Office: 760-750-7306