BHS graduate Robbins gets Coyote Rock Ranch scholarship

Courtesy photo: Brookings High School graduate Kara Robbins, second from left, was awarded a Coyote Rock Ranch Veterinary Scholarship from the Foundation for the Horse.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four aspiring horse doctors currently in their fourth year of exceptional veterinary school performance are the 2021 recipients of $75,000 Coyote Rock Ranch Veterinary Scholarships. The Foundation for the Horse presented the awards Dec. 7 during the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) 67th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

The scholarship recipients, selected from 33 distinguished applicants, are:

• Alexandra Grobman, North Carolina State University

• Virginia Logue, University of Minnesota

• Kara Robbins, Iowa State University

• Kassidy Shelly, University of California, Davis

For Grobman, the award will mitigate the financial sacrifice that generally accompanies specialty training. 

“I am interested in specializing in equine surgery via internship and residency programs, which inherently provide little cost incentive,” she said. “The Coyote Rock Ranch Scholarship will support me with the financial stability to dedicate myself to my patients, clients and the future of equine medicine. The financial burden of veterinary school and specialty training will be alleviated immensely.”

Logue intends to use the financial flexibility of her scholarship to complete an internship after graduation before pursuing a large animal internal medicine residency program. 

“The award allows for me to truly follow my passion for further training within equine medicine, and greatly limits the overwhelming stress of finances,” said Logue. “To have that freedom is truly a gift that is life-changing.”

The award moves Robbins closer to her goal of practice ownership in her native South Dakota, helping fill a need for equine care in rural areas of the state. 

“This scholarship allows me to pursue an equine internship without the financial strain of paying loans,” she said. “It also opens the door for me to invest in starting my own equine practice in my home state, permitting me to focus my career strictly on horses.”

According to Shelly, the award reinforces her equine practice ambitions by accelerating the timeframe in which she’ll be able to pay off her student loans. 

“Now, I can feel more certain that pursuing my career aspirations would not result in me being swallowed by my student loan debt years down the road,” she said. “I will have the financial security to potentially start my own business sooner and reach goals within the profession earlier that will be based on medicine rather than the financial impact it will have on me.”

Penelope Knight created the Coyote Rock Ranch Veterinary Scholarship in 2015. Since award of the first scholarships six years ago, 20 AAEP student members have benefited from her altruism. Announced in conjunction with today’s awards was a commitment for four $75,000 scholarships for 2022, which brings the cumulative financial commitment by Knight and Coyote Rock Ranch to over $1.8 million.

“At Coyote Rock Ranch, quality equine veterinarian medicine lies at the heart of our program. In helping future veterinarians achieve success, we elevate the entire equine industry and ultimately the welfare of the horse,” said Knight. “With my overall aim of supporting education, research and advancements in care for the horse, I am pleased to offer these scholarship opportunities to our next generation of equine veterinarians.”

For more information about this program and other scholarships offered through The Foundation for the Horse, visit foundationforthehorse.org.

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