Mackenzie Smith has been working with horses, since she was 7-years-old, but now, she can add a new equine experience to her resume… winning a horse show!
As part of the Wilmington College Equestrian Team, Smith competed recently at Miami University where she placed first in the beginner walk trot class.
"I was very surprised!" she exclaimed. "I couldn’t believe that at my first show, I got first place!"
Smith’s teammates told her it was her posture and confident expression that gave her the edge, winning the blue ribbon!
Smith graduated from Butler Tech last year, where she studied Equine Science at the Natural Science Center, in Monroe.
"Mr. Spoerl, the equine instructor, is an excellent teacher, and I still use some of his tips and tricks that I learned, today, both in the classroom and at the barn," she said.
Smith, a freshman at Wilmington College, is taking her passion for horses and pursuing it as part of a double major which includes Equine Business Management and Criminal Justice.
While attending college, she also lives at a boarding facility, run by her parents. She has three horses of her own.
"My love of horses began when I was young, just going on trail rides and visiting petting zoos," she said. "When I was 13, I started volunteering at Muddy Water Equestrian Park, in Cincinnati, where I worked for four years."
After college, Smith plans to be a mounted patrol officer and someday possibly take over the family’s boarding facility.
"Butler Tech helped me so much in working toward my career path," she said. "All of the teachers there helped to make sure I stayed on task in academics but still continued to focus on career goals helping to make sure I was able to reach them."
Smith said she also valued the teachers’ approach toward each student.
"The teachers make sure to try and have a personal relationship with each student so that they know how to help them individually," she said. "They are just wonderful."