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Kendra Pintar transitions internship into dream job

Kendra Pintar

Ellsworth Community College graduate Kendra Pintar is pictured at Royal Vista Southwest with Runaway Wave, who in January 2015 was named American Quarter Horse’s All-Time Leading Broodmare by money earned. Her offsprings’ earnings thus far totals more than $3.6 million.

Ellsworth Community College graduate Kendra Pintar of Hoffman Estates, IL, made a U-turn in her career plans a couple of years ago … at age 22 she quit her job as a hairstylist, enrolled at ECC, and “moved to Iowa to play with horses.” She landed a dream internship with Royal Vista Southwest in Purcell, OK, one of the nation’s premier equine reproduction/breeding facilities. Following the internship, Royal Vista Southwest hired her as an Equine Reproduction Technician.

“Being offered the job here was pretty exciting for me … I had hoped for it, but I didn’t expect it,” says Pintar. “The work is a combination of laboratory technician and veterinarian technician duties. I assist the veterinarians throughout their day by doing things like getting treatments ready, helping with embryo flushes and transfers, and whatever else is required. I pay attention to all the horses and spend the day caring for them.”

She lives in an apartment on the Royal Vista Southwest property. “I like the people I work with here … they’re very intelligent! It’s a good working atmosphere.”

“I grew up a city girl, but I’ve always had a passion for horses. When I decided to quit the beauty business I found Ellsworth Community College online and the instructor responded to me quickly. I visited the campus on a weekend, and decided within 10 minutes that this was the place for me. Prior to enrolling at Ellsworth I had taken riding lessons, but I’d never owned a horse and never cleaned a stall. My training at ECC helped me immensely and gave me everything I need to be successful in the industry. I’ll admit that it wasn’t easy, but anyone who works hard there can achieve success.”

For Pintar, success came first in the form of a six-month spring internship at Royal Vista Southwest. “I found out about Royal Vista Southwest when I was researching internship opportunities online. It’s a 250-acre breeding facility, and they work exclusively with mares for breeding, embryo transfers, artificial insemination, foal care and more. It’s one of the biggest breeding facilities in the U.S., and they’re also recognized internationally.”

Pintar was ECC’s first intern with Royal Vista Southwest.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, moving to Oklahoma,” Pintar says. “This is farther south than I intended to eventually end up. The internship itself was very difficult … we worked six days a week, typically 12-hour days, sometimes longer. On some of those long nights, being cold and carrying frozen buckets, we’d have multiple mares foaling out at the same time. There were nights when I questioned why I took the internship and why I stayed, but it all paid off and was worth it in the end. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about mare management and embryo transfer in the past few months!”

She adds, “The internship wouldn’t have been possible for me without the great instructors I had at Ellsworth … they’re my heroes! Megan Gogerty is an amazing teacher, and she and the other instructors work very hard to give all the students exactly what they need. They know what the industry is looking for, and that’s what they teach.”

Gogerty says Pintar was a model student who was determined to make her own dreams come true. “After working with Kendra for two years, I’m thrilled to see her going out into the horse industry and being able to utilize the skills she’s learned as she works toward building her new career. I was always so impressed by Kendra in the classroom. I know she’ll go far and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

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