APHA is known for stellar interns who go on to big careers in and out of the equine industry, and this fall’s crop is no exception. Meet our 2018 Fall interns, and make sure to say hello to them at the APHA Open/Amateur World Championship Show, which takes place September 17–30 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Hailing from Ponder, Texas, Mary Cage is the Fall 2018 APHA Publications intern. She is a senior at the University of North Texas and will graduate this December with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a concentration in advertising and a minor in marketing. During the past two summers, she has interned for WinStar Farm in Kentucky, home to Thoroughbred racehorses including 2018 Triple Crown Winner Justify.
Mary grew up around horses, often with a Paint Horse in the herd at all times. She showed APHA as a leadliner, but found success at ApHC shows with her horse, Handy Principles, winning several national and world titles in all-around events. Mary often assists her mother, equine photographer Terri Cage, on photo shoots, so she’s come to know a lot of APHA members and horses over the years.
“I know that I want to have a career in the horse industry, but for years I’ve gone back and forth as to what facet of the industry that might be. While I have a passion for showing and Paints, my heart lies with the racing industry. I aim to become a racing manager, but I know that the skills and knowledge I’ll gain here will be incredibly important no matter what I choose to do,” Mary said.
Mary has wanted to intern for the APHA since her sophomore year of college. Even though she’s mostly shown Appaloosas and been involved with Thoroughbred racing, she has had a passion for Paints ever since she was a child.
“I absolutely love this breed and its people, and I’m so excited to go back to my roots by having the opportunity to intern here,” she said.
Born and raised in Sugar Land, Texas, Elizabeth Ennis joins APHA as the Fall 2018 Marketing/Sales intern. She received her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University in 2017 and is pursuing a Master of Agriculture degree in equine marketing from TAMU, with plans to graduate in December 2019. As an undergraduate, she was an officer for the Texas A&M Horseman’s Association, serving as president during her senior year, and was a member of the 2014–2015 TAMU Horse Judging Team. She has previous internship experience through the Kentucky Equine Management Internship program and was a marketing intern at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas. As a graduate student Elizabeth assists with many of the Texas 4-H horse programs that take place around the state, including judging contests, judging camps and the State 4-H Horse Show. She also assisted in the development and maintenance of Texas Horse Help, an app offered by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
Elizabeth grew up showing hunters and equitation around the Houston area, crediting her first horse, a now 31-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse named Flashy Drive, with shaping her into the rider she’s become. She also owns an off-the-track Thoroughbred, Fire Rainbow, who helps to keep her grounded when graduate life gets crazy.
“I am excited to be a part of this organization during the fall to see first-hand how much it takes to make a large organization run successfully,” Elizabeth said.
After graduation, Elizabeth hopes to pursue a career in the horse industry, either in marketing for an association like APHA or for a business that supplies the horse industry, such as those in the areas of nutrition, pharmaceuticals, competition venues or other retail businesses.
“The horse industry has given so much to me. From educational youth programs to internships and competitions, it’s molded me into a horse owner and competitor who‘s driven to become the best person I can be for my horses,” she said.
APHA Performance Intern Brittany Hensley is from Lakewood, Colorado, and is attending Colorado State University studying equine science, where she will graduate in December 2019. Her previous internship experiences include working with reining trainer Gabe Garrison and working at the CSU Equine Reproduction Lab.
Beginning in second grade, Brittany rode with a local trainer and competed in 4-H shows using her trainer’s horses. It wasn’t until her freshman year in high school when she got her first horse, Ruby, a 13-year-old grade mare. The pair compete at local barrel racing jackpots and dabble in team sorting.
After she graduates, Brittany hopes to find a career in either rodeo operations or horse show production while also continuing to compete in barrels with Ruby. Brittany sought an internship with APHA because she knew it would be an experience unlike any other.
“I have already learned so much in such a short amount of time. I’m working with some of the nicest and most hardworking people while getting hands on experience putting on the World Show. I don’t know if I would have gotten this type of experience anywhere else,” she said.
[Reprinting all of part of this story is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provide back to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded in 1962. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.