Alumni Profile: Grace Falconer

Hometown: Port Washington, NY
Graduation Year: May 2012

Why did you choose to attend Morrisville?
“I chose to attend Morrisville because of the Equine program. I looked at a few different colleges with equine programs but Morrisville really stood out to me. It was an extremely hands-on program. The level of professionalism was also a big draw for me.”

What did you do after leaving Morrisville? What are you doing now?
“I was offered a full-time assistant manager position for Hunters Run Farms in Fulshear, Texas after completing my 15-credit internship with them. I worked for them until February of 2013. Currently, I work for Britt and Rachel McCormick of Elmstead Farm in Parker, TX where I am the full-time assistant trainer and barn manager.”

What has been your biggest accomplishment after graduation?
“One of our clients nominated me for Horse and Style, Assistant Trainer of The Year. (Horse and Style is a very well-known equine magazine.) Out of a large pool of people, I was chosen as the 2nd runner up. The article was run in the October/November edition of Horse and Style.”

How did your education at Morrisville get you to where you are today?
“I owe a lot of my success to MSC and its professors. Not only did they prepare me with extensive knowledge of my specific field, but they also prepared me for the "real world" in general. I was taught how to promote myself and my skills, how to conduct myself in professional situations, and much more.”

What do you like about your profession?
“Horses have been a part of my life for almost 20 years. I was incredibly lucky to take my passion and turn it into a profession. Just like they say, "if you find a job you love, you'll never work a day in your life!" I would say my favorite part though is training and turning out quality horses. It's so rewarding when the horses understand and everything comes together!”

What professor and/or staff member influenced you? Why?
“Professor Eklund was and still continues to be a huge influence for me. She is an amazing horse person. Lisa has so much knowledge about horses and training and is so eager to share it. I really learned what kind of trainer I wanted to be from her. She can always find the positive in any situation. Not only is she a great horse person but she was also always there if any of her students needed her. She's so involved with her students and wants to see them succeed. Even now after I've graduated, we still keep in touch.”

What was Morrisville like when you were attending?
“When I attended Morrisville it was a great mixture of academics and fun. There were always activities and events going on to keep everyone engaged.”

What is your favorite memory of Morrisville?
“Although I wouldn't have thought this then, one of my favorite memories of Morrisville was freshman barn duty. It was a lot of hard work, but that was where I made some of my best friends and had the most laughs. My favorite memory of barn duty is going sledding in the broodmare pastures on our lunch breaks.”

Were you involved in any clubs, organizations, activities or sports while at Morrisville?
“I was a member of the IHSEA Equestrian Team all four years I attended Morrisville."

What advice would you give current students?
“I would tell students not to take those four years for granted and to take in as much information as you possibly can. Professors are so excited about what they teach and want to teach you as much as they can. Take advantage of that. I’d also tell them not to be afraid to step out of their comfort zone. I lived in NY my whole life, so when it came time for my internship, I wanted to go somewhere I had never been before. For me it ended up being the best choice I've ever made.”