Auburn veterinary student awarded AAEP Foundation Coyote Rock Ranch Scholarship

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Rachel Pfeifle, a fourth-year student at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, is among three distinguished veterinary students aspiring to careers in equine medicine selected to receive the national $75,000 Coyote Rock Ranch Veterinary Scholarship.

The scholarships will be awarded by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation on Dec. 3 during the AAEP’s 64th annual convention in San Francisco.

“This is an extremely prestigious scholarship and the selection process is very rigorous,” said Dr. Anne Wooldridge, an associate professor of equine internal medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences and one of Pfeifle’s faculty mentors.

“I’ve worked with Rachel previously in a horse-related research project when she was a Merial Summer Scholar (now the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program). She has worked hard and is very deserving.”

Dr. Erin Groover, also an associate professor of equine internal medicine and another among Pfeifle’s faculty mentors, added, “I was honored to write a letter of recommendation for Rachel for the Coyote Rock Ranch Scholarship. She exemplifies the criteria for which the scholarship was awarded: academic excellence, leadership and a devoted interest in equine practice.

“She is going to be an outstanding equine practitioner and I’m so happy for her to have been presented this life-changing award. She is truly deserving of the recognition.”

The Geneva, Florida, native wants to pursue an equine internship and possibly a residency in sports medicine. She says she can hardly remember a time when she didn’t want to be an equine veterinarian. “By pursuing further education and learning from some of the brightest minds in equine medicine, I truly believe I’ll be better equipped to help our equine partners to the best of my ability. Ultimately, it’s about helping the horses and their people,” Pfeifle said.

She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida before coming to Auburn. “I wanted to go to the veterinary program here because I liked the Auburn family atmosphere and the caring environment the faculty and staff create,” Pfeifle said.

The Coyote Rock Ranch Veterinary Scholarship started in 2015 by Penelope Knight, an avid horsewoman and strong advocate for horse health. Since awarding of the first scholarships in 2016, 10 AAEP student members have benefited from a cumulative $750,000 in assistance.

“With the help of the AAEP Foundation, I am pleased to offer this great opportunity to benefit our next generation of veterinarians,” Knight said.

“Helping future veterinarians is one way I am able to give back to the industry I hold dear to my heart, and I will continue my support for years to come.”

About the Coyote Rock Ranch

Coyote Rock Ranch, owned by Knight and located in the beautiful high desert country of Central Oregon, is a breeding operation for high-end cutting horses. Committed to quality in everything they do, Coyote Rock Ranch has a reputation for breeding and raising well-bred Quarter Horses with the pedigree and care to become tomorrow’s champions.

About the AAEP Foundation

The AAEP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization created in 1994, serves as the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners to improve the welfare of the horse. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $4 million to support its mission.

More information about the foundation’s scholarship programs.

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The College of Veterinary Medicine is the South's original and nation's seventh oldest veterinary medical program, celebrating 126 years. We prepare individuals for careers of excellence in veterinary medicine, including private and public practice, industrial medicine, academics, and research. The college provides programs of instruction, research, outreach, and service that are in the best interests of the citizens of the state of Alabama, the region, the nation, and the world.