An Atlantic Veterinary College student with a passion for harness racing has been named as the recipient of a $75,000 scholarship.
Brian Blanchard, who is originally from Thorndike, Maine, has been awarded the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation Coyote Rock Ranch Scholarship.
Blanchard, who was one of 80 vet students from Canada and the U.S. who competed for the three Coyote Rock Ranch scholarships, grew up on his family’s dairy farm where he worked with Percheron draft horses.
He caught the harness-racing bug when his parents purchased a standardbred mare in 1996 and began driving in 2007.
Blanchard worked in the U.S. harness-racing industry as a driver and trainer before graduating from the University of Maine with a bachelor of science in 2015.
He began studying at the Atlantic Veterinary College in 2015 and, shortly after, became part of P.E.I.’s racing scene by jogging, training and driving horses at Charlottetown’s Red Shores Racetrack.
“Though I have worked hard for it, none of this would have been possible without the help of all the faculty, staff and students I have studied and worked alongside these past three years at AVC,” said Blanchard, who also recognized the staff and management at the Red Shores Racetrack, who he referred to as “good friends and mentors in the harness-racing game and vet school process over the past three years.”
The scholarship is given to top third-year vet students attending an AVMA accredited veterinary college with a significant interest in equine sports medicine.
The scholarship is funded by Penelope Knight, owner and operator of the Coyote Rock Ranch in Terrebonne, Ore.