By: Courtney Zimmerman

My name is Courtney Zimmerman and I am the new Spring 2011 Communications Intern at the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center! I am a senior at the University of Kentucky studying Equine Science and Management with a minor in Spanish and have loved horses for my entire life. I am currently on the UK Equestrian Team and am committed to making horses a consistent part of my life, an incentive for why I chose this internship. The main reason that I applied to become a part of the Secretariat Center team is because I am passionate about its mission: to retrain off-the-track Thoroughbreds so that they can fulfill a different purpose in their lives. Some horses were born to be good racehorses…and some were not, but one does not know for sure until after they have started. Going to the MMSC gives them a new direction in their lives. I love that this program identifies the usefulness of all horses – their original purpose may not have been suitable for them, but all the personnel at the MMSC are determined to ensure that the new direction is going to be long, happy and fulfilling for both horse and new owner.

Another little side note about me is that I also have a love for volunteer work. The Secretariat Center is a non-profit organization and although I am technically an intern, I feel that it is more like a very structured volunteer program – and I love it! This may only be my first week, but I am already starting to feel I belong here. It may be a little creepy (or be fate? You decide.) but I had to design a layout for an equine class last semester of what my ideal business would look like and my drawing strikingly resembled the Secretariat Center! The first time I drove up to the office, I swear that my mouth dropped wide open. It’s as if the bronze statue of Secretariat whispered to me, the front door opened in welcome and a force ushered me inside (or it could have been the 30 mph wind gusts that day…) but hey, who am I to disagree with fate?