© 2019 Ferrin Peterson

What motivated you to become a veterinarian? 

My childhood companion and horse, Saheeh, nurtured my love for animals. While growing up, I always knew I wanted a career working with horses. I was fascinated by the unique facets of equine medicine introduced to me by my childhood riding instructor, including acupuncture and chiropractic treatments.

As a track and field athlete, I become increasingly interested in rehabilitation, which I could understand from a human sports medicine perspective. During my first year of college, I shadowed a veterinarian who encouraged me to pursue my equine passion in the form of veterinary medicine. ​I wanted a profession where I could help, study and rehabilitate animals, especially horses in the Thoroughbred racing industry.  


Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - Graduated May 2019

Attending the top veterinary school in the world for the past four years has been phenomenal and rewarding. My experiences included working with experts in lameness, diagnostic imaging, and assisting in a wide variety of surgeries. Additionally, externships to Dubai, Japan, Hong Kong, Kentucky, New York, and Ethiopia further broadened my veterinary knowledge and hands-on experience.


DUBAI - March 2017 and July 2018

I had the privilege of working with the veterinarians for the Dubai World Cup week. I witnessed the remarkable win of our US horse, Arrogate, and joined the team in the winner's circle!

I returned a year later for a month-long externship at the Dubai Equine Hospital. I was chosen as the sole externship candidate from the US for 2018 to be trained in the world-class hospital owned by Sheikh Mohammed. I received an extraordinary education while assisting   veterinarians in surgeries, including racing camels.


JAPAN - June 2016

Japan and Hong Kong are well regarded in the horse racing industry. Therefore, when I received the Zoetis Equine Scholarship, UC Davis faculty encouraged me to go to Asia. During my three weeks in Japan, I toured their training centers, rehab facility, breeding farms, and was able to be part of the veterinary team for  the Japan Derby!


I was impressed by their facilities and caliber of racehorses. The veterinarians were extremely hospitable and allowed me to observe and assist in a variety of medical procedures, including surgeries, rehabilitation, and reproduction. Additionally, they taught me about their culture and accompanied me on day trips to surrounding cities, which provided a closer glimpse into what makes Japan such a special part of the world.

HONG KONG - June 2016

From Japan, I flew straight to Hong Kong, where I completed an additional two-week externship. Their veterinary team is comprised of veterinarians from Australia, the UK, India, and China. Working with this international team provided a wide and diverse exposure to how the racing industry operates in other parts of the world. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is very organized and methodical in their practices and maintains the strictest drug regulations in the world. Moreover, I was amazed with the generous funding allocated to diagnostics made available to veterinarians by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.