Kelly McCombs '07

 
 
 
 

Can you describe your current position and how you came to be where you are today?

For the past three years, I have worked as the Office Manager at Questroyal North, a large Thoroughbred Breeding facility located in Stillwater, NY. We board upwards of 70 horses at any given time and our Stallion Roster is one of the best in the state. I do everything from the monthly billing and negotiating stallion contracts, to collecting stud fees and registering foals with The Jockey Club, along with everything in between. You’ll often find me out in the barn playing with the foals on my down time.

I am originally from Dutchess County, NY and moved up to Saratoga County after meeting my boyfriend. While living in Dutchess County, I worked on a large private estate where I had the opportunity to train under Debra Wiedmaier, a highly sought after dressage trainer. Working with her was a dream come true and the knowledge that she gave me is something that I still carry with me today. We also bred a very rare breed of donkey called the Poitou. We were part of a program to try to increase the population of the breed.

Did you come to MSC already knowing what career you wanted to pursue?

Absolutely! I knew that I wanted to attend MSC from the young age of 13. I had always been a horse crazy kid and grew up riding with trainer, Lynn Reed. At the time, she had just started a breeding business, on top of giving lessons. Growing up around her broodmares and foals, I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I researched colleges and found MSC and knew it was the perfect fit. It was the only school I applied to!

How did your time at MSC prepare you for your career and did some of your experiences influence your current interests?

My time at MSC helped prepare me with the people skills and hardworking attitude that would be necessary for my career. During my senior year at MSC, I decided to incorporate a few business classes into my course load. These classes helped me get the job I have today, where I utilize all of the organizational skills learned, along with all of my knowledge of the equine industry.

My experience has given me the skills to be extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of equine reproduction. I am able to successfully negotiate Stallion contracts and navigate the complicated business aspects associated with one of the top Thoroughbred breeding operations in New York State.

What's been the biggest surprise or shock about post-college life?

The biggest surprise for me was being able to find a job that was more involved than just mucking stalls. Of course, this is part of everyday life on a working farm, but I wanted to get my fingers deeper into the equine industry and start to network right away. Being patient and putting in my time has earned me the respect in the industry to get where I am today.

What are you hobbies?

My boyfriend and I have three dogs, two Pit Bulls and a Jack Russell Terrier, so most of our time is spent going on walks and taking them to Saratoga Spa State Park. We are also huge car enthusiasts and are in the process of restoring a 1961 Chevy C10 pickup truck. We spend the weekends at various car shows and meets when the weather is nice!

What’s your favorite Morrisville memory?

One of my favorite Morrisville memories is riding in the farm truck to go on a hay run. Picture 4 or 5 girls all squished into the truck after we had just stacked hay very precariously on the bed of the truck, driving through town very cautiously so as not to lose any bales. I’m sure current students have very similar stories!

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

I would tell myself to join different clubs throughout campus. I was very involved in the Equine department but I wish I had taken advantage of everything else going on around me. 

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