Meet Julia, BBRM Equine Student | Ontario Agricultural College

Meet Julia, BBRM Equine Student

Posted on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Julia stands beside and looks at brown horse

About Julia Alebrand

Horse enthusiast Julia Alebrand is a third year Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management (BBRM)- Equine Management student. She loves to involve herself in any and all things horse related, especially planning equine events. Julia hopes to further her education with a master’s when she finishes her undergrad.     

Program: Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management (BBRM) – Equine Management
Year of Study: Third Year
Hometown: Oakville, Ontario

Why did you decide to come to the University of Guelph?

The University of Guelph offers the only equine focused degree program in Canada. I wanted to have the opportunity to learn as much about horses that I could, so there was no better place for me. While I was touring universities in grade 12, I instantly felt at home in Guelph. The whole city feels like a close-knit community.

What do you like best about your program?

Being a student in this program is great, because I am constantly surrounded by students and professors who are crazy about horses. Since the program is very small and specialized, most of our classes generally consist of the same 25 people, and we spend most of our time outside of the classroom together as well. We are also able to get to know our professors on a personal level, and they are truly outstanding individuals. I feel challenged in every course and because most of our classes involve horse-topics, I am always engaged.

Do you have a favourite class or professor?

Definitely EQN 2060 Equine Event Management I and EQN 2070 Equine Event Management II both taught by Prof. Katrina Merkies. Throughout the course, we were part of the organizing committees for several equine events at U of G, including the Equine Industry Symposium, An Evening with Ian Millar, and the ‘Is it me or my horse?’ Equine Behavior Clinic with Lindsay Grice. Bringing together industry professionals from all walks of life, and learning from world-renowned industry professionals, and riders has been such a “great ride” for me. I have discovered a niche in the equine industry that I am particularly interested in, which is equine event planning.

Knowing what you know now, what piece of advice would you give to your highschool self?

Don’t be shy, and take every opportunity that presents itself to you!

What are your current post-graduate plans or goals?

I would like to continue my studies at U of G, and apply for the Master of Science in Animal Behaviour & Welfare. I would like to continue my involvement in equine event planning, and maybe work in equine rehabilitation.

How are you keeping busy this summer?

At the moment I am working at Bronte Creek Equestrian Sport Ltd. as a rider and stable worker. I also assist with some equine rehabilitation and event planning. In July and August, I am managing a Summer Riding Camp to educate young horse enthusiasts. Following my new-found passion of planning equine events, I am currently in the process of planning a jumping clinic for a farm in Oakville. This will be the first time I am planning an event all on my own, and I could not be more excited!

How do you get involved on campus or in Guelph?

In September I will be working as a teaching assistant for Dr. Katrina Merkies’ Event Management class. I’m looking forward to meeting new students in the program, and to plan some great events for the upcoming school year.

Where is your favourite spot to hang out on campus?

On a sunny day Branion Plaza in front of the University Center is beautiful. It’s the perfect spot to get together with friends between classes.

Do you have favourite spots in Guelph?

Aside from the barn, my favourite spot in Guelph is definitely Guelph Lake. It’s a great afternoon-getaway to go for a walk and free your mind.

What's one fun fact about yourself?

I was actually born in Hamburg, Germany. My dad’s work caused my family to move to different cities a lot, but the one thing that was always constant was my passion for horses. When we first moved here I spoke very limited English and found it tough to meet new people, but I found my haven at a barn in Oakville. Luckily there are no language barriers with horses! I did make new friends and my English quickly improved through my riding lessons.


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