HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) — Horses have always been at the center of Kylie Dailey’s life.
“From the second I could work, I started working in a barn,” recalled the Torrington, Conn. resident, who began riding as a youngster, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother—both of whom were competitive riders.
Watching her horse undergo colic surgery was a pivotal moment for Dailey, “I was really young—maybe 6 or 7—when I witnessed my own horse have surgery. It was at Tufts University and you could observe surgeries there. That experience really ignited my passion for veterinary medicine.”
Dailey graduated from Centenary University on May 6 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Health: Pre-vet Track. She chose the University for its highly-regarded Equine Studies Department, which has an outstanding acceptance rate for graduates applying to veterinary schools. While on a tour of the campus, Dailey learned that Centenary emphasizes hands-on training with horses in the barns.
“At first, I was looking at a lot of bigger schools,” Dailey said. “But they didn’t offer hands-on opportunities like Centenary. Here, the Equine Department is all about applying what we’ve learned in the classroom to horses in the barn.”
Dailey took that concept a step further, opting to design an independent research project on therapeutic wrapping to prevent equine leg injuries. While wraps are effective in supporting the leg and preventing injuries, they can generate higher temperatures with the potential to damage tendons and ligaments. Dailey’s research studied the heat production of three commonly-used wraps during equine exercise using a thermo tracker placed between the wrap and horses’ legs.
In addition to four test days last summer, Dailey’s study involved countless hours working one-on-one with faculty—including Jesslyn Bryk-Lucy, DVM, resident veterinarian at Centenary University—planning the project and studying the statistical data generated. “Certain brands of wrap do promote cooling,” Dailey said. “While there were some trends detected, my research observed no statistical difference between the wraps studied.”
At Centenary, Dailey was a member of the Honors Program, as well as the University’s IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) and Hunter/Jumper equestrian teams. She plans to take a gap year working in equine pharmaceuticals before applying to veterinary schools, with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University as her top choices.
“My experience at Centenary has been great,” Dailey said, adding that Kelly Munz, chair of the Equine Studies Department and Equestrian Center supervisor, also mentored her.
:Everyone is so nice and the professors are so willing to help. At a larger college, I might have been able to assist faculty with their research, but I wouldn’t have been able to design my own, individualized research. Centenary definitely gives you that advantage,” Dailey said.