How Claudia’s equine science degree opened doors in her industry

When you study an equine science degree with Charles Sturt University, there’s no telling how far you’ll go.

Claudia Macleay recently learned this about Charles Sturt.

After completing her Honours project as a Charles Sturt student, she submitted an application to present her findings at the 2018 New South Wales (NSW) Rural Women’s Gathering.

The NSW Rural Women’s Gathering is an annual conference that provides an opportunity for rural women to come together to build resilience, network, learn, share experiences and support each other while gaining access to decision-makers, information and service providers. The gatherings also allow regional towns to showcase their local talent, produce and environment.

Claudia was selected as a speaker, and it just goes to show that studying with Charles Sturt can take you anywhere. From studying your passion in the bush to being recognised by your peers at a state conference on the coast – there’s no telling how far you’ll go with a Charles Sturt degree.

Insight sat down with Claudia and chatted about her background, her experience as a uni student and what being selected to present at a state conference means to her.

Claudia’s background

I grew up in inner-city Sydney and learned to ride at the Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre, but moved down to Wagga Wagga in 2013 to study. I completed my Bachelor of Equine Science in 2015 and in 2017 began my Bachelor of Science (Honours), which I handed in last month for marking. I am now living in Albury while my partner completes his Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Charles Sturt.

I’ve always been a horse-loving girl, and my parents would let me go to pony camp every school holidays, which quickly became weekly lessons and I eventually owned my own horse. When I’m not out at the stables or in a paddock, I love visiting art galleries, going on bushwalks and finding new spots for wild swimming (swimming in natural places like rivers and rock pools).

Studying equine science

When I finished high school, I went straight to university. In 2009, I began a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sydney. However, after two years of study I decided to pursue a career with horses and became a qualified riding coach through Equestrian Australia. I then enrolled in equine science at Charles Sturt University.

I chose to study with Charles Sturt as they were the only university offering such a specialised course. On top of that, the uni has a wonderful equestrian centre and world-class lecturers and researchers.

I found going to a uni with small class sizes meant I became a student –and not just a number. My lecturers knew who I was and had time to talk to me whenever I had a question on an assignment or research. I always recommend Charles Sturt as a university.

2018 Rural Women’s Gathering in Merimbula

I love science and I love horses – so bringing the two together means that I get the best of both worlds. My Honours research was on the feeding and management practices of Australian horse owners. To date, it is the largest study on horse ownership in Australia, and it explored owner and horse demographics, exercise, training, housing and pasture management, as well as detailed research on feed rations.

I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to share my research findings and my knowledge of equine nutrition. I love that I can help people help their horses. I first heard about the gathering last year through the NSW Department of Primary Industries website and I attended the 2017 gathering in Narrandera. I wanted to be able to connect with those women working and living in rural and remote Australia, so this year I filled out the online application and was selected.

I think my next career aspiration will be to continue towards higher research, but at the same time I love teaching people and helping them learn how to help their horses, so I’ll need to bring these two areas together.

Love the idea of working with horses every day?

Learn more about our Bachelor of Equine Science – one of only two equine science degrees in the country.