Otterbein University Equine Science Program Receives $1.5 Million Gift


UPDATED: Monday September 24, 2012 6:31 PM

A gift to Otterbein University came from a horse-lover’s Cincinnati foundation and will benefit the school’s equine program.

The 120 students at the Westerville school majoring in equine science now will attend classes at the newly renamed Austin E. Knowlton Center for Equine Science, located on Spring Road.

Austin Knowlton, a successful architect, was the minority owner of the Cincinnati Reds and was the co-founder of the Cincinnati Bengals. He also spent much of his life raising champion American Saddlebred horses and raced thoroughbreds, according to Otterbein.

Senior Jackie Moog is one of the 120 students. She plans to work in the horse industry.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor has predicted that equine jobs are going to be increasing over the next eight years by about 23 percent,” said veterinarian and department chair Sheri Birmingham. “So, that’s a significant increase, especially this time. And that’s something our students can look forward to.”

Senior Savannah Byrne said that she had the opportunity to study pre-veterinary medicine, veterinary technology and equine business.

“This degree really gave me a lot more options than just working in a barn,” Byrne said.

For Moog, the major means a future in sports medicine, with a specialty in massage to ease the pain of some of the top four-legged athletes in the country.

“A lot of equine athletes are using it to make sure that their horses perform to their max,” Moog said.

Birmingham said that she hopes to double the size of their program one day with the help of gifts like the one from the Knowlton Foundation.

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