Nielsen & Malloy Winkler NYTB scholarships awarded on Spa College & Alumni Day

Friday, July 28th, 2017

From left: Jeff Cannizzo, Joanne Nielson, Vivien Malloy, Rachel Hilliard, Ella Pitman [NYTB]; on right Tracy Egan, Adam Lawrence also present Fund scholarships (Photo: Adam Coglianese)

By Sarah Mace

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) presented its two annual scholarships in the winner’s circle after the fifth race on July 28 at Saratoga Race Course as part of NYRA’s Annual College & Alumni Day at the Spa.

Generously established by Mrs. Joanne Nielsen to honor her late husband Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. and by Mrs. Vivien Malloy to honor her late daughter Debby Malloy Winkler, these $5,000 scholarships recognize a full-time student enrolled in an equine-related course of study at an accredited college or university in New York State. The awards are intended to foster the education and development of individuals who promise to make a positive contribution to the Thoroughbred industry in New York and beyond.

Receiving the 2017 Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. Scholarship was Rachel L. Hilliard, who is a second-year student at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and expects to receive her degree in May 2019. Making the presentation were Joanne Nielsen and Jeffrey Cannizzo, the Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.

Hilliard decided to pursue a career as a veterinarian after observing the interdependent lives of animals and people first-hand in the small farming town in Pennsylvania where she grew up. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with honors after majoring in biology with a double minor in biochemistry and English in 2015. After she graduates from Cornell, Hilliard plans to pursue a residency in sport-horse medicine.

Hilliard already has a variety of work experience, working at Cornell as a large animal surgery emergency technician, assistant at the Cornell Wildlife Heath Center and a student milker at the Cornell teaching dairy. Praised as highly a motivated team player, Hilliard also works as a veterinary peer mentor and Cornell tour guide.

“I am incredibly grateful to be awarded the Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc Scholarship,” said Hilliard. “This scholarship will allow me to take a break from working the multiple jobs that help pay for my veterinary education, giving me time to pursue the externships and internships I’ll need to specialize in equine medicine.”

“It has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders,” Hilliard continued. “I could not be happier to have earned this honor. Now I have the freedom to finally achieve the dream I’ve been working toward for so long.”

Ella Mariah Pittman received the Debby Malloy Winkler Scholarship. Pittman attends Cornell University, where she is expected to receive her doctorate in veterinary medicine in May 2018. Mrs. Vivien Malloy made the presentation.

A marathoner and half-marathoner herself, Pittman has focused her studies on equine sports medicine. In her future practice, she wants act as a teammate with her clients to ensure the well-being of horses as they engage in a demanding training regime in preparation for peak performances on the racetrack and in the show ring.

Raised in Medfield, MA, Pittman graduated magna cum laude with highest honors in biology from Mount Holyoke College in May 2014, where she pursued a double major in biology and history. President of Cornell’s student chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, she has engaged actively in research and co-authored several published studies.

Pittman has completed three marathons, including the 2013 Boston Marathon as a charity runner for the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation for which she raised over $6,000. Having finished 90 seconds before the tragic terrorist attack, she was determined to return the following year and did so, again raising over $6,000 for the same charity.

“I’m so grateful to the Debby Malloy Winkler family and New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.,” said Pittman. “It means a lot to that together they are supporting students who are actively pursuing a career with horses in New York and recognize the importance of helping build the next generation of equine caretakers, trainers, and veterinarians.”

“I have wanted to be an equine sports medicine veterinarian since I was 14 years old,” she continued. “I’m now less than a year from achieving that dream. This scholarship will alleviate some of the stress associated with tuition costs and allow me to focus on learning the best patient care and treatment options for our equine athletes.”

Previous recipients of the Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Scholarship:

2012 Jacqueline Pino (read more)
2013 Allison Tuchrello (read more)
2014 Kaitlyn Douglas (read more)
2015 Tate Morris (read more)
2016 Cassandra Cromer (read more)

Previous recipients of the Debby Malloy Winkler. New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Scholarship:

2014 Nicolina Foti (read more)
2015 Courtney O’Connell (read more)
2016 Natasha Tarnawa (read more)



One Response to “Nielsen & Malloy Winkler NYTB scholarships awarded on Spa College & Alumni Day”

  1. I was so proud of Ella. This short profile leaves out much of her accomplishments and good , hard work she has put in to the care of equines. She spent 2 summers working with the Indian Reservation horses in South Dakota and North Dakota.She did castrations, dentistry, and hoof trimming along with worming and vaccinations . She had glowing reports from her professors and kept up an average of 3.8 in all her student years. She is smart as a whip and kind at the same time. I know she will help NY improve its veterinary care by joining the cadre of fine clinics that exist here. To say that I was thrilled to meet her and her family and her riding instructor only begins to explain how I felt.She is deserving and lovely and her family is gracious and so thankful for the Scholarship.

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