For NDSU grad, career is off to the (horse) races

A few years later, she decided that her love of horses would be not only a hobby but a way of life. She would pursue a career hitched to horse racing.

Montplaisir, one of 1,420 students expected to participate in graduation ceremonies Saturday, May 13, at North Dakota State University, will drive a few days later to Lexington, Ky. She has an internship at Fasig-Tipton, a thoroughbred auction company that has produced notable race horses, including winners of the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.

“I know they’re going to throw me into anything they want me to do, and it will be a good experience,” said Montplaisir, who majored in management communications and international studies.

A Moorhead native, Montplaisir got her start in horse racing three years ago as director of communications for the North Dakota Horse Park, located near NDSU’s Equine Center. She also worked that year as a journalism intern at Canterbury Park, a horse track in the Twin Cities area.

The next year, Montplaisir went to Texas for the spring semester, where she worked as an online communications and publications intern for the American Quarter Horse Association. Then she spent a summer as a staff writer for The Saratoga Special, a horse racing publication.

Montplaisir also has a minor in Spanish, which she learned to help in her find a career in horse racing.

“The horse racing industry is a very diverse, global industry,” she said.

To polish her Spanish and broaden her knowledge of horse racing abroad, she spent four months last year studying in Chile, then spent another summer at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., writing for The Saratoga Special.

At Fasig-Tipton, she will work on research projects about fillies and mares to create brochures to be used in recruiting horses for the upcoming fall sale. She’ll also help with the cale cataloguing process and assist in horse sales in Kentucky and New York.

Her goal for the internship? “Continuing to learn as much as possible.” Later, she hopes to be accepted into a horse racing management program. “That’s my ultimate goal.”

About NDSU’s commencement

NDSU’s commencement ceremonies will be in the Fargodome, where doors will open an hour before the ceremony start times.

At 10 a.m., the ceremony will feature graduates from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Engineering; College of Human Development and Education; College of University Studies and, at the graduate level, Interdisciplinary Studies.

At 2 p.m., degrees will be conferred to graduates from the College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources; College of Business; College of Health Professions and College of Science and Mathematics.

Gov. Doug Burgum will deliver the commencement address at both ceremonies. The soloist for both ceremonies will be Michael Fairbairn, a four-year starting nose guard and a team captain on the NDSU football team. He also competed in track and field.

Jenna Murphy, who is receiving a bachelor of science degree in English with a minor in philosophy, who will speak at the 10 a.m. ceremony. At the 2 p.m. ceremony, Colette Bersie, who is receiving bachelor of science degrees in marketing and management, will speak.

H. Roald Lund, a longtime NDSU faculty member and administrator, will receive an honorary doctorate in agriculture at the 2 p.m. ceremony. During his 37-year career at NDSU, he advanced to dean of agriculture and director of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Of 2,251 eligible students, 1,420 graduate, professional and undergraduate students have indicated they will participate in the spring commencement.

The ceremony will be livestreamed online at ” target=”_blank”>