With designs to become a Thoroughbred trainer — a goal she still maintains — Owens entered RTIP and gravitated toward the more scientific, equine-centric side of the program.
“RTIP has a business side and an equine side, but they're both equine-focused,” said Owens. “I went in on the equine side so I had more hands-on courses with horses which was what I wanted. All of my courses were geared toward teaching me to manage a track, or a farm, or becoming a trainer. It's very focused in that regard which really makes it unique.
“For me, there were two things that happened in the program. First, it was a lot of exposure and networking. They host the racing symposium in Tucson every year and the students are part of that and help run it. You see so many facets of the business and meet so many industry professionals. One year we went up to Kentucky and went to Hagyard, visited trainers, and just got to see the nuts and bolts of it all. Then, through my courses, I was able to sit in on conversations with really powerful people in the industry like Drew Fleming or Lonny Powell — that is huge. I feel like you really grow as a professional individual being put in these situations and interactions with people high up in the industry. It makes you bring yourself to a higher standard and that has definitely helped me going forward.”
Owens graduated from RTIP in 2020 with her animal science degree and was later chosen among 12 participants for Godolphin Flying Start. The program has, and will continue to take her around the world as she works toward her goal of becoming a trainer.
“We started in Ireland at Kildangan in Kildare, Ireland, last fall” said Owens. “We transferred to Newmarket at the end of October. Then we came to Kentucky Jan. 1 and we will do externships in June and I will be in Australia by mid-August. It's such a rewarding experience to travel and see the industry through an international lens is so cool.”
With so much ahead of her Owens can't help but look behind to her time at RTIP and credits the program with having helped her build the foundation she'll take with her on her travels and into her new career.
“Coming on to a program like Flying Start, you really have to be immersed in the industry and a lot of the stuff I learned at RTIP set me up for this,” said Owens. “I needed to be able to work with horses, but I needed to know how different organizations worked together in the industry at large. The program really gave me the foundation that I used to get to the next level.
“Whether you already have connections to the industry or come in brand new to RTIP like I was, there are so many success stories. I wouldn't be working to start my career in this industry if I didn't love it and didn't believe it. There are so many enthusiastic young people like me working with me. We want to make the industry thrive because we know how good it can be. We've seen it and we will get there.”