Firstie Focus: Ragan Kelly ’22

Firstie Focus on: Ragan Kelly ’22

Name: Ragan Kelly

High school: Vanguard College Preparatory School

Hometown: Waco, Texas

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Major/possible major: biology

Why Mount Holyoke: I loved the idea of an all-women’s liberal arts college. After visiting most of the Seven Sisters, Mount Holyoke was the obvious pick for me. It just felt like home.

Favorite places so far on campus: My favorite place on campus would have to be the library. I spent hours in there with new friends during the admitted students weekend in April. I also love the Thirsty Mind coffee shop just across the street.

How you spent the summer: The summer was very busy for me. I travelled to Montana, Maine, Mongolia, Maryland and North Carolina.

In 10 years: I would like to have graduated vet school. I hope to have an amazing wife and be thinking about settling down and having a family.

Career aspirations: I want to be a veterinarian like my mom.

On endurance riding: I participate in the sport of equine endurance racing, which basically means I’m a long-distance jockey. I ride my horse in races ranging from 25 to 100 miles. Each distance has a maximum time limit that you are allowed to finish the race in, i.e., 25-mile races have a limit of six hours and 100-milers have a limit of 24 hours. I have competed in this sport since I was 10. It has given me amazing opportunities to travel with my horse.

I have raced in many of the states, as well as Italy and the United Arab Emirates — a few years back, I was one of three Americans invited to race in the President’s Cup in Abu Dhabi, a 100-mile endurance race that is put on by Sheik Mohammed. I got into riding, and endurance in particular, through my mother, who rode horses as a little girl and competed in the sport throughout adulthood. It’s helped me immensely in developing focus, strength both mental and physical, as well as confidence.

A noteworthy experience: I just recently travelled with my mom and girlfriend to Mongolia, where we had the opportunity to ride both horses and reindeer.

Proudest moment: My proudest moment is split many ways. It is nearly impossible for me to choose just one. But if I had to pick, it would have to be finishing the 100-mile Tevis Cup endurance race alongside my mom when I was 12. It was my first time doing something so crazy and it instilled in me a love for adventure that has only grown.

Influencers and social media: I follow Emma Watson on Instagram because I admire her taste in literature and her influence as an activist. I also follow Kyle Finn Dempsey on Instagram and YouTube. I love his aesthetic and the way he views life and nature.

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