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					Graduate Program and Company Analysis: St. George’s University
School of Veterinary Medicine and Pin Oak Lane Farm & Equine
                            Clinic


        Prepared for: Jason Charnesky, Instructor, English 202C
                      The Pennsylvania State University

        Prepared by: William Tancredi, Student, English 202C
                     The Pennsylvania State University

                      June 23, 2009
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                                    Abstract
 “Graduate Program and Company Analysis: SGU School of Veterinary Medicine and Pin
                         Oak Lane Farm & Equine Clinic”

                       Prepared by: William Tancredi, Student, English 202C


This evaluation includes information regarding the history, mission, services, location,

management/faculty, financial elements, and recent news appearances. This examines the

prospective advantages and disadvantages to a position at Pin Oak Lane Farm and Equine Clinic

and entering the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine. The animal bioscience

major program is more oriented towards continuing studies in a veterinary medical program.

However, attending veterinary school is a significant financial commitment and it may be

necessary to enter the workforce immediately following graduation. The research was done on St.

George’s University because it offers a wide variety of areas of veterinary medicine, it has the

highest first-time NAVLE pass rate of any veterinary school in the area, and it offers its students

the opportunity to study at another veterinary school in the United States for the fourth-year. Pin

Oak Lane Farm & Equine Clinic is the top-ranked thoroughbred breeding farm in the United

States outside of Kentucky and its owner, Dr. William Solomon VMD, is enormously well-

respected in his field. It was determined that SGU offers a better short- and long-term opportunity.



Keywords:      company analysis, intern, internship, SGU, St. George’s University School of

Veterinary Medicine, Pin Oak Lane Farm & Equine Clinic, Pin Oak Lane Farm, technical writing,

Penn State.
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                                                         Table of Contents

Executive Summary……………………………………………………………………………...7

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………8

Program A: St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine…..…………..………...8

           I.         History…………………………………………………………………..................8

           II.        SGU’s Mission……………………………………………………………………9

           III.       Programs and Opportunities……………………………………………………..9

           IV.        Location………………………………………………………………………..10

           V.         Chancellor: Charles Modica…………………………………………………...10

           VI.        Culture and Demographics……………………………………………………11

           VII.       In The News…….……………………………………………………………11

           VIII.      My Position………………………………………………………………………12

Program B: Pin Oak Lane Farm & Equine Clinic………………………..………………...13

           I.         History……………………………………………………………………………13

           II.        Mission…………………………………………………………………………...14

           III.       Products and Services……………………………………………………………14

           IV.        Location………………………………………………………………………….15

           V.         Owner: Dr. William J. Solomon…………………………………………………15

           VI.        Company Culture………………………………………………………………...15

           VII.       Financial Status…………………………………………………………………..16

           VIII.      In The News…………………….………………………………………………16

           IX.        My Position………………………………………………………………………17

Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………18

References....................................................................................................................................19
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                                       Executive Summary


As a Penn State student enrolled in Jason Charnesky’s English 202C: Technical Writing course, I

was required to evaluate two potential opportunities for the future and included information

regarding the history, mission, services, location, management/faculty, financial elements, and

recent news appearances of Pin Oak Lane Farm and Equine Clinic and St. George’s University

School of Veterinary Medicine. I examined the prospective advantages and disadvantages to each

program. It is critical that applicants to veterinary school demonstrate knowledge of the field and

the school to which they are applying. Furthermore, for jobs in the horseracing business, a deep

knowledge of the industry is paramount. The research I did for this project has prepared me to

evaluate both circumstances. Research included a variety of sources including internet searching,

personal experience, and interviews.



The two programs analyzed below are St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine and

Pin Oak Lane Farm & Equine Clinic. Each program demands very distinct requirements and offers

very disparate opportunities. Examining the history, mission, services, location, owner/faculty,

culture, financial aspects, and recent news has given me a wide perspective and deep knowledge

of both programs. Should SGU’s veterinary school be out of reach at the time, the experience of

working at Pin Oak Lane and, more importantly, for Dr. Solomon would be an asset should I

choose to reapply in the future. While veterinary school is my goal and first choice, it is a comfort

to know that delaying its attainment would not negatively impact future efforts. This is invaluable

information because of the tremendous gravity of the circumstances and great influence on the

future.
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                                          Introduction


I am a senior Animal Bioscience major at The Pennsylvania State University. I am currently

enrolled in Jason Charnesky’s English 202C: Technical Writing course. We were given an

assignment to complete an evaluation and analysis of two programs or businesses. I chose to

evaluate two opportunities that are my most realistic options in veterinary science following

graduation from Penn State.

       The first program is St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in St.

George’s, Grenada. The second opportunity is the Pin Oak Lane Farm & Equine Clinic in New

Freedom, Pennsylvania. While the assignment seemed more geared towards individuals applying

to much larger companies or corporations, the overwhelming majority of positions in my desired

line of work are learned of by word-of-mouth rather than the internet and more positions are

earned by a handshake and work ethic than by cover letter and resume. Nonetheless, it is critical in

any field to learn the elements of professionalism and to research positions before applying. Either

opportunity would be a positive experience and would further my career goals in animal

agriculture industries. However, I feel that St. George’s University would be preferable and would

help me reach my long-term goals sooner.


Program A: St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine
I.     History

St. George’s University gained international attention in October of 1983. President Ronald

Reagan ordered an invasion of Grenada and justified it as an effort to rescue American medical

students from the danger of the violent coup led by Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard. The

invasion, code named Operation Urgent Fury and reported by Time magazine to have “broad
                                                                                                    9

popular support,” was later fictionalized and idealized by the 1986 movie Heartbreak Ridge

starring Clint Eastwood.



The university was founded in 1976 and its current Chancellor is Charles Modica. The Medical

School was, frankly, founded as an offshore program for students who were unable to gain

admission to American medical schools. In 1999, the university accepted and enrolled its first

class of veterinary students. Since then, St. George’s has risen through the ranks and now boasts

the highest pass rating of first-time takers of the North American Veterinary Licensing

Examination (96%). This high first-time pass rating indicates that the school does an excellent job

of preparing students for the examination. The School of Veterinary Medicine now has 504

current students and almost 8,000 graduates.



In July of 2004, despite years of peace, St. George’s and Grenada were subjected to one of the

most violent events in their history: Hurricane Ivan. The hurricane caused significant damage to

the True Blue Bay campus, which has since been renovated and is now better equipped to handle

emergency situations.


II.    SGU’s Mission

The mission of St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine is “to provide an

internationally based veterinary education with worldwide practice application through high

quality instructional programs, community service and clinical research exposure.”



III.   Programs and Opportunities
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St. George’s University is very unique among veterinary schools. There are four- and five-year

programs available to undergraduates and six- and seven-year programs available to first-year

students. These programs are for Doctorates of Veterinary Medicine. The most intriguing and

attractive aspect of the SGU programs is the final year of study. Fourth-year veterinary students

are expected to study at one of a number of veterinary schools in the United States or the United

Kingdom. This allows students a freedom not readily available at American veterinary schools.

Many American schools specialize in certain areas, often based on the geography of their location.

Colorado State University is known for studies in sheep, Florida or Penn renowned for their work

with thoroughbreds, Cornell respected for clinical research on small animals.



This organization is attractive to me because I have relatively narrow experience in the field of

veterinary and biomedical sciences; I am attracted to the possibility of going to St. George’s to

learn for three years and then being given the chance to choose a specific area and college at

which to study.


IV.    Location

St. George’s University is located in St. George’s, Grenada. The island is roughly 100 miles north

of Venezuela and 1,500 miles southwest of the United States. Having to spoken to students who

swear that the stunning photographs do not do justice to the exquisite beauty of the island, I am

somewhat surprised to learn that Christopher Columbus, who sighted the island in 1498, did not

find cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth as a guard.


V.     Chancellor: Charles Modica

Dr. Modica has served as Chancellor of St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies, since it

was first founded as a School of Medicine in 1976. He is a graduate of Bethany College, West
                                                                                                      11

Virginia, and studied medicine in Spain for one year before earning a degree in Law at Delaware

Law School in 1975. He serves as Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, Department of Behavioral

Sciences, and St. George’s University School of Medicine.


Dr. Modica is involved in many charitable causes, including former co-chair of the West Indian

Immunization Project, the Vincentian Children’s Heart Fund, former member of the Board of

Directors of the Caribbean Medical Charities, honorary co-chair for the Fund for Orphans and

Elderly of Grenada, and the Grenada Heart Foundation. Dr. Modica was also instrumental in

implementing a graduate scholarship for students of Italian descent, which could be very

advantageous to me in the future.



VI.    Culture and Demographics

The School of Veterinary Medicine follows demographics similar to those found in most

American veterinary program. The class is roughly 80% female, 80% Caucasian, and contains

mostly American students. This is very typical, although many American universities have a much

higher percentage of white students.



The school also seems to embrace culture and ethnicity in a fashion that is novel to me. The

university is the third largest employer on the island and makes interaction with island cultures

very accessible. This perception has been corroborated by current and former students alike. I am

attracted to the possibility of a non-adversarial relationship with those individuals who live near

but are otherwise unaffiliated with the college. Furthermore, the prospect of living in a foreign

country is exciting in its own right; especially one without a language barrier.
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VII.   In The News

It is not hard to imagine why an international veterinary school with barely 500 students does not

often make headlines. Although there are a number of articles in the New York Times that regard

the “slacker haven” stigma of the Caribbean universities to be largely lifted. However, these

articles often refer almost exclusively to the Medical School and are somewhat dated. The only

news, rather than editorial, articles to be found are several years old and regard Hurricane Ivan.



VIII. My Position

I will apply to the four-year doctorate of veterinary medicine program at St. George’s. The first

three years will be spent at the True Blue Campus in St. George’s, followed by a fourth year at an

American veterinary school. I will be required to complete 111 credits in the first three years

before the clinical training program. This is the goal towards which I have been working for the

last several years. I am very close to achieving it and I believe that should the opportunity to study

at this university be offered, I would accept it wholeheartedly.
                                                                                                  13

                 Program B: Pin Oak Lane Farm and Equine Clinic

I.     History

Pin Oak Lane Farm was founded in 1972 by Dr. William Solomon, VMD. The four-farm complex

spans more than 400 acres in south central Pennsylvania and cares for more than 200 mares, foals,

and yearlings. Dr. Solomon also stands eight thoroughbred and two standardbred stallions. The

farm was ranked as the #17 Most Successful thoroughbred farm by Bloodhorse Magazine, and

was the #1 farm outside of Kentucky. The farm currently employs 12 full-time employees and as

many as 12 more part-time employees during the busier seasons.



The farm has a long history of breeding and racing success. It currently stands four of the top ten

stallions in the Mid-Atlantic Region and seven of the top ten in Pennsylvania. Renowned and

successful studs such as Wheaton and Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Real Quiet

have also called Pin Oak Lane their home. The farm is the birthplace of 1992 Kentucky Derby

winning colt “Lil E. Tee,” who won the Derby in a dramatic upset at 18:1 odds.



Dr. Solomon sold a fifth section of the farm in 2005, and no longer maintains a training facility for

trotters and pacers. In 2007, Dr. Solomon purchased an adjacent farm in order to build a barn now

known as “The Refuge” where he maintains the stallion barn. In 2008 a 24-stall training barn was

built in order to accommodate more mares and foals following foaling. The walk-in clinic is

unofficially closed and Dr. Solomon now only performs surgeries on horses that are already

boarded at Pin Oak Lane.
                                                                                                     14

II.       Mission

Pin Oak Lane Farm is “a thoroughbred and standardbred breeding and training facility with a full

service veterinary clinic.” In recent years it seems that the training aspect of the mission has

diminished but the commitment to breeding remains very strong.


III.      Products and Services

The primary source of income at Pin Oak Lane is the breeding services. Standing ten stallions at a

single location affords the farm enormous earning capacity. The thoroughbred stud fees range

from $3,500 to $5,000 and the Standard fees are both $2,500. Mares may be boarded at the farm

prior to breeding or may be brought to the farm when they are seen to be in heat.



In addition to the stallions, Pin Oak Lane maintains an eleven-stall foaling barn, a 24-stall training

barn, as well as more than 300 acres of pasture. This gives the operation the capacity to care for

well upwards of 250 mares and foals. Yearlings are raised at a nearby facility and separated by

gender.



One of the most important aspects of the farm is the round-the-clock veterinary care offered by the

owner. Dr. William Solomon and Dr. Rachel Westerlund are available for neonatal, reproductive,

and emergency veterinary care at all times. Such access to two well-known and venerable

veterinarians is very rare.


Also, Dr. Solomon does have a number of arrangements with local crop farmers regarding the

harvest of timothy and alfalfa hay, and straw. Dr. Solomon buys the crops at a discounted rate and

then harvests and bales the hay and straw.
                                                                                                 15


IV.    Location

The main farm is located in New Freedom, Pennsylvania. The stallion farm is immediately

adjacent to the south of the main complex and the two remaining farms are two and five miles

away, respectively. New Freedom, settled in 1783, is a borough of York County with a population

of roughly 3,500.


V.     Owner: Dr. William J. Solomon, VMD

Dr. Solomon founded Pin Oak Lane in 1972 and remains the driving force of the business. “Doc”

is 64-years old (although he will tell you that he is “121”) and a graduate of Georgetown

University where he lettered in basketball and baseball. He then earned a VMD from the

University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine before going on to complete surgical

internship at the University of Minnesota. He is the former Head Chairman of the Pennsylvania

Horse Breeders’ Association and the former Director of the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine

Board of Trustees.



VI.    Company Culture


Farm life is demanding and Dr. Solomon is demanding of his employees. Production is secondary

only to safety, and employees have been fired for taking unnecessary or thoughtless risks. During

the busy seasons, such as the foaling season early in the year or breeding season in early summer,

Doc expects that everyone – himself included – work at least six days a week and be on-call at all

times. That Dr. Solomon has only two employees of more than seven years, both of whom are

office workers, could offer some indication of the toll taken by such grueling work schedules.

However, Dr. Solomon’s employees are intensely loyal and frequently value a compliment from
                                                                                                     16

Doc above all else. Furthermore, because of the vertical integration of the racing industry at Pin

Oak Lane Farm – everything from making hay to breeding to foaling to weaning to training to

sales to racing is done – it is an excellent place to learn about all aspects of the business.


VII.   Financial Status

Pin Oak Lane Farm and Equine Clinic is not a publicly traded company and I do not possess the

capacity to search tax records for financial status. However, the farm has been in business for over

35 years in a very difficult industry. The farm is the top farm in the state of Pennsylvania based on

earnings of its sires and the recent expansions indicate that the business is still quite strong.



VIII. In The News

The fact that Pin Oak Lane Farm rarely (See Also: Never) makes headlines on CNN or MSNBC is

no indication of their success or visibility. Thoroughbred breeding farms rarely do anything

newsworthy and positive at the same time. The last time any equine breeding or training facility

was in the news was when a group of polo ponies died suddenly. However, within the industry

news and remarks, Pin Oak Lane has horses making headlines fairly regularly.



Most famously was the colt Lil E. Tee winning the 1992 Kentucky Derby at odds of 18:1. That the

biggest race in the horse world was won by a horse born and raised on this farm cannot be

understated.



Most recently, the Grade 1 winning stallion and Pin Oak stud Albert the Great sired a colt,

Albertus Maximus, which won the 2008 G1 TVG Breeders’ Cup and 2009 G1 Donn Handicap
                                                                                                    17

races. These are significant victories with large purses and have made Albert the Great the top sire

in the Mid-Atlantic.



Publications like Bloodhorse Magazine and The Thoroughbred Times have published feature

articles of interviews with Dr. Solomon and florid descriptions of Pin Oak Lane.


IX.    My Position

I would apply for a yearlong internship position at Pin Oak Lane Farm under Dr. Solomon. The

position would primarily entail assisting with breedings and collections, but also include assisting

with surgeries and foaling. I would also be expected to feed horses, muck stalls, drive tractors,

stack bales of hay and straw, fix fences, and perform other miscellaneous tasks that may arise. My

pay would be weekly, rather than hourly, and would be significantly more than I was paid for a

previous summer internship with the company. The job is physically demanding, the experience

invaluable, but I do not believe that I would be able to effectively convert the experience and

knowledge into a graduate school position.
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                                          Conclusion

Doing research for this project and being compelled to evaluate each opportunity and situation,

disparate as they are. While a job at Pin Oak Lane Farm and Equine Clinic would be a spectacular

learning opportunity and a very well-paying position (especially as an undergraduate in the worst

economy since the Great Depression), I believe that St. George’s University is a superior prospect.

Should I be fortunate enough to be accepted into the School of Veterinary Medicine, I would

enroll without a second thought as to what I would be missing at Pin Oak. Furthermore, while at

Pin Oak I would have two veterinarians from whom to learn, at St. George’s I would have several

dozen faculty members dedicated to teaching.
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                                           References


Blood-Horse Publications. "BloodHorse.com | Thoroughbred Horse Racing, Breeding, and Sales:

        News, Data, Analysis, Photos, Video, Blogs." BloodHorse.com | Thoroughbred Horse

        Racing, Breeding, and Sales: News, Data, Analysis, Photos, Video, Blogs. 20 June 2009

        <http://www.bloodhorse.com/>.


"Operation Urgent Fury." GlobalSecurity.org - Reliable Security Information. 2 Nov. 2005. 20

        June 2009 <http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/urgent_fury.htm>.


"Pin Oak Lane Farm and Equine Clinic: a Thoroughbred and Standardbred breeding and training

        facility with a full service veterinary clinic. ." Pin Oak Lane Farm and Equine Clinic: a

        Thoroughbred and Standardbred breeding and training facility with a full service

        veterinary clinic. . 14 June 2009 <http://www.pinoaklane.com>.


ROHTER, LARRY. "Stigma of Dr. Do-Little Fades From Grenada U. - The New York Times."

        The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. 20 June 2009

        <http://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/28/us/stigma-of-dr-do-little-fades-from-grenada-

        u.html?scp=1&sq=St.%20George%27s%20University&st=cse&pagewanted=2>.


"St. George’s University - Caribbean Medical School - Caribbean Veterinary School." St.

        George’s University - Caribbean Medical School - Caribbean Veterinary School. 12 June

        2009 <http://www.sgu.edu>.


Thoroughbred Times Company, Inc. "The Thoroughbred Times." The Thoroughbred Times. 20

        June 2009 <http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/>.

				
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