Horses have been a constant in Kate Hepworth’s life. She still has the same horse she grew up with, a mare named Ginger who just turned 30.
“Growing up, I was on a mission to find a career where I could work with them every day,” Hepworth said.
She found one. Hepworth, who was born in Bradford, England, and raised in South Bend, Ind., recently moved to North Carolina to join the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine as a clinical assistant professor of equine medicine.
Hepworth earned her DVM from Purdue University and spent the past four years in private practice in New Jersey. Her time spent in equine private practice will help her mentor students as they transition from classroom to hospital and face the real-world challenges waiting for them outside of an academic setting.
What will you be doing in your new role?
I will mostly be working in the Equine and Farm Animal Veterinary Center seeing patients and instructing students, residents and interns. The equine medicine team sees a variety of cases, but my favorites involve gastrointestinal, neonatal and respiratory disease. When I’m not on clinics, I’ll be teaching in the classroom, writing or conducting clinical research.
What do you enjoy most about working with horses?
I love working with horses because they are incredible animals. They can serve so many different purposes in the lives of their humans, from working to athletic activity to companionship. Few animals can do so many things so well.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
I’m excited to be a part of such a collaborative environment, where I can work with other specialists and mentor residents, interns and veterinary students. At the NC State Veterinary Hospital, there are so many specialists and experts around that there is always someone to bounce ideas off of and get second opinions.
What’s something someone would be surprised to learn about you?
I started running half marathons three years ago and have run five since then, which is still surprising to me. I’m still getting used to the heat and hills of Raleigh, so it may have to cool down a bit before I sign up for any upcoming races in the area.
When you’re not on campus, where could we find you?
I enjoy spending time with friends and family, cooking, going to the beach, running and reading. I also enjoy traveling, especially through Europe. My favorite places to visit so far have been Ireland and South Africa.
Do you have any pets?
I have two dogs, a cat and a horse. Right now, we are a divided household. Our dogs, Macie and Tika, are living with me in North Carolina and our cat and horse, Baxter and Ginger, are living in New Jersey with my husband, Josh, while he finishes his veterinary neurology residency.
How is Ginger doing without you?
It’s difficult being separated from half of my family, and I miss everyone, but I’m pretty sure Ginger doesn’t notice that I’m gone as long as someone still feeds her.
Visit the equine medicine page for more information about our equine services at the NC State Veterinary Hospital.