Interview with Dubai Equine Science Scholarship recipient Li Zhangxin

Li is a Veterinary Science student from South China Agricultural University. He comes from a small village in Guizhou in South East China where he grew up with horses.

He loves horses so much that during his college education, he completed a horse stable internship in Inner Mongolia. During the internship, he learned how to manage a stable, basic veterinary care as well as some riding training. We spoke with him about his experience with horses and the application of the scholarship.

Why do you choose to study your current major?

I am very interested in horses. They are lovely animals who have a particular conformation plus their own rules and body language -  there is so much to learn and explore about horses.

I also have a love for all animals. I grew up with dogs and treated them as my friends. It was always an enjoyable experience for me to talk to them.

The third reason is related to my father, who is a vet in our home village. His job inspired me to learn veterinary and animal science, so I have devoted myself to this career.

Why do you like horses?

China has a long history of horse culture. In ancient China, horses were deeply involved in people’s daily lives. Now, horses are used more often in a commercial way, such as horse racing and tourism. I grew up with horses and have built a special bond with them.

My two-month internship in the horse stables also deeply strengthened my love and passion towards horses. 

Describe an experience or interesting story with horses?

My family raised several local horses for transportation of commodities. I fed them and grew up with them from the age of around ten. I am from a rural area where many farmers have their own horses and paddocks, so I had many chances to be with horses.

I completed an internship at the University of Inner Mongolia, where my job was to take care of two horses named Sight Winner and Not Quite Perfect, I loved them very much and did my best to look after them.

Sight Winner used to be a Champion horse, now retired from the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Not Quite Perfect is a horse who likes to keep his stable tidy and clean, never mixing his hay with dirt or dust.

You have already had some experience with us in applying for DESS, what is your first impression of Darley or Godolphin?

I did not know about Darley and its China projects before my internship. I heard about DESS at the end of my internship and was excited about it. I wasn’t sure if I would be selected but I just wanted to give it a try and applied and winning was a very big surprise to me. I feel grateful for the help from Darley, my teacher and classmates.

My first impression of Darley is its passion about horses and the racing and breeding industry. In China, there are more and more projects launched, which demonstrates not only the passion, but also a responsibility to help develop the horse industry in China. This is my impression of Darley as well as Godolphin.

What do you know about Dubai?

In the past, the first thing I thought of when speaking of Dubai is desert, gold, and the Burj Al Arab. But I recently learned about the Dubai World Cup over there.

During my application for DESS, my understanding of Dubai has improved -I now realized the passion and dedication of HH Sheikh Mohammed towards horses, especially the success of the Darley Flying Start. All of these factors make me feel that Dubai is a place full of dream and hope.

What is your career plan for the future? 

My career objective is to become a senior horse vet. I have made a detailed long term plan for this goal.