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Del Mar's Summer Interns Have Coast-to-Coast Connections

Two native Californians, an Arizonan and a Marylander – with academic credentials from colleges coast to coast – comprise the group of interns for the 2013 Del Mar Thoroughbred Club summer race meeting.

 It’s the 36th year of an internship program begun in 1977 and the 16th multi-person assemblage.  Single interns went through the program from 1977-1992, but since the expansion in 1993 there have been only five soloists.

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the DMTC intern class of 2013:          

Sara Gillet, 20, was born and raised on a horse farm in northern Baltimore County in Maryland. She grew up steeplechasing, fox hunting and playing polo with her summers spent getting experience around horses and the horse industry, which included going to Texas and working on cattle ranches or to Kentucky and following veterinarians to horse sales and other horse events.

Gillet will be a junior in the fall at the University of Colorado in Boulder, majoring in business management with a minor in biology.  “Two sort of random things, but things that I really enjoy,” she said. Her studies have taken her away from riding and the industry in recent years, but she’s excited by a chance to get back into both.

“I definitely want to be in the horse world after I graduate, so that’s why this is an incredible opportunity for me.”

Claire Crawford, 27, from Pasadena, has an undergraduate degree at the University of Miami, achieved in 2008, in mathematical economics and statistics. While there, she worked as an intern for Fox Sports’ “Best Damn Sports Show,” specializing in one of her other major interests, tennis.

Crawford worked in San Diego for three years for the federal government before going on to graduate school at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.  She will start her second year there in the fall.

Crawford was introduced to hunter/jumper equitation as a teenager and competed collegiately for Miami.  She owns a chestnut mare, Quiana. Her great grandfather, Robert B. Honeyman, owned Finger Bell, the winner -- on August 14, 1946 -- of a race called the Bataan Purse at Del Mar.

“My aunt still has the trophy,” Crawford said.

Nick Littleton, 21, from Oakland, is about to enter his senior year at Gonzaga University, the alma mater of Del Mar founder Bing Crosby. Littleton transferred to the Spokane, WA, school from Santa Barbara Community College and is majoring in sports management with a minor in promotion.  He plays center/midfield for the Zags’ soccer team.

His exposure to Thoroughbred racing came through trips to Golden Gate Fields and the now defunct Bay Meadows with his father when he was growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“I want to work in the sports industry, and whatever comes up for me here, I’m fully open to doing,” Littleton said.

Tim Fahrendorf, 27, from Phoenix, is a senior in the University of Arizona’s Racetrack Industry Program, the 40th RTIP student to intern at Del Mar. Fahrendorf enrolled at the U of A after earning a degree in general studies at Arizona State. Trips to the Phoenix-area Turf Paradise track sparked his interest in the sport before he knew about the RTIP offering in Tucson.

“My first trip out to Turf Paradise, I just loved the atmosphere,” Fahrendorf said. “I have a special interest in track maintenance because I’ve worked for the Arizona Diamondbacks on the grounds crew into my seventh season now.

“I love being around sports and working with my hands.  I don’t know what I’ll be doing (during the internship), but I’d like to learn as much about track maintenance as I can.”