Ogden veterinarian receives national Pony Club award for volunteer work

Tuesday , May 23, 2017 - 5:15 AM

ANNA BURLESON, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN -— Kathy Borrett said she didn’t have anything better to do growing up, so she studied.

That’s how she graduated high school and started attending Texas A&M University at age 15. It’s also how she has become a successful veterinarian.

“I have loved veterinary medicine,” she said. “You never do the same thing two days in a row.”

Borrett has been a veterinarian for almost 40 years and has volunteered for most of them with the Wasatch Pony Club, a chapter of the United States Pony Club.

In front of a crowd of about a dozen people at her office, Borrett received the Local Legend Award from the pony club Monday, May 15.

But even while receiving the award, Borrett never stopped working. One customer came in to pick up medication and her husband Edward Capell walked in with a Coke bottle full of goat’s milk for a week-old goat she and her staff were nursing to health.

Borrett admitted she began volunteering with the Wasatch Pony Club because she would get free horse riding lessons.

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“That’s one of the best parts about being a Pony Club sponsor,” she said. “Things you don’t know, you can learn.”

She has also worked with area 4-H students. Brian Smith’s daughter does both Pony Club and 4-H.

“What you're seeing is awesome but realize it’s only half of what she does with her volunteering,” he said. “I’ve never been to a horse event in Weber County where she’s not there.”

Grace Mull, a 15-year-old Pony Club member, said Borrett has taught her a lot about how to take care of her two horses Mailman and Mason.

“My favorite thing is when she’s taking care of them if there’s something you can do, she’ll let you do it or she’ll teach you, show you, and make sure you understand,” Mull said.

Borrett has been riding horses since she was 5 years old but her career started at age 9 when her dog stepped on a piece of glass while the family was in Ruidoso, New Mexico. The dog ended up biting the veterinarian who came to help so in return, Borrett worked with him all summer.

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“I scrubbed and did dishes and washed syringes,” she said. “At that time you re-used syringes. They were glass.”

After getting a degree from Texas A&M, Borrett took a job at Hill Air Force Base and worked in Honduras for a time teaching farmers how to milk their animals in a sanitary way.

She opened her veterinary office in Ogden, had three children who are now grown and to this day works with the Wasatch Pony Club, teaching young horse riders the biology of their beloved stallions and how to properly care for them.

“Teaching kids is the fun part, especially when they want to learn,” she said.

Borrett is also the only PATH-certified Freedom Riders instructor in the area, a group that helps people with disabilities ride horses.

Katie Cobia, a 19-year-old Pony Club member, has known Borrett for most of her life. She’s pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine at Utah State University and has sometimes turned to Borrett for help with her schoolwork.

“She’s the type of person you can call her up and she’ll talk to you and give you information and knowledge,” Cobia said. “She’s awesome. She’s my go-to person.”

At her practice in Ogden, Borrett works mostly with cats and dogs and education is a big part of what she does. When clients have an emergency situation with their animal, Borrett teaches them ways to avoid a crisis in the future.

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Wasatch Pony Club Co-District Commissioner Sharon Holmstrom said Borrett has even done a horse autopsy to further educate their young members.

“She has just been amazing,” Holmstrom said. “I can't even tell you what she has done for our club and 4-H kids in the way of veterinary knowledge for all those years.”

Grace was there for one such autopsy.

“We were all sitting there in these gloves with blood up to our elbows,” she said, laughing.

Borrett is building a new veterinary clinic down the street from her current location at 875 W. 12th St. The new facility will have a large area for livestock and horses and Borrett hopes to have it open by Christmas.

For now, clients usually bring their horses to Borrett’s personal residence where she has 23 horses of her own, more than a dozen goats and a couple of dogs.

Her husband, Capell, helps. He fell off a horse about 15 years ago and spent three months in the hospital where he was told by doctors he was “totally disabled” and would never walk again.

But Borrett said he has to feed and help take care of the hoses. So defied the odds, and he does.

“If something happens to me he knows how to take care of my horses,” she said.

Contact education reporter Anna Burleson at aburleson@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnagatorB or like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/BurlesonReports.

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