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Megan Newsome, a Morehead State University senior, feeds horses from a hay loft in the early morning. Newsome is an agribusiness and animal science double major who also helps with the MSU equestrian team.

The last ride

story by Abigail Dollins

The sun is rising and Megan Newsome is up and ready to care for horses nearly 100 miles away from her hometown of Pikeville, the place that ignited her equestrian passion.

Megan is a Morehead State University senior who studies agribusiness and animal science. Megan spends much of her time at the 350-acre university farm but realizes her future career may not entail brushing or trotting horses around an arena.

"I don't really want to sit behind a desk, but that's the start of good jobs in the industry," Megan says.

Megan would eventually like to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Equestrian Federation.

"If it all falls into place that I'm training horses for the rest of my life, that's OK too," Megan says.

With graduation in the spring, Megan has started to prepare for life beyond MSU with her high school sweetheart of eight years, Dylan Tackett, who took a job in Louisville last year. Megan realizes that she could be exposed to more opportunities outside of her hometown and plans to join Dylan in Louisville.

"I feel like I'm doing myself a favor and doing the people that raised me a favor by going out in the world and trying to do something to benefit myself," Megan says.

Megan's mom, Tabitha Newsome, says she can tell her daughter has gained independence since attending MSU, a dream she's had since she was little.

"I would put her up against anyone, male or female, when it comes to being a hard worker," Tabitha says.

After graduation, Megan's distance from Pikeville will double.

"I love home, but home's always there," Megan says. "The same people may not be there and things might be different, but home is always going to be home. If it's 10 days from now or 10 years from now it's always going to be there."


Before sunrise, Megan makes her commute from the Derrickson Agricultural Complex to Morehead State University’s main campus for an 8 a.m. class.


Ribbons earned by the MSU Equestrian team hang in a case at the barn on the Derrickson Agricultural Complex grounds.


Megan and Justice Scott prepare for their Feeds and Feeding of Livestock class at 8 a.m.


Megan and her boss, Randy Gauche, discuss the responsibilities on the schedule for her early morning shift.


Megan Newsome (left), Audrey Emery and McKenzee Newton belt out the lyrics, "He ain't seen me crazy yet," from Miranda Lambert's hit song "Gunpowder and Lead." Megan and McKenzee are often inseparable and call themselves "Thelma and Louise."


At 5:45 a.m., Megan Newsome begins her day by washing her face before work. Megan lives on the Derrickson Agricultural Complex and cares for the horses on the farm.


Megan buttons up a flannel before her shift at the barn. Flannels are a staple in her wardrobe.


Megan works with Duke and soaks his hoof in epsom salts to help him recover from infection found in his hoof.


During her afternoon riding class, Megan goofs off with Lady after practicing with her around the arena. "Lady is different from other horses in that she's really strong and really fast," Megan says. "She's much harder to signal than other horses."

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