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For Animal Science Major, Racing a Sure Sign of Spring
Minnesota Ag Connection - 04/11/2018

With hints of spring in the air, senior Abby Garin is excited to graduate but maybe even more excited to head back to the track. It has been part of her spring routine since she was 15 years old.

For the animal science major from Andover, Minn., racing fever is something of a family legacy. Her grandfather and father have a history in the sport, and Garin grew up at the racetrack.

From early April to late October, Garin is racing her own Mod-4 car and last year had the chance to run a micro sprint car for another owner. In 2018, she will be running her own micro sprint car along with the Mod-4 in races across the upper Midwest. Last year alone, Garin ran 41 shows in the Mod-4 against 12 to 22 cars in features and finishing multiple times in the top five and top three.

While Garin loves the speed, she also loves the cars and does most of the work on them from the motor adjustments to race set ups.

"The best days are race days," she smiles. "It makes the winter season hard to get through because I am anxious to get back on the track."

Garin's other love is animals. It is the reason she is majoring in animal science and hopes to have a career that allows her to be involved with both of her passions.

An internship with Roselawn Stables in St. Francis, Minn., managing 30 horses, running day camps, and helping children with disabilities learn to ride gave her great satisfaction.

"I didn't grow up on a farm, so I had to work harder in my animal science classes because my knowledge was limited," Garin says. "But, I have loved it. I came in afraid of cows, and now they are some of my favorites."

Her parents actually encouraged her in the pursuit of a degree that would lead to working with animals. "They saw how I was with animals growing up," she says. "It was their encouragement and the fact that I fell in love with the Crookston campus, that led me to this point."

Her parents are the ones who saw her through rehabilitation following an accident last August that had her airlifted off the racetrack and hospitalized. Cleared to race early on, she later found out she had a fracture in her spine, two abby garindislocated bones including one vertebra, a cracked disc, and numerous micro tears throughout the muscles in her back.

"There have been times I experience a lot of pain," she reflects. "But I am anxious to get medically cleared for a return to racing."

As a third generation racer, Garin has a pre-race ritual that she shares with her dad. "I would not want to go out on the track without my knuckle bump with my dad," she says. "He is always there and that is the sendoff I need before a race."

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