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Dr. Morgan Taylor talks about her time on ‘Life at Vet U’

Dr. Morgan Taylor is one of six veterinary students profiled in "Life at Vet U" which begins airing this Saturday on Animal Planet.

Dr. Morgan Taylor is one of six veterinary students profiled in “Life at Vet U” which begins airing this Saturday on Animal Planet.

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

EAST MARLBOROUGH — Morgan Taylor has loved horses since she was a little girl, so it is not a stretch that she’d want to become an equine veterinarian, but the last thing she ever envisioned was becoming a television star.

But starting this Saturday, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine grad who spent much of her time at The New Bolton Center, is one of six vet students featured in Animal Planet’s new show, Life at Vet U, which airs the first of six episodes at 10 p.m.

The show follows the six during their final year of study — following them as they learned both at UPenn’s Philadelphia campus as well as at New Bolton. As Taylor was the most focused on equestrian and large animal medicine, it is her that is seen most commonly in the six-episode series at New Bolton.

Taylor, speaking after coming our of surgery at the University of Illinois, where she is completing her internship, said she had no thoughts of ever becoming a television reality star — only auditioned after she was encouraged to do so by UPenn’s Director of Communications, Ashley Berke.

“She told me she thought I’d be great for this show,” Taylor said. “I wasn’t sure — I’m a boring person,” she added, laughing.

The producers, though, didn’t agree and fairly quickly cast her for the show. That led to cameras following her final year — and the pressures of study at one of the elite veterinary schools in the nation. And while it took a bit of adjustment, initially, Taylor said it was less strange than one might think. And there were benefits, too.

“You tend to forget that they’re (the cameras) there,” she said. “But one of the good things was when you were working with mentors, with the cameras there, they tended to take their time in explaining things.”

Still, cameras or not, her time at UPenn — especially at New Bolton — was not without stress.

And while all vet students feel the pressure to save a beloved pet, at New Bolton Taylor was seeing animals — horses mainly — that were either the livelihood or enormous investments in equine-focused Unionville.

“People invest in their horses — we were always conscious of that,” she said.

Even with the pressure, she says she felt very much at home in Unionville. She grew up competing in equine events in her native Northern New Jersey — and she immediately took to the local horse culture, including it being a center for equine eventing. She said she enjoys eventing on an amateur basis, but saw first-hand a number of the eventers who compete in the Olympics and other top competitions, many of whom are based in the area and depend on New Bolton to keep their horses healthy.

She hopes to focus on horses — race horses, specifically (“I love thoroughbreds,” she said) on the West Coast, once she completes her rotation at the University of Illinois.

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