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"Cross Country was never my sport" common app extracurricular Elon University Essay


aelee523 3 / 8  
Dec 11, 2010   #1
If you had $5,000 to start a business or non-profit organization, what would you do? Why? Who would benefit?

I have ridden horses since age seven and am still riding at the barn where i first began. My parents were never able to justify buying me the expensive show horses that i craved to become a competitive, upper lever rider so i jumped around from horse to horse, riding whatever animal was available for a certain amount of time, then moving on. Although I never got the showing experience that i so desired, the constant change made me into the rider that i need to be to fulfill my true, impossible dream- retraining off the track thoroughbreds. My opportunity came to me in the form of a free, four year old grey gelding with remnants of a cracked knee. Jet went from ...

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quinnfire32 1 / 1  
Dec 11, 2010   #2
I assume you know that all of the words "I" should be capitalized. Try and avoid using so many negative statements in the last paragraph, and make it sound a little more positive. Other than that great job and good luck.
nishabala 4 / 91  
Dec 12, 2010   #3
I really think this can be made much better by bringing some drama into it. Start with a hyperbolized problem statement, such as describing the plight of the 'poor' race horses who are ___ed because they are too old, and how you consider it your mission (to put it way too melodramatically) to save them. It'll make you seem more human and give it a better impact, cause the business you propose has the scope for it.

On the other hand, this is a really strong essay cause it's action-oriented adn sows you've got your feet firmly on the floor. It's strong, and impressive, but I guess it could be more memorable.

Dont do that if it compromises your style too drastically, though.
Good luck!
OP aelee523 3 / 8  
Dec 12, 2010   #4
Cross Country was never my sport. I am a former gymnast and horseback riding is my passion. I was urged to join the cross country team by my friends but i always refused, afraid of being the worst on the team, afraid of failure. Eventually out of boredom and curiosity i mustered up all my courage and went to the first summer practice. When the coach saw me she immediately instructed me to run the farthest distance of anyone there. After that I quickly surpassed all my teammates who had been doing this for years. My coach even put an article in the newspaper about me being Glass's best runner. Then, my teammates elected me captain. Everything was going great. I continued to excel until an injury held me back, but that didn't take away from the experience at all. I had been terrified to fail, tried anyways, and excelled.
OP aelee523 3 / 8  
Dec 12, 2010   #5
ok, ive changed this a lot and would love more opinions on it now. Im not sure how well if flows or if the ending fits at all. Also if it relates to the prompt well enough. Thanks for the help!

If you had $5,000 to start a business or non-profit organization, what would you do? Why? Who would benefit?
I walked down the aisles shed-style barns that stretched in parallel lines to each other for what had to be a mile or more, peering over the gate keepers at the resting thoroughbreds. Some thin as rails, obviously sick and lame. Some with fancy leather halters, groomed, hayracks filled with fresh alfalfa, shiny metal tack trunks sitting outside their stalls, waiting for their time at the start gate, for their opportunity to make their owners fortunes. I was not interested in these starts-to-be. They would live good, happy lives for the remainder of their years. It was the sick and tired that i paid special attention to. I walked from barn to barn with my friend, finding people who looked as though they belonged and asking if they had any horses that weren't good runners and that they were looking to give away or sell for cheap. This was the business. We met all sorts of characters in the first leg of our journey. Old men who would not shake our hands because we were "those fancy hunter people". Horses that desperately needed an out from this life style for if not, after a few more failed races they would surely be led straight onto a double-decker tractor trailer where they would be shipped to Canada for slaughter. Sold for their weight in meat.

Finally after searching for months, my opportunity for me to fulfill my dream came in in the form of a free, four year old grey gelding with remnants of a cracked knee. Jet went from not knowing the basic signals to walk or turn to a blossoming super star in just a year's time. Now he is on the market and I have entered into a business agreement with my coach where we both contribute towards the common goal of retraining ex-racehorses, giving them a second chance in life.

With $5,000, I would further this project. Horse's expenses add up very quickly and having that extra money would be an excellent cushion that would give us the confidence we need to branch out to more animals that could benefit from our program. My parents are only so willing to give their money to a cause where there is no guaranteed outcome of success or profit, so funding is often scarce. With that sum of money we could cover grain for our animals, new equipment, horse show fees, etc. all of which help us to better market our horses so we gain a larger profit and have more money to put back into them. With the guaranteed revenue that would come from this, we could even take on new project horses. In the past we've had numerous prospective projects but have had to turn them all away because of the uncertainty of the market that we are dealing with. Adding another horse would be money taken away from the horses that we currently have and that is not a sacrifice that is worth taking. Five thousand dollars would give us the edge we needed to take our business to a further level.

The impact of the benefit from our business spans far beyond the profit that we could make from selling these horses. Perusing the stalls at the racetrack, looking in at the forlorn horses filled me with a feeling of duty. They wanted a second chance; they deserved it, their eyes begged for an opportunity to try something different before their fate was set. I could do that for them. I had to. Our program gives these horses not only another chance to be successful, but another chance at life.

Though I am only seventeen and my dreams for this project span far beyond what I am capable of, it is that far-fetched, stretch of the imagination has kept me committed. Yes, money for our efforts will always be scarce; it will always be a struggle. No, I will probably never get renowned recognition for what I am doing. The profits from this business will never add up to be anything less than enough to barely break even. I will not stop the horse slaughter industry. I will go to college next year, be away from horses and this dream of mine will probably fade as so many do. What will linger forever though is what I've learned about the impact that our dreams have on us. No- they will probably never come true in the Disney, happily ever after format that we all crave but without that initial spark we do not know how far we can go, what we are truly capable of.
quickstraw 1 / 5  
Dec 12, 2010   #6
I was urged to join the cross country team by my friends but i always refused, afraid of being the worst on the team, afraid of failure.

What about, My friends had always encouraged me to join the cross country team, but I was afraid of being the slowest on the team.

Don't forget to capitalize your "I's."

Rewrite your sentences so they transition better, and try to use more vivid images.
Then, re-read what you have written and delete all the extra words (this will give you room to write more).
Good start!


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