Primary Location: Salinas
Growing up, Sophie spent the school year on Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle, and summered at Hayden Lake in Northern Idaho. When she was 8-years-old, she started taking riding lessons together with her mother and her lifelong friend Elisabeth, who she still rides with whenever she visits home. She learned to ride English (Hunter/Jumper), began working at barns in exchange for lessons, and soon became an exercise rider. When Sophie started working at a ranch during high school, she was introduced to Western riding, leading trail rides and teaching arena lessons. Ever since then, she has enjoyed both English and Western riding and when she’s at home does lots of trail riding and schools lesson horses. Sophie’s early exposure to the equine veterinary industry was while working at the horse ranch during high school and summers as an undergrad. Groups of veterinarians and vet techs would train on the animals there before heading off on international service trips.
Sophie earned her Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering at Santa Clara University, after which she worked in biomedical research for three years. While she enjoyed using her background in molecular biology and electrophysiology for research, she missed working with horses and other animals. So she got involved with Animal Assisted Happiness in the San Francisco Bay Area, helping with barn chores, which started her on the road back to school and working with animals full time.
Sophie returned to her home state to pursue her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at Washington State University (WSU). One of the most fun experiences she had during veterinary school was as a foal team coordinator — she loves working with foals! She was also part of a research scholars program at WSU, studying neurons in the eye and macular degeneration in both humans and animals. And she worked on the WSU blood transfusion team, working with blood donor dogs, cats, goats, sheep, cows, and horses, which stimulated her interest in transfusion medicine. Dr. Biencourt hopes to pursue a large animal internal medicine residency and incorporate research into her clinical practice.
Sophie does not currently have any companion animals of her own. However, she’s a proud cat aunt to her sister's two, one of which she talked her sister into adopting during her shelter medicine rotation during her clinical year at veterinary school. While not spending time working with and enjoying animals or riding horses with friends, Sophie loves hiking, gardening, playing soccer, and bouldering, which she has loved since she started climbing during vet school. She also feels very fortunate to be able to enjoy and spend time with her very large and very tight knit extended family.