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Employee photo Meet Millie Vance, a legislative secretary in a suite of four representatives. Her claim to fame: She once showed a thoroughbred to Queen Elizabeth II. Vance wasn’t allowed to initiate a conversation, but Queen Elizabeth declared the horse to be “very impressive.” A photograph capturing the moment in 1989 at Gainsborough Farm is displayed in a modest frame on a bookshelf behind Vance’s desk. Enamored with ponies as a child in West Virginia, Vance borrowed $100 and caught a bus to Florida for a job mucking stalls at the age of 16. That launched a career that ultimately led to the famed horse farms of the Bluegrass State. Before a career-ending back injury, Vance was a groom in a barn of 19 mares and foals valued at an average of $1 million each for the king of Dubai. The injury led to a second career with the Legislative Research Commission. She started 10 years ago stocking committee rooms and legislative lounges before a series of promotions. “Once I started here, I felt comfortable. People have a tendency around here to make you feel like you fit in,” Vance said. But she has never abandoned her love of animals. She has a German shepherd named Cheyenne, a mutt named Sadie, a rat terrier named Sugar, a chiweenie (a combination of a Chihuahua and a dachshund) named CC and a parrot named Pancho.