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  • 08/06/2020 12:33 PM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (August 6, 2020) The Kentucky Horse Council announced today that it is currently accepting applications for a new executive director to lead the organization. Katy Ross, who has served as the KHC's executive director since 2015, will be leaving the organization at the end of August to pursue other career opportunities. During her tenure, Ross spearheaded several key initiatives, including a new strategic plan, created successful programs focused on education and welfare of horses across the Commonwealth and worked with legislators at the local, state and national levels as an advocate for the horse industry.

    “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Kentucky Horse Council and the support of the Kentucky horse industry throughout that time,” said Ross.  “The strength and diversity of the board of directors and staff has allowed the KHC to address issues facing the equine industry across the Commonwealth and I am confident that the organization will continue to be a voice for all horsemen and women in Kentucky heading into the future.  I am thankful for my time at the KHC and all of the organizations and people that work to support horses in Kentucky as well as the KHC.  I wish the KHC the best as I head into the next chapter of my career.”

    The Kentucky Horse Council is a non-profit dedicated to the protection and development of the Kentucky equine community, through education and leadership. An all-breed, all-discipline organization, the KHC provides educational programs and information, trainings, outreach and communication to the Kentucky equine industry, the Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA), health and welfare programs, and advocacy on behalf of the entire horse industry.   The specialty KHC license plate, featuring a foal lying in the grass, provides a source of revenue for KHC programs.       

    “Katy has been a valuable asset to us at the Kentucky Horse Council and we are thankful for her dedication to our mission,” said Ryan Watson, Stallion Manager at Darby Dan Farm and President of the KHC Board of Directors. “We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors and we look forward to this new chapter for our organization.”

    The full job description can be viewed here. 

    Those interested in applying for the position should submit a cover letter and resume to director@kentuckyhorse.org by August 20, 2020.  For any questions regarding the position or to apply for the position, please contact Katy Ross at director@kentuckyhorse.org or (859) 367-0509. 

  • 07/29/2020 12:15 PM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (July 29, 2020)- In an effort to continue to provide educational opportunities to equine enthusiasts in Kentucky despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kentucky Horse Council's Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) offered their most recent quarterly meeting via Zoom. Though the traditional, in-person networking portion of the meeting wasn't possible, the informational content of the meeting did not disappoint. 

    Presented by Dinsmore Equine Law Group, the July meeting focused on a topic at the forefront of many Kentuckian's minds: The coronavirus and its impact on the state's signature equine industry. State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Stout spoke openly about the challenges the agriculture industry faced and continues to face during the pandemic, as well as on how his office worked to minimize the impact of the virus.

    Challenges the industry faced included the cancellation of equine events, the impact on interstate travel of horses and the ramifications of guidelines and restrictions on horse farm staff. "Business continuity was paramount," Stout said. "Our goal was to save the breeding season and determine how we were going to do that [safely]."

    Stout clarified that the Office of the State Veterinarian (OSV) had no defined role throughout the pandemic; the OSV served and supported the entities it regulates by collaborating and coordinating with both public health and government officials. "We worked to develop procedures and protocols that enabled us to do what we needed to do: care for horses and enable the equine industry to operate while complying with health and safety standards," Stout said.

    Once the State's executive orders, rules and regulations had been reviewed and interpreted by the OSV, employees began working with people in the equine industry to formulate appropriate procedures that would allow the ag industry to continue functioning during the pandemic. The office then communicated the expectation of compliance to the industry. Cooperation of all entities was necessary to allow the equine industry to remain in operation during quarantine.

    Dealing with disease outbreak is not out of the ordinary for the OSV. "We applied the knowledge of managing equine disease outbreaks to managing the coronavirus," Stout explained. The OSV sought to create ways to better manage the people who interacted with the horses while educating governing authorities, some of whom were unfamiliar with horses and the equine industry.

    On March 21, the OSV distributed guidelines and recommendations to breeding sheds on how to interpret Gov. Andy Beshear's order that was issued on March 23. This meant that breeding sheds had already begun implementing compliance protocols before the order was ever issued.

    The guidelines recommended by the OSV included:

    • Implementation of electronic documentation
    • Elimination of extraneous individuals from the shed (drivers and attendants barred from entering)
    • Disinfection of lead shank and other breeding equipment
    • Implementation of enhanced biosecurity

    The OSV also developed guidance on how to safely fulfill daily farm responsibilities. This document was made available to all equine farming operations, veterinary practices, racing and training operations, and other equine businesses. It specified that to remain in compliance, equine operations should:

    • Open barn doors for fresh air
    • Assign equipment to one barn only
    • Disinfect equipment and surfaces people touch regularly
    • Submit paperwork electronically
    • Limit the number of individuals in a barn
    • Communicate as much as possible via phone, email or text

    Though no one is sure how fall equestrian events will look, the protocols the OSV created were well received by people in public health and state government, and showed that the equine industry could continue operating safely. "How lucky are we to have a Department of Agriculture that recognizes how important the equine industry is to the state?" Stout asked.

    The next KENA meeting will take place virtually on September 1. Sponsors of the educational series include Dinsmore Equine Law Group, Neogen Corporation, WesBanco, University of Louisville College of Business Equine Industry Program, KESMARC Kentucky and the Equine Land Conservation Resource.

  • 07/28/2020 12:55 PM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (July 28, 2020) – The Kentucky Horse Council is conducting a survey of its members and other individuals in the Kentucky horse industry between now and August 15, 2020.  This survey will be used to help the Kentucky Horse Council Board of Directors craft the position that the Council will take on issues currently facing the industry.    

    “We are reaching out to our membership to gather input on issues facing the industry, as well as the Kentucky Horse Council,” said Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Katy Ross.  “We believe it is important to check in with our members in order to provide accurate representation and to keep a pulse on what matters most to horsemen and women in Kentucky. I encourage every member of Kentucky’s horse industry to please participate in our survey. The information we gather enables us to better serve and represent our constituents, but also allows us to have a positive and lasting impact on Kentucky’s signature industry.”

    The survey, which takes approximately ten minutes to complete, can be found at www.kentuckyhorse.org. All members of the Kentucky equine community are invited and encouraged to take the survey.  

  • 06/25/2020 8:31 AM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (June 25, 2020) – The Kentucky Horse Council has announced it will host a virtual meeting in July for the Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA).  This meeting, presented by Dinsmore & Shohl LLP's Equine Law Group, will feature Rusty Ford with the Office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian. Mr. Ford will discuss equine related COVID19 Guidelines.   The meeting will happen on Zoom at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.  Registration is required. 

    Rusty Ford, the Equine Operations Consultant at the Office of the State Veterinarian, has been instrumental in helping to keep the horse industry functioning throughout the COVID19 crisis. Mr. Ford will discuss the guidelines for the safe operation of horse shows, breeding sheds, boarding barns and more.  There will be additional time for questions and discussion from the participants.

    “We are excited to present this topic that has affected every horse owner and enthusiast this spring,” Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Katy Ross.  “Kentucky is lucky to have such a strong advocate for the horse industry in this unprecedented crisis.  Rusty’s experience and knowledge allowed for the continued operation of much of the equine industry and he has been an important liaison between the industry and state government.”

    KENA is charged with the mission of providing an educational and social venue for equine professionals and horse enthusiasts from all disciplines. Organized by the Kentucky Horse Council, KENA provides the opportunity for attendees to share ideas, business strategies and knowledge, and to obtain up-to-date information on horse and farm management and on issues affecting the equine industry. KENA is made possible by the generous support of sponsors, including Dinsmore Equine Law Group, WesBanco, Neogen, University of Louisville Equine Industry Program, KESMARC Kentucky, and Equine Land Conservation Resources. 

    The July meeting is presented by Dinsmore & Shohl LLP's Equine Law Group. Dinsmore & Shohl is a full-service law firm with offices in twenty-three cities throughout eleven states and the District of Columbia, including Kentucky offices in Lexington, Frankfort, Louisville and Covington. The Dinsmore Equine Law Group is a generous supporter of the KENA dinner series.

    The Kentucky Equine Networking Association welcomes all Kentucky horse owners, professionals and enthusiasts to participate in the July meeting. All participants must register at https://kentuckyhorse.org/KENA. 

  • 06/15/2020 9:38 AM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (June 15, 2020) – The Kentucky Horse Council has announced a new partnership with Freedman Harness & Saddlery of Midway, Kentucky.  Freedman’s, recognizing the difficult times that many are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, sought a way to give-back to the local equine community. 

    During June and July any stable halters purchased at Freedman’s Boutique in Midway, Kentucky will contribute to the Kentucky Horse Council’s Save Our Horses, or SOHO, Fund, which is used to assist horses in need. For every halter purchased in-store or over the phone, $10 will be donated to the fund, with a goal of reaching at least $2,000 in donations. In addition, Freedman’s Boutique will serve as a collection location where Kentucky horse enthusiasts can give monetary donations to support the Kentucky Horse Council’s beneficiaries, in exchange for some of the handcrafted wares from Freedman’s.

    Freedman’s Boutique has long been a staple of small businesses on Main Street in the picturesque town of Midway, Kentucky. Freedman’s is an integral asset to the show horse community across the United States, specializing in English tack and harness for American Saddlebreds, Arabians, Morgans, Hackneys, and carriage driving horses. However, owners David and Nicole Freedman felt it was their responsibility to help support the horses and horse owners in their local Kentucky community, regardless of breed or discipline.

    “The Kentucky Horse Council is grateful to Freedman’s for their generosity and support of the SOHO Fund,” says Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Katy Ross.  “2020 has been a difficult year for so many and we appreciate Freedman’s recognition of the impact on the greater horse community and their desire to help horses and horse owners across the Commonwealth.”

    The Kentucky Horse Council’s SOHO Fund was set up in recognition that not all horses in Kentucky have access to adequate food, shelter, or veterinary care. This includes gelding and euthanasia voucher programs support for gelding and wellness clinics, as well as transportation for abandoned or neglected horses to reputable adoption or foster facilities.  In addition, the SOHO Fund offers the Equine Safety Net Program, which provides hay and grain for horse owners who have suffered a temporary financial setback, such as a job loss or medical event, to help them maintain their horses during a temporary financial shortfall. The Safety Net Program has been modified during COVID-19 to offer one-time grants for hay and grain to qualifying horse owners who have been negatively impacted by the shutdowns..

    To learn more about the SOHO Fund, visit www.kentuckyhorse.org.

    ABOUT THE KENTUCKY HORSE COUNCIL - The Kentucky Horse Council is a non-profit organization dedicated, through education and leadership, to the protection and development of the Kentucky equine community. The Kentucky Horse Council provides educational programs and information, outreach and communication to Kentucky horse owners and enthusiasts, equine professional networking opportunities through the Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA), trail riding advocacy, health and welfare programs,personal liability insurance and other membership benefits.  The specialty Kentucky Horse Council license plate, featuring a foal lying in the grass, provides the primary source of revenue for KHC programs.

    ABOUT FREEDMAN HARNESS -The Freedman’s story began in 1802 and it continues today with a lineage of master craftsmen who all shared the same vision, each in a different time, and with the same results: quality craftsmanship with the finest materials. The products have changed over time, but the essence remains the same. Steeped in the traditions of equestrian sport, Freedman's harness, saddles, bridles, bags and leather goods all echo a commitment to excellence that dates back six generations. Freedman's continues to offer harness and saddlery for horses from many disciplines. The company's strength lies in carriage driving and show horse such as Saddlebreds, Morgans, Arabians, Hackneys and more. Recently emerging as an equestrian fashion house, their expanded product line includes elegantly handcrafted handbags, travel bags, belts and leather goods. Learn more at FreedmanHarness.com.


  • 06/02/2020 9:56 AM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (June 2, 2020) – The Kentucky Horse Council has announced they will be awarding two  $1,500 scholarships to Kentucky students already attending college, or accepted into a college who have demonstrated academic success, Kentucky equine industry involvement and community service for the Fall 2020 Semester.  

    The Equine Scholarship will be awarded to students currently enrolled with a university or college in Kentucky in an equine-related major or a horse-related program, or a student accepted into an equine related major or program to start in the Fall 2020 semester.  Some examples of courses of studies for which the scholarships are intended are Equine Science/Studies, Equine Business Management, Equine Therapy, Pre-Veterinarian, Farrier Training, Professional Jockey Certificate, Professional Horsemen’s Certificate, etc.  Applicants must be student members of the Kentucky Horse Council.

    “The Kentucky Horse Council is once again offering scholarships to college students in Kentucky,” says Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Katy Ross.  “Education is a critical part of our mission and in these difficult times, we are pleased that we are able to still support students pursuing a career in the equine industry.  Hopefully, these scholarships will allow students to continue to pursue their degrees, despite the hardships so many are facing. We encourage all Kentucky equine students to apply.”

    Applications for the scholarship will be accepted until July 3, 2020.  The scholarship will be awarded on August 3, 2020. The student is required to be a member of the Kentucky Horse Council. Student memberships are free and interested students may sign up at www.kentuckyhorse.org.

    To download the scholarship application, visit www.kentuckyhorse.org.

  • 03/03/2020 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    Kentucky Equine Networking Meeting Offers Insight on how to Transport Horses Safely

    Lexington, KY (March 3, 2020)- An array of equine owners and enthusiasts gathered at The Red Mile Clubhouse in Lexington, KY, last week for the winter meeting of the Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) hosted by the Kentucky Horse Council. The audience, which included equine business owners, students and personnel of colleges with equestrian programs, and individual horse owners, was interested in learning how to keep horses safe during transport as well as what rules and regulations they needed to follow when transporting horses. 

    Dr. Laura Werner, DVM, MS, DAVCS, a surgeon at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington and a FEI Veterinary Delegate at many of the top three-day eventing competitions in the United States, is well-versed in keeping elite competition horses on top of their game, whether they’re shipping just down the road or across the country. Dr. Werner spoke of how difficult travel can be on a horse’s physical health. Because of this, if a horse is prone to stomach upset while being transported longer distances, she recommends he receive gastric ulcer preventative medications a day before and a day or two after his travel plans.

    Additionally, Dr. Werner noted that horses can become dehydrated while on a long trailer ride, either because they don’t have the opportunity to drink or they choose not to while on the road. To overcome this condition, she recommends oral fluids be delivered to a horse that is shipping for longer periods of time. Dr. Werner typically delivers these fluids through a nasogastric tube before the horse travels.

    Lance Hayden, a lifelong horseman, has a varied equestrian career; now a driver for Creech Horse Transportation and manager of their Lexington office, Hayden offered insight into how commercial shipping works. He highlighted all of the safety checks Creech vehicles and trailers go through to ensure they are road safe: All vehicle and trailer lights and tires are inspected daily; wires, bearings and brakes on each trailer are checked twice a year, and the brakes on each vehicle are inspected every 30,000 miles. Each of these checks is significantly more detailed than the once-over most personal trailers receive, he noted.

    Dr. Werner and Hayden both recommended that horses being shipped more than six hours be transported in a box stall; if that isn’t feasible, it’s imperative that the horse is shipped in such a manner that he’s able to put down his head to clear his lungs. “Shipping fever” is a condition that horses can develop if they’re forced to hold their heads at such an angle that they cannot clear dust, debris and bacterial particles from their trachea. These items enter a horse’s lungs and cause pneumonia.

    In addition to allowing a horse to clear his airway while in the trailer, Dr. Werner suggests taking the horse’s temperature every 12 hours once he has arrived at his destination; this should be done for the next 48 to 72 hours to ensure he hasn’t contracting shipping fever while in transit.

    Sgt. Jason Morris, Public Affairs Officer for the Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, spoke to the diverse crowd about agricultural exceptions and exemptions. Many people in the audience were unclear about what requirements they needed to follow when shipping horses, both commercially and for personal use. He noted that those who haul their own horses as recreational riders are exempt from the regulations. Those who are hauling horses as a business, which includes trainers, farriers and for-profit transport companies, are subject to the regulations when the vehicles being operated exceeded 10,001 pounds physical weight or gross vehicle weight rating. Those same persons would be required a CDL when the vehicles exceed 26,001lbs physical weight or gross vehicle weight rating.

    Additionally, he explained the difference between a “private” and a “for-hire” carrier is. A “private” carrier hauls only his own goods and commodities, meaning his own horse, tack, hay, etc. A “for-hire” carrier hauls someone else’s horses, hay, etc. Under this definition, there can be absolutely no money exchanged for movement of horses on a “private” trailer; Sgt. Morris reiterated that this means money in any manner: in the form of fuel, meals, check or cash. Additionally, like other legal issues, a state law can be more stringent than a federal law, so Sgt. Morris encouraged all those who haul horses across state lines be familiar with the laws in the states in which they are traveling. To find these laws, simply search “FMCSA Horse Hauling” in any search engine.

    The three KENA panelists offered attendees advice on how to stay compliant with Kentucky state laws regarding hauling horses, as well as how to ensure that their mounts travel safely and arrive at their destination in good health.

    The next KENA meeting will take place on April 21 at the Red Mile Clubhouse. Hosted by the Kentucky Horse Council, sponsors of the educational series include Dinsmore Equine Law Group, Neogen Corporation, University of Louisville College of Business Equine Industry Program, Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center (KESMARC) and WesBanco.

  • 01/23/2020 12:49 PM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (January 23, 2020) – The Kentucky Horse Council has announced the topic for the February Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) dinner. The February topic will be “Equine Transportation- What You Need to Know Before You Go!” The dinner will be held on February 18, 2020, at The Red Mile Clubhouse in Lexington, Ky. KENA is a dinner and educational series open to equine professionals, horse owners, and riders and will feature a networking reception from 5:30-6:00 PM, followed by dinner with the main speakers from 6:00-8:00 PM.

    The panel will be made up of Dr. Laura Werner of Hagyard Equine Medical, Sergeant Jason Morris from the Kentucky State Police, and Lance Hayden from Creech Transportation.  Dr. Werner, a surgeon and sport horse medicine specialist at Hagyard, is also the team vet for the Area 8 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.  She will discuss best practices for shipping your horse and monitoring their health.  Sgt. Morris will discuss current paperwork and licensing requirements when shipping horses across state lines.   Mr. Hayden will discuss best practices from the transportation company’s standpoint.

     “We are excited to present this topic that affects every horse owner,” Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Katy Ross.  “As people prepare for the spring and summer and get ready to take their horses trail riding, ship them to shows, wherever their interest lies, we look forward to providing in depth information on best practices as well as the current status of the Commercial Drivers License requirements.”

    KENA is charged with the mission of providing an educational and social venue for equine professionals and horse enthusiasts from all disciplines. Organized by the Kentucky Horse Council KENA provides the opportunity for attendees to share ideas, business strategies and knowledge, and to obtain up-to-date information on horse and farm management and on issues affecting the equine industry.

    The Kentucky Equine Networking Association welcomes all Kentucky horse owners, professionals and enthusiasts to attend the February 18 event. For details and reservations, visit www.kentuckyhorse.org Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

  • 12/19/2019 1:12 PM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (December 19, 2019) – The Kentucky Horse Council has announced the recipients of two  $1,500 scholarships to Kentucky students already attending college, or accepted into a college who have demonstrated academic success, equine industry involvement and community service for the Spring 2020 Semester.  

    The Equine Scholarship are available to students currently enrolled with a university or college in Kentucky in an equine-related major or a horse-related program, or a student accepted into an equine related major or program to start in the Spring 2020 semester.  The Spring 2020 Scholarships have been awarded to Carley Pyles and Clara Quade. 

    Carley Pyles, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, is a senior at Asbury University with a double major in equine studies and social work.  Carley is a lifelong equestrian and has been an active trail rider and is involved with miniature horses, the Asbury Quarter Horse Training Club and the Asbury Service Mounts Club.  Her academic excellence, many awards, and club involvement combined with her impact on the Kentucky equine community has made her a worthy recipient of the scholarship.

    Clara Quade, from Denmark Township, Minnesotta, is a senior at Asbury University majoring in equine studies. Clara is the head student trainer of the Asbury University Service Mounts and is planning a career in the equine industry.  Her dedication to the horse industry, academic excellence, and strong work and volunteer experience also make her a very worthy scholarship recipient.    

    “The Kentucky Horse Council is honored to present these scholarships to two young women who are already making such an impact on the equine community in Kentucky,” says Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Katy Ross.  “These students are an example to their peers and we are pleased to help invest in the future of the Kentucky equine industry by supporting these students!”     

    Since resurrecting the scholarship program in 2017, the Kentucky Horse Council has awarded scholarships to students attending the University of Kentucky, Asbury University, Midway University, Morehead State University, Murray State University and Eastern Kentucky University. Scholarships are open to all student members of the Kentucky Horse Council. Student memberships are free and interested students may sign up at www.kentuckyhorse.org

  • 11/26/2019 12:26 PM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (November 26, 2019) – The Kentucky Horse Council hosted its 2019 Annual Member Meeting at the Manor House at Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, KY on November 10, 2019.  Horse Council members from all over the Commonwealth attended and new board members and officers were elected for 2020.  

    The new director elections include Stephanie Church, Caroline Conner Greathouse, Alexandra Harper, Kyle Johnson, Dr. Stephanie Keeley, Amy Parker, Elizabeth Smith, Natalie Voss and Ashley Watts.  Stephanie Church is Editor-in-Chief at The Horse Media Group (The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care and TheHorse.com). Caroline Conner Greathouse is the accountant for Greathouse Farms as well as a fundraiser for the Kentucky Horse Park and Providence Montessori School.  Alexandra Harper is the Special Programs Manager at the American Saddlebred Horse Association and the owner of Intrepid Marketing & Event Planning.  Kyle Johnson is a stallion groom at Claiborne Farm.  Dr. Stephanie Keeley is an equine professor at Midway University and co-owner of Double S Horsemanship.  Amy Parker is an Equine Nutritionist and the Manager of Technical Services for McCauley Bros., Inc. Elizabeth Smith is a private farm owner and an amateur equine owner, trainer and enthusiast. Natalie Voss is the Features Editor at the Paulick Report.  Ashley Watts is the owner of Liftoff Equestrian, Inc., hunter/jumper trainer and the trainer for CANTER Kentucky.

    “We are excited to add such a large group of people from so many different equine backgrounds to our Board of Directors and to have such strong leadership as the result of our elections,” said Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Katy Ross. “The skills and experiences of the new directors, combined with that of our returning board members, will benefit the Kentucky Horse Council immeasurably as we continue to expand our programming and focus on the health and welfare of horses in Kentucky.”

    Additionally, the Kentucky Horse Council Board of Directors elected new officers.  Aubri Hostetter was reelected vice-president.  Shawna White and Nicole Rivera were elected as secretary and treasurer, respectively.   

    For the complete list of the Kentucky Horse Council Board of Directors and more information about membership, visit www.kentuckyhorse.org.

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