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  • 08/16/2022 1:19 PM | Eileen Cody (Administrator)

    The Kentucky Horse Council’s three-day Large Animal Emergency Rescue (LAER) training is slated to return to the Kentucky Horse Park on Sept. 23-25, 2022.

    LAER is taught by Justin and Tori McLeod of 4Hooves Large Animal Services, LLC, a North Carolina-based company that specialized in large animal technical rescue emergency response and training for emergency responders and veterinary professionals. The course is geared specifically toward veterinarians, emergency responders and animal control officers, but horse owners and industry professionals will also find the course beneficial in learning how to care for and extract equines in potentially hazardous situations while remaining safe.

    The course will cover topics like animal behavior; handling and restraint; containment; motor vehicle accidents and overturned trailers; entrapments; barn fires and wildfires; unstable ground incidents (mud, ditch, ice, etc.); water rescues; natural disaster preparation and response; hazardous materials decontamination and more. Specialized instruction will be given to participants based on their background and auditors are welcome.

    Jennifer Halsey of Scott County, KY, has a Tennessee Walking Horse named Todd who directly benefited from the training first responders receive. Todd became mired in mud in late February 2022, and rapidly became hypothermic and exhausted. The Scott County Fire Department responded to Halsey’s call and created an A-frame and harness to lift Todd onto a large-animal skid. He was then pulled into the barn and out of the rain to receive veterinary care from Park Equine Hospital. Todd recovered uneventfully.

    “The Large Animal Emergency Rescue training has proven to be a great learning experience for all veterinarians, whether they’re recent graduates or seasoned practitioners. This course is an excellent opportunity for veterinarians, volunteers and first responders to receive in-depth, technical training on how to safely handle emergency situations in which they may be asked to work together,” says Dr. Rocky Mason, owner of Lexington Equine Medical Group and head of the Kentucky Horse Council Health and Welfare committee. “This program also explains practical situational preparedness and awareness – both of which are key for a favorable outcome for the animal involved while keeping everyone safe.”

    Continuing education credits for veterinarians are available through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. Sponsorship opportunities are available here. For more information, click here or contact the Kentucky Horse Council at 859-367-0509 or

    To learn more about 4Hooves Large Animal Services at

  • 08/08/2022 3:07 PM | Eileen Cody (Administrator)

    It wasn’t that long ago that options were limited in how to care for and manage horses that either weren’t performing to their potential or those that simply weren’t quite right: often the recommendations included rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Thankfully, veterinary medicine has come a long way and things like acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, osteopathy, and kinesio taping are becoming mainstream options for equine health and wellness.

    While the interest and availability of these modalities grows, it becomes less clear exactly how and when to incorporate these complementary therapies in a horse’s care routine. To help clarify what the modalities are and what they do, the Kentucky Horse Council’s (KHC) next Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) dinner will host a panel of experts on Tuesday, August 23, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Locust Trace AgriScience Center in Lexington. These practitioners will demonstrate their specialty and inform attendees of exactly what each treatment method can – and can’t – do.  

    Speakers include Dr. Larkspur Carroll, owner of CORE Therapies in Versailles; Jenna Doktor of CORE Therapies; and Dr. Anna Dunlap of Creek Hollow Veterinary Services in Georgetown. Each of these practitioners is incredible in her own right, but their ability to distill down the modalities they use into easy-to-understand concepts is invaluable to horse owners and caretakers.

    KENA is part of the Kentucky Horse Council’s mission to use education and leadership to protect Kentucky horses and support Kentucky horsemen and women. KENA meetings are held quarterly and bring together equine professionals and horse enthusiasts from all breeds and disciplines. Attendees share ideas, business strategies, and obtain up-to-date information on horse and farm management, as well as on issues affecting the equine industry.

    KENA is made possible by the generous support of the Equine Land Conservation Resource, Excel Equine, Lexington Equine Medical Group, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital and the University of Louisville Equine Industry Program.

    For details and reservations for the August 23 event, click here. Tickets are $30. Interested in sponsoring this event? Click here.

  • 06/30/2022 12:43 PM | Eileen Cody (Administrator)

    The U.S. Forest Service national office has recently updated their guidance to national forests and national grasslands on managing stock use sites at their campgrounds.  

    The new guidance, which can be found here, advises national forests to work to increase awareness of the growing problem of campers without horses utilizing horse campsites, thus limiting the availability of these sites for equestrian campers. The guidance includes increasing signage in these campsite areas and on the registrations for horse campsites, as well as encouraging equestrian campers to work with their local clubs and state horse councils to connect with their national forest and make adjustments that work best for their area.

    The use of horse campgrounds by non-equestrians has become a growing concern in recent years, as these sites are designed specifically to provide the amenities needed for camping with horses, and equestrian campers are unable to utilize most traditional camping facilities. Additionally, campers who are unfamiliar with horses can create safety issues, as they may not be aware of proper etiquette for interacting with horses or basic equine behavior.

    Back Country Horsemen of America have recently released an Incident Report form that campers can use to report any incidents of horse campsites being used by parties without stock. The BCHA will use the data collected by this form to help guide future regulations around horse campsite use.

    If you or someone you know camps with horses, please consider reaching out to your local national forests to discuss the implementation of this new guidance to make horse camping accessible and safe for everyone!

  • 06/22/2022 2:30 PM | Eileen Cody (Administrator)

    Three-Day Event Educates Officials and Enthusiasts on Animal Abuse and Neglect

    The first of two Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) Livestock Investigation Trainings (LIT) is slated to take place July 11-13, 2022. Registration for all county and state officials, including animal control officers, sheriffs, police officers and other law enforcement officials and prosecutors in Kentucky, is free; registration for equine rescue and adoption organization employees is $150 for the three-day training.

    Developed by the KHC in partnership with the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) with input from experienced enforcement officers, veterinarians and livestock producers, this course is tailored to the needs of the Commonwealth. During these trainings, officials will learn how to safely and strategically manage horses, cattle and other livestock running at large, as well as how to identify at-risk animals.

    LIT attendees will be hosted at the Secretariat Center, a Thoroughbred reschooling facility located at the Kentucky Horse Park, and the Blue Grass Stockyards. There they will learn how to handle horses and cattle, assess body condition score in both species, identify situations that need intervention, and apply Kentucky statutes to animal-associated court cases. Attendees will also practice handling and evaluating live horses and cattle, as well as examining Kentucky statutes and enforcement procedures. 

    “We are excited to offer two Livestock Investigation Trainings in 2022,” said Sarah Coleman, Kentucky Horse Council executive director. “These trainings provide vital education on animal abuse and neglect to our Kentucky peace officers and rescue personnel. We are deeply grateful to the Secretariat Center and Blue Grass Stockyards for consistently supporting the KHC in our mission to protect horses and other livestock in the Commonwealth by providing a good understanding of livestock handling and husbandry, which increases the likelihood of positive outcomes for loose animals or those found in neglectful situations.”

    Sponsorship of this program allows the Kentucky Horse Council to provide free training registration to county and state officials, including animal control officers, police, sheriffs and other law enforcement personnel. Download the sponsor packet here.

    The KHC has educated over 260 officers from 60 Kentucky counties since the inception of the trainings in 2008. The fall Livestock Investigation Training I will take place October 24-26 in Lexington. This course is open to out-of-state officials and equine enthusiasts for a fee of $250 per person. Register for the course here.

    For more information, visit or contact the Kentucky Horse Council at 859-367-0509 or

  • 05/23/2022 6:05 PM | Eileen Cody (Administrator)

    Ever wondered if you really need insurance on your horse or if you need to tell your homeowner’s insurance about the two old ponies in the backyard? Do you need special coverage for your trailer and tack that live at a boarding barn? If you travel to teach lessons, but don’t ride at other farms, are you covered? Let the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) demystify these questions and others involving equine and farm insurance, and get your personal questions answered by experts!

    On Tuesday, June 14, the Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) dinner and panel discussion will address a variety of insurance issues horse and farm owners might face. Titled “Overwhelmed by Insurance Options?” the event will be held from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at The Grand Reserve in Lexington. KENA is a dinner and educational series geared toward equine professionals, horse owners and riders, and other equine enthusiasts.

    The night will include networking, dinner and a panel discussion from a variety of equine, farm and home insurance experts, including Kentucky Farm Bureau’s Micah Campbell, agency manager; Rokstone Agriculture Risks Underwriting’s Nicole Pidcoe, head of agriculture claims, and Alexandra Choumitsky, senior underwriter; and Sterling Thompson Company’s Katie Davis, equine insurance account manager, and Matt Delehanty, mortality insurance team leader.

    “Education and protection of the Kentucky equine community are core principles of the KHC,” says Dr. Fernanda Camargo, associate professor and equine extension specialist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences and co-chair of the KENA committee. “We feel that this topic is essential to horse owners and those who are involved with horses in any way–professionally or personally. Insurance can be overwhelming and easy to dismiss, but it’s imperative that we do our best to protect our animals, our livelihoods and ourselves. The KHC is excited to have this panel of specialists distill down an overwhelming topic into bite-sized, easy-to-digest pieces. We expect that the ability to ask specific questions will be very helpful.”

    This dinner is part of the Horse Council’s Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) dinner series.

    KENA provides an educational and social venue for equine professionals and horse enthusiasts from all breeds and disciplines to share ideas, business strategies and knowledge; and to obtain up-to-date information on horse and farm management, as well as on issues affecting the equine industry. KENA is made possible by the generous support of the Equine Land Conservation Resource, Excel Equine, Lexington Equine Medical Group, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital and the University of Louisville Equine Industry Program.

    For details and reservations for the June 14 event, click here. Tickets are $30. Interested in sponsoring this event? Click here.

  • 03/01/2022 1:12 PM | Eileen Cody (Administrator)

    The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Office of the State Veterinarian has shared the below information regarding the current EHV-1 outbreak in California, and Kentucky's plan to monitor and respond to the situation.

    "In the past 3 weeks we have learned of multiple occurrences of EHV1 impacting equine events in California. Additionally, as we will soon be approaching the time of year that we historically see an increase in movement of equine exhibition and racing stock into Kentucky, I want to provide this status report describing the event in California as I understand it.


    Our office has been in communications with representatives of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) who are managing the disease incidents in California. The CDFA recommends folks review their website or the Equine Disease Communication Center for the latest updates as they are updated daily as information is received. Published reports suggest there are multiple complexes and facilities affected. At this point-in-time, the outbreaks are affecting sport horses that had been or have had exposure to equine participating in events within California. As of today, I’ve not seen or heard of any reports that EHV1 is affecting racing populations in California. The reports do provide exposed horses on each of the affected premises have been isolated, are being quarantined and that California officials continue to closely monitor the events.


    The California epidemiologic investigation is in its early stages, so the status of potentially exposed horses remains unknown, as does the risk of fomite (human) transmission to other facilities that may have occurred during the days preceding the diagnosis and regulatory intervention. While we are continuing to receive and assess information relative to the different disease events in California, we do not routinely see movement of sport horses from the Western States to Kentucky this time of year, thus we do not currently feel there is need to overly restrict all movement. We do though want to stress the importance of farms or other facilities that are receiving new arrivals, to know the environment and history of new horses coming in and take the necessary precautions to insure those new arrivals don’t introduce disease to your facility.

    Lastly, do remember that mitigating risk of disease introduction is a shared responsibility that requires commitment from everyone. Below are links to the American Association of Equine Practitioners biosecurity guidelines that can be downloaded from either the AAEP site at or the Equine Disease Communication Centers website at The documents provide good general guidance of practices that should be routinely implemented that includes segregating and monitoring all new arrivals.

    We will continue to monitor the disease events and will keep you apprised of any changes that may be warranted."

  • 01/24/2022 6:29 PM | Sarah Coleman (Administrator)

    The Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club (KTFMC) will host Jay McChord at the Spy Coast Farm Equine Education Center on Tuesday, Feb. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. A renowned clinician and Lexington local, McChord will focus on teaching attendees how to communicate effectively in an industry that is home to four – and sometimes five -- generations of employees working together.

    With an average human attention span of just eight seconds, McChord stresses the need to communicate clearly and effectively with each generation, so all members of the workplace operate as a team. Complicating matters is that each generation has a preferred method of communication – and none is the same. McChord will offer attendees specific strategies to improve communications with and among employees.

    “The KHC is looking forward to partnering with the Farm Managers’ Club on this topic, which is relevant to all workplaces,” says Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Sarah Coleman. “The labor shortage has reached a crisis point in all facets of the equine industry, and it’s the responsibility of each industry employee to do what we can to ameliorate the attrition we see everywhere, from the barns to the labs to the schools and the nonprofits.”

    “Jay’s reputation as an incredible speaker precedes him,” says Gerry Duffy, vice president of the KTFMC and stud manager at Godolphin's Stonerside Farm. “The Farm Managers’ Club has been dealing with the labor issue for a few years now; we’re grateful for the opportunity to host a speaker who will offer insight and useable tips on how to engage all manner of employees, from staff in the barns to office staff. Mitigating miscommunication is something we can all work toward to help keep quality employees on our farms.”

    This dinner is part of the Horse Council’s Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) dinner series.

    KENA provides an educational and social venue for equine professionals and horse enthusiasts from all breeds and disciplines to share ideas, business strategies and knowledge; and to obtain up-to-date information on horse and farm management, as well as on issues affecting the equine industry. KENA is made possible by the generous support of equine organizations across Kentucky.

    For details and reservations for the February 15 event, click here. Tickets are $30; reservations must be received by February 11.  

    Interested in sponsoring this event? Click here.

  • 01/19/2022 3:25 PM | Eileen Cody (Administrator)

    The Kentucky Horse Council is currently seeking organizations to sponsor Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) events for 2022. Support at any level is welcomed in order to provide continued educational and networking opportunities for equine enthusiasts in Kentucky. 

    For the past several years, the Kentucky Horse Council has offered KENA four times a year, hosting keynote speakers who cover a variety of equine topics including business, horse and farm management, equine health and industry issues, and relevant legislative concerns, among a plethora of other topics. KENA is a non-breed, non-discipline specific organization; every member of the Kentucky equine community is welcome, including horse owners and others who participate in breeding, showing, racing, reproduction and training, as well as any other capacity of the equine industry.

    After a short hiatus on in-person events because of COVID, KENA was relaunched in the Fall of 2021 with great success. Both dinners hosted nearly 70 attendees and were held at the beautiful Spy Coast Farm in Lexington, which is easily accessible from the interstate. Attendees learned how to decipher equine feed tags and how to manage horses for minimal environmental impact.  

    In 2022, the KHC will offer a minimum of three meetings, the first to be held at Spy Coast Farm. With convenient parking and a fantastic ambiance, this lovely venue has received high praise from past attendees for ease of access and for exposure to a previously unknown farm. Each event will offer a buffet dinner with a cash bar.   Platinum- and Gold-level sponsors can address the audience for 10 to 15 minutes before the keynote speaker begins.  

    Sponsorships aid in underwriting the speaker and dinner expenses, as well as organizational development activities. Five donation levels are offered, but any level of support is welcome, and the KHC is happy to create custom sponsorship packages to meet specific business needs.

    In addition to supporting the KHC's efforts to unite the Kentucky equine community and provide quality education to equine enthusiasts and business owners, sponsors also have the opportunity to showcase the benefits of their products and services to the equine owners and professionals who may use them.

    To support this valuable industry effort, please click here to review and complete the sponsorship form and return it to the Kentucky Horse Council.

    If you have any questions about this program or if you would like more information, please feel free to contact Sarah Coleman, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Council, at or (330) 518-9001. 

  • 12/30/2021 8:19 PM | Eileen Cody (Administrator)

    To my fellow horse lovers: 

    Since our inception in 1992, the Kentucky Horse Council has been an organization made up of deeply passionate horse people who are proud of our state and our horses, whether their job is to carry riders over the beauty that is the Bluegrass; to compete on a local or national stage; to bring forth the next generation of horses; or to simply be a beloved member of our family. 

    As a nonprofit, membership-driven organization, we depend on the support and generosity of our Kentucky equine community to continue our work ensuring that all horses in the state of Kentucky are protected – and education is our No. 1 tool for helping them. 

    Here are some ways to help us with our mission: 

    • Scan the QR code below with your smartphone camera to make a monetary donation 

    • Maintain a KHC membership, which is available in a variety of levels 

    • Host a Facebook fundraiser for the KHC for your birthday, your horse’s birthday or any other day that’s important to you 

    • Shop AmazonSmile and select the KHC as your charity of choice

    Thank you for considering supporting our efforts to protect Kentucky horses.

    Executive Director

    Kentucky Horse Council

    Scan this code to make your donation!

  • 12/16/2021 2:39 PM | Sarah Coleman (Administrator)

      Donations accepted Dec. 18-20 at the Kentucky Horse Park

    Multiple equine organizations in the Commonwealth have joined forces to assist horse owners who have been affected by last week’s tornado outbreak. Equine and ag-specific donations will be accepted at the Kentucky Horse Park December 18-20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Signage will point donors to the exact location behind the Alltech Arena.

    Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) employees and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment extension agents have been working diligently to create county-specific lists of items that are needed immediately. Though cleanup efforts will be ongoing, the most-needed equine items requested include buckets, winter blankets, halters, lead ropes, wheelbarrows, plastic totes, grooming supplies, water hoses, hay bags, wheelbarrows, muck tubs, pitchforks, shovels and first-aid supplies. A complete list of needs can be found here.

    “We are honored to be a part of this relief effort,” said Nicole Rivera, Interim Deputy Executive Director. “Our location right off I-75 will hopefully make drop off of materials and items easy. As a park designed to celebrate the human-horse bond, we are thankful to be able to assist horse owners – and their horses – in their time of need.”

    “The KDA has created an incredible system to identify needs by county,” said Sarah Coleman, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Council. “The Horse Council is thankful for the opportunity to partner with our brothers and sisters in ag to coordinate deliveries of supplies from Central Kentucky to those hardest hit by the storms.”

    Delivery of all donated goods will be provided by Brook Ledge Horse Transportation. “The ability to give back to the horse industry that is so good to us is very important to the entire staff of Brook Ledge Inc.,” said Ashley VanMeter of Brook Ledge Inc. “We are humbled by the outpouring of support for the equine community and look forward to being able to assist them in any way we can.”

    Donations will be accepted in the North Exhibit Hall of the Alltech Arena: Kentucky Horse Park 4089 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. Follow signs for Kentucky Horse Council. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Donations will begin being delivered to specific counties on Tuesday.

    For more info, call/text Sarah at 330 518 9001 or email

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