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  • 03/04/2021 9:46 AM | Anonymous

    March 3, 2021--Frankfort, KY-

    Kentucky Equine Industry – Information for Sharing

    Earlier this afternoon I had the opportunity to speak directly with Florida Animal Health Officials overseeing the investigation of EHV1 in the Ocala area.  During the conversation I learned that on March 1st  a warmblood mare presented with neurologic abnormalities.  The 8yr old mare subsequently tested positive for EHV1 and confirmed to be affected with EHV-1 neurotropic strain.

    The affected horse was removed from the premises and placed in isolation.  The premises the mare had been stabled at was placed under quarantine with strict monitoring of the exposed population and heightened biosecurity measures implemented.  In addition to the affected premises, my understanding tonight is that heightened biosecurity practices and animal monitoring has been put in place and being practiced at show facilities in Ocala as well as the Wellington facilities.  I have also had conversations with practitioners currently working in those environments and they too conveyed to me the biosecurity and health monitoring practices that are in place.

    With the protocols currently implemented and monitoring by Florida’s Animal Health officials , we (Dr. Katie Flynn and I) feel there is no immediate elevated threat to our populations here in KY and that at this time there is no need nor benefit to impose additional restrictions on movement from the Ocala area.  We do though remind our horsemen the importance of knowing the environment and health status of new arrivals, and take necessary precautions before introducing new horses to resident horses.  

    In addition to the Florida event, we have also been gathering and assessing information relative to an escalating EHV1 disease event affecting sport horses in Europe.  The outbreak is reported to have originated in Valencia Spain with subsequent events in France, Belgium and Germany, collectively impacting equestrian events throughout Europe.  Published reports suggest National veterinary authorities in each country are working with the FEI Veterinary Departments in a coordinated effort to investigate, manage and bring under control the disease events with the National Federations providing needed support.  As of tonight there has not been any international movement restrictions put in place by USDA’s Veterinary Services Department.

    We will continue to monitor progression of the investigations and will keep you apprised of developments and any strategies that may be needed to mitigate risk to our horses and industry here in Kentucky.

    Rusty
    E.S. Rusty Ford
    Equine Operations Consultant
    Office State Veterinarian
    Rusty.ford@ky.gov 
    502/782-5901 office

  • 01/28/2021 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Kentucky Horse Council Member,

    The equine industry in Kentucky is in peril—and we need your help to ensure our industry remains vibrant and viable for years to come. Recently the Kentucky Supreme Court made a decision that threatens the future of historical horse racing (HHR), which has been legally operating in the Commonwealth for nearly a decade. Should HHR be banned in Kentucky, every one of us will feel the ramifications of this loss, whether we own show horses, racehorses, pleasure horses or pasture puffs—of if we simply enjoy the equine industry in our great state.

    Though you may not live near the Red Mile, Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Turfway Park, Kentucky Downs or Keeneland, have no doubt: The loss of historical horse racing will affect every one of us--profoundly. Historical horse racing is a vital part of Kentucky’s signature horse industry.  

    • Historical horse racing directly employs over 1,400 Kentuckians
    • More than $52 million has been contributed to the KY general fund though Sept. 30, 2020. HHR funds have also provided financial support to colleges and universities in the state and to equine research, among others
    • Historical horse racing contributes to higher purses, creating a more competitive racing circuit that attracts more horses, owners and trainers to Kentucky; these higher purses have revitalized Standardbred racing in the Commonwealth
    • Historical horse racing keeps Kentucky dollars in Kentucky
    •  Legislators can take action to protect our industry by defining pari-mutuel wagering and reinforcing that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission can only regulate pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing—NOT on any other form of wagering.

    So what can you do? A few things!

    1.  Email your legislators! The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) has made this extremely easy. Simply click on this link, enter a few pertinent details, and KEEP will ensure your message gets through and that your voice is heard.   https://horseswork.com/advocacy
    2. Virtually attend the Horsemen’s Rally, which will take place at Keeneland on Monday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. This event will host horsemen and state leaders from across KY to show support for HHR. Register for this event here, but note: The deadline to register is Friday, January 29: Horsemen For Historical Horse Racing Monday, February 1st - 6:00 PM Keeneland Racetrack
    3. Make sure your family and friends in the Bluegrass know what’s at stake. The Horse Council will be posting daily facts and statistics on their Facebook page, highlighting just what our vibrant industry brings to the economic table. Please share the posts that speak to you—it’s vital that everyone in our great state understand the ramifications of what will happen if historical horse racing is banned. 

      Thank you for your support of the Kentucky equine industry.


  • 01/27/2021 12:47 PM | Anonymous

    Horsemen for Historical Horse Racing

    An informational session for historical horse racing (HHR) will take place on Monday, February 1 at 6 PM on Zoom

    REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, JANUARY 29

    Please join the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club (KTFMC), February 1st at 6:00 PM from the comfort of your home as horsemen and state leaders from across the state convene in support of historical horse racing (HHR) presented by Breeders’ Cup and Jackson Kelly PLLC.

    The session will feature a panel of state leaders discussing HHR and the state legislature’s efforts. This panel will be led by Representative Matt Koch and will include Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, Representative Adam Koenig, Chairman of House License and Occupations, Senator John Schickel, Chairman of Senate License and Occupations as well as Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Ashli Watts.

    As you know, HHR is under threat following the KY Supreme Court’s ruling that called into question the legality of HHR. Now it is up to the state legislature to take action to preserve HHR and its unparalleled impact on Kentucky’s horse industry.


    The elimination of HHR would not only mean the loss of purse enhancements, 1,400 jobs and more than $1 billion in investment, but also the economic impact that extends through the businesses and individuals that support the industry, including breeders, feed and bedding suppliers, tack and equipment dealers, veterinarians, farm hands, blacksmiths, owners and trainers, among others.

    TO REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT, CLICK HERE. 


  • 11/30/2020 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    eBay Auction Created to Support and Protect Kentucky’s Signature Industry

    November 30, 2020 -- Lexington, KY – The Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) has launched an online auction to raise needed funds for the 501c3 nonprofit. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many charities to reevaluate their fundraising strategies this year and the KHC is no different, having cancelled both its Prosecco for Ponies event and its Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) dinners.

    Hosted on eBay, the auction is now open and will close on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. All funds raised from the online auction will go directly toward funding key welfare initiatives to keep Kentucky horses safe; supporting horse owners in need of temporary financial reprieve of horse-care costs; and awarding scholarships to Kentucky students with an equine-industry focus 

    Auction items include:

    •  Professional drone video of a Central KY farm
    •  Horseshoe plaque from War Front, son of Danzig and a super sire who stands at   Claiborne Farm
    •  Equine feed, supplements, treats and more
    •  Halter from Triple Crown Winner Justify, who stands at Coolmore America
    •  Box seats at the 2021 Keeneland Spring or Fall race meet
    •  Authentic oak wine barrel from Equus Run Vineyards in Midway, KY
    •  Tickets for four to a Horse Country Experience
    •  Tour and wine tasting for 10 at Equus Run Vineyards in Midway, KY
    •  Prints of Thoroughbred racehorses Wise Dan, Afleet Alex, Barbaro and more
    •  Books, artwork, notecards and more
    •  Equestrian-themes gift baskets for horses and humans

    Auction items can be viewed and bid on at www.ebay.com/usr/ky_horse_council 

    Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Kentucky Horse Council, a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization dedicated, through education and leadership, to the protection and development of the Kentucky equine community. For more information, visit kentuckyhorse.org

  • 11/23/2020 2:01 PM | Anonymous

    $1,000 To Be Awarded to a Deserving Student Pursuing an Equine Career

    November 23, 2020 -- Lexington, KY – Dinsmore & Shohl’s Equine Law Group announced today their intention to sponsor one of the Kentucky Horse Council’s $1,000 scholarships for 2021. Each year, the Kentucky Horse Council offers scholarship funds to students attending a Kentucky college, university or trade school in the pursuit of an equine-associated career. Applications are currently being accepted for the Spring 2021 semester.

    The $1,000 Dinsmore & Shohl Scholarship will be awarded to a student who is currently enrolled or who will be enrolled for the Spring 2021 semester. Applicants must be participating in equine-oriented classes or equine programs that focus on preparing students for careers in the equine industry. If no major or minor is offered, students must be able to demonstrate how they plan to use their area of study within the equine industry.

    “We’re very excited to offer this scholarship to a deserving student,” says Kerry Irwin, a partner with Dinsmore & Shohl and a Kentucky Horse Council board member. “Cultivating the future of the equine industry and educating equine enthusiasts is a passion for me and for my firm. We are grateful for the opportunity to support both students and the Kentucky Horse Council during such a challenging year.”

    Some Kentucky schools that offer equine-focused programs include: Asbury University, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, the Kentucky Equine Management Internship program, Kentucky Horseshoeing School, Midway University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, the North American Racing Academy (part of the Bluegrass Community & Technical College), Northern Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University, among others. Examples of courses of studies for which the scholarships are intended include equine science, equine management, equine business, equine-assisted therapy, pre-veterinarian, national farrier training program, equine industry workforce certificate and others. 

    Applications for the scholarship will be accepted until December 11, 2020. Scholarship recipients will be announced on January 4, 2021.

    To download the Kentucky Horse Council scholarship application, visit kentuckyhorse.org/KHC-Scholarship

  • 11/09/2020 3:06 PM | Anonymous

    November 9, 2020 – Lexington, KY – 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) will be offered virtually on Tuesday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. This meeting, presented by Dinsmore & Shohl LLP’s Equine Law Group, is free and will feature tips and tricks to help horse owners save money while maintaining quality care. Panelists include Krista Lea, Jen Shah and Dr. Jill Stowe, with moderator Stephanie Church.

    Jen Shah, CPA and head of Dean Dorton’s equine practice, will offer insight into potential tax savings and deductions for equine operations. Dr. Jill Stowe, an associate professor in Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, focuses most of her research on equine markets. Dr. Stowe will offer KENA attendees some guiding principles for horse-management decisions and provide insight on how to weigh the economic impacts of these decisions.

    Krista Lea holds a master’s degree in Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences and coordinates the University of Kentucky Horse Pasture Evaluation Program. Krista will offer viewers easy-to-implement strategies to reduce the cost of horse ownership. This hour-long event will be moderated by Stephanie Church, Editor-in-Chief at The Horse Media Group, parent company of The Horse magazine, TheHorse.com and Off-Track Thoroughbred magazine.

    All four KENA speakers are avid horse lovers and have been involved in various facets of Kentucky’s equine industry, including management, racing and sport-horse competition, as well as research, education and publishing.

    This event will be held in conjunction with the Kentucky Horse Council’s annual meeting, which will take place on November 17 at 7 p.m., immediately before the KENA event. Pre-registration is required. Find sign-up information for both events at https://kentuckyhorse.org/KENA 

    KENA provides 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 Dinsmore Equine Law Group, WesBanco, Neogen, University of Louisville Equine Industry Program, KESMARC Kentucky, and Equine Land Conservation Resource.

    The November event is presented by Dinsmore & Shohl LLP’s Equine Law Group. Dinsmore & Shohl is a full-service law firm with offices in 23 cities throughout 11 states and the District of Columbia, including Kentucky offices in Lexington, Frankfort, Louisville and Covington.

  • 10/27/2020 4:11 PM | Anonymous

    $3,000 To Be Awarded to Students Pursuing Equine Careers

    October 27, 2020 -- Lexington, KY Each year, the Kentucky Horse Council offers $3,000 in scholarship funds to students attending a Kentucky college, university or trade school in the pursuit of an equine-associated career. Applications are now being accepted for the Spring 2021 semester. Qualified applicants must demonstrate academic success, Kentucky equine industry involvement and community service during the past year. Applicants must be student members of the Kentucky Horse Council.

    Three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to students who are currently enrolled or who will be enrolled for the Spring 2021 semester. Applicants must be participating in equine-oriented classes or equine programs that focus on preparing students for careers in the equine industry. If no major or minor is offered, students must be able to demonstrate how they plan to use their area of study within the equine industry.

    Some Kentucky schools that offer equine-focused programs include: Asbury University, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, the Kentucky Equine Management Internship program, Kentucky Horseshoeing School, Midway University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, the North American Racing Academy (part of the Bluegrass Community & Technical College), Northern Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University, among others. Examples of courses of studies for which the scholarships are intended include equine science, equine management, equine business, equine-assisted therapy, pre-veterinarian, national farrier training program, equine industry workforce certificate and others. 

    “The Kentucky Horse Council is grateful for the ability to once again offer scholarships to deserving students attending schools in our state,” says Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Sarah Coleman.  “Education is a key tenet of our mission and we look forward to assisting multiple students as they explore careers in the equine industry.”

    Applications for the scholarship will be accepted until December 11, 2020. Scholarship recipients will be announced on January 4, 2021. 

    To become a student member of the Kentucky Horse Council, visit kentuckyhorse.org/join-us. Click here to download the scholarship application or visit https://kentuckyhorse.org/KHC-Scholarship


  • 09/24/2020 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (September 24, 2020) - The Kentucky Horse Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Coleman as the new Executive Director of the Lexington-based organization; Coleman will begin her role Sept. 29.

    An avid equestrian, Coleman grew up in northeastern Ohio and graduated from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, OH. Coleman moved to the Bluegrass in 2004 to work with multiple equine and agriculture- related publications based in the area. She shifted to equine-oriented roles at Lexington Catholic High School and Georgetown College before transitioning to her most recent role as Community and Public Relations Director for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. In that role, Coleman oversaw the construction of New Vocations at Mereworth Farm and established the New Vocations All-Thoroughbred Charity Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park among other endeavors. In addition, Coleman holds roles on multiple equine boards and committees, including being secretary and treasurer of the Kentucky Hunter Jumper Association, a member of the University of Kentucky's Saddle Up Safely program and a member of the Kentucky Horse Breeders Incentive Fund Non-Race Committee, among others.

    " I am excited to step into this role with the Kentucky Horse Council," Coleman says "Katy [Ross] did an incredible job; I look forward to capitalizing on the momentum she has built to grow the membership, develop relationships and resources, and awareness of the organization and its mission and programs within the Kentucky I have invested my life into the education of equine enthusiasts and equine welfare, and I am looking forward to seeing what can be accomplished in this new role."

    "We are delighted to have Sarah join the Kentucky Horse Council as Executive Director," said Ryan Watson, President of the Kentucky Horse Council, "with Sarah's experience as well as expertise in the non-profit sector, I feel very confident that she can continue moving the KHC forward."

    Founded in 1992, the Kentucky Horse Council is a membership-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and development of the Kentucky equine community. The organization provides educational programs and information, outreach and communication to Kentucky horse owners and enthusiasts as well as equine networking opportunities, trail riding advocacy, health and welfare programs, and personal liability insurance. For more information, visit kentuckyhorse.org


  • 08/19/2020 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (August 19, 2020) – The Kentucky Horse Council has announced it will host a virtual meeting on September 1 for the Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA).  The topic for this meeting, presented by WesBanco, will be “Can You Make a Right Call? Equine Events During a Pandemic.”   The meeting will happen on Zoom at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.  Registration is required. 

    Due to recent event cancellations in Kentucky, this topic is being presented to give exhibitors and participants a glimpse into the decision-making process that event organizers and facility managers are using to determine whether or not to proceed with their horse shows during COVID19.  This virtual meeting will feature four panelists who will discuss various factors that impacted their decision and the public reaction to their choices. 

    Anne Guillory, an attorney in the Louisville office of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, will discuss the legal issues an event organizer faces during a pandemic as well as the efficacy of waivers.   Jen Roytz, Executive Director of the Retired Racehorse Project, will discuss the factors that led to RRP deciding to cancel the Thoroughbred Makeover scheduled for October 7-11, 2020.   Justin Billings, Chief Show Officer of the American Quarter Horse Association, will discuss proceeding with the 2020 AQHYA World Show.  Nicole Rivera, Sales and Event Manager for the Kentucky Horse Park, will discuss the challenges the international venue faces hosting events during this time.  

    “2020 has presented incredible challenges to the equine industry, most recently manifested in the cancellation of major horse shows and equine events in Kentucky,” Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Katy Ross.  “We believe this well-rounded panel will provide great insight to the decisions that have been made regarding cancelling or going forward with events due to COVID19.”   

    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 September meeting is presented by WesBanco, a multi-state bank with offices throughout Kentucky.  WesBanco 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. 

  • 08/12/2020 10:04 AM | Anonymous

    Lexington, KY (August 12, 2020) – 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 Fall 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 Fall 2020 semester.  The Fall 2020 Scholarships have been awarded to Hannah Waroway and Sydney Simpson. 

    Hannah Waroway, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a senior at Midway University with a double major in equine management and rehabilitation.  Hannah, who started riding when she was three, grew up riding hunter jumpers and competed with 4H.  Hannah intends to pursue a masters and potentially a PhD in equine and rider biomechanics.  In addition, Hannah has competed for the Midway University IHSA team throughout her college career. Hannah’s strong work ethic, academic excellence, work and volunteer experience along with her commitment to the Kentucky equine industry make an excellent candidate for the equine scholarship.


    Sydney Simpson, from Henderson, Kentucky, is an incoming freshman at Murray State University pursuing a degree in animal science. A long time member of Pony Club, Henderson County Riverside Riders 4-H Club and Interscholastic Equestrian Association competitor, Sydney has been successfully competing in Horse Bowls, Hippology contests, and junior judging in addition to horse showing.  Sydney’s strong academic and volunteer background, combined with her already tangible contributions to the Kentucky equine community make her an incredibly worthy recipient of the equine scholarship.


    “The Kentucky Horse Council is thrilled to be able to continue our scholarship program through the challenges presented by COVID19 and excited to support these incredible young ladies as they further their education,” says Kentucky Horse Council Executive Director Katy Ross.  “We had an impressive group of applicants and we are pleased to help invest in the future of the Kentucky equine industry by supporting students through the Commonwealth!”     

    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


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