College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Equine Forum

The College of Agriculture Equine Forum is a group of approximately 30-50 faculty, staff and students who meet monthly each fourth Friday about 10 times a year. Attendees are made up of those who work or are interested in equine topics from within the college, UK and even outside equine industry stakeholders. There are more than 150 people on the email distribution list, which is utilized to an­nounce upcoming meetings, as well as news releases, event announcements and updated newsletters from UK Ag Equine Programs.

The Forum was launched in 2006 with a kickoff meeting June 23. The structure of each meeting con­sists of introductions as well as updates from events and projects. The meeting then focuses on a featured presentation. Some presentations cover topics internal to the college and others are external organizations or causes.

Below are dates and featured topics from each of the meetings that have been held from its formation:


  • December 4, “A Snapshot of Jockey Injuries in North America: Identification and Modifiable Risk Factors,” by Dr. Carl Mattacola, a professor and director for the Division of Athletic Training in the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program at UK
  • October 23, "Key elements from the UK Ag Equine Programs’ strategic planning session," Dr. Lori Garkovich, Community and Leadership Development
  • September 25, “Saddle Up Safely: 5 Years Later,” Bill Gombeski, Senior Advisor, Office of the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs within UK Healthcare
  • August 28, “Understanding CHA and a look at the Life Adventure Center,” Kara Musgrave from the Certified Horsemanship Association
  • July 17, "The Cup Comes to Kentucky," Bob Elliston, Executive Vice President & COO of the Breeders’ Cup Limited
  • May 22, "Collaboration between universities and industry," Dr. Andrew Clark, management consultant, past CEO of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and current member of our external industry advisory committee
  • April 24, "Parasight: 21st century parasite diagnostics,” Eric Hauck, CEO and co-founder of MEP Equine Solutions
  • February 27, “The Kentucky Horse Park – Past, Present and Future,” Jamie Link, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park


  • December 5, "32 and My Horse," Dr. Ernie Bailey, professor at the Gluck Equine Research Center. Dr. Bailey was recently inducted into the UK Equine Research Hall of Fame
  • October 24, "UK Law Department’s journal (KJEARNL), the symposium on equine law and economics, the national equine law conference in May and some basics of equine law," Dillon Nichols, a third year law student at UK
  • September 26, "Horse farm disaster preparedness," Dr. Roberta Dwyer, professor in the Gluck Equine Research Center
  • August 22, “Equine Infectious Diseases in the Genomic Era: Identification of Putative Host Factors Associated with EAV Carrier State in the Stallion,” Dr. Udeni Balasuriya of the Gluck Equine Research Center
  • July 25, Kathy Splinter-Watkins, MOT, OTR/L, HPCS, FAOTA, Department of Occupational Therapy, Eastern Kentucky University, “CONNECTIONS: Developing the Horses, Humans and Health Minor”
  • May 23, Dr. Ben Goff, assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences,  overview of his research program titled,  “Forage Legumes: 1.5 Years In”
  • April 25, Dr. Joe Pagan, president of Kentucky Equine Research, “Kentucky Equine Research:  25 years of Applying the Science of Equine Nutrition”
  • March 28, Debbie Anderson, RVT, CEIP-ED, Executive Director of Strides to Success, an equine-assisted learning facility near Indianapolis. Debbie is an expert in developing and facilitating educational programming that connects horses with children, adults and veterans to build life skills and leadership
  • February 28, Dr. Craig Carter, director of the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, “Kentucky Equine Health Trends and the Future of Equine Diagnostics at UKVDL”
  • January 24, “Crowdfunding in research - is it worth it?” by Dr. Martin Nielsen, a parisitologist in the Gluck Equine Research Center


  • December 6, Leslie Janecka, who heads up Kentucky Equine Management Internship program, about the KEMI program
  • October 25, Nick Nicholson (son of former Keeneland president by the same name), Vision 20/20, a group formed in 2009 by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders to educate and give voice to the under-40 generation of horse racing participants. Vision 20/20’s stated mission is: Future leaders strengthening the Thoroughbred industry through promotion, awareness, solutions, education and innovation
  • September 27, Rich Wilcke, faculty member for the Equine Industry Program within the University of Louisville’s College of Business, “Incentive Programs: Economics or Politics?”
  • August 23, Dean Scott Smith led discussion with a recap of UK’s Ag Equine Programs to date and an administrative perspective on the program. Very special guest, First Lady of Kentucky and life-long equine enthusiast Jane Beshear, addressed the past, present and future of Kentucky’s Thoroughbred industry, Central Kentucky’s expanding sport horse industry and the need to support and expand recreational riding opportunities throughout the state
  • July 26, Billy Van Pelt, director of Purchase of Development Rights program within Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, “Lexington’s Purchase of Development Rights program: protecting the factory floor of agribusiness and agritourism”
  • May 24, Harold Rainwater, director of Asbury University’s equine program, “Poise and Purpose, The Asbury Police Mount Program”
  • April 26, Sarah Coleman, director of The Equine Academy at Lexington Catholic High School, overview of the school’s equine program and talk about its partnership with UK
  • March 22, Dr. Karin Bump, professor of equine business management at Cazenovia College and founder and director of the National Association of Equine Affiliated Academics. Her research interests include traveling the country to interview faculty and administrators regarding their views of the legitimacy of equine academic programs
  • February 22, Dr. Mary Rossano, Animal and Food Sciences, about the 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey, Phase 1 results and the process for Phase 2
  • January 25, Mike Tobin, Commodity Division Director for Kentucky Farm Bureau, overview of the Kentucky Farm Bureau and its relationship with the horse industry


  • December 7, Mitch Taylor, director of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School, about the Horseshoeing School, past, present and future
  • October 26, Panel of “equine” department leaders discussed Equine Programs in terms of the unit’s central role in serving as a communications hub and catalyst for college equine programs. Department chairs serving as panelists included: Dr. Craig Carter, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory; Dr. Gary Hansen, Community and Leadership Development; Dr. Bob Harmon, Animal and Food Sciences; Dr. Leigh Maynard, Agricultural Economics; Dr. Todd Pfeiffer, Plant and Soil Sciences; and Dr. Mats Troedsson, Department of Veterinary Science and the Gluck Equine Research Center
  • September 28, David Foley, Executive Director of the American Association of Equine Practitioners about how AAEP serves the horse owner, veterinarian, student and industry
  • August 24, Report about the recent National Association of Equine Affiliated Academics annual meeting and some of the educational trends to come from that meeting (presented by Dr. Bob Coleman and Elizabeth LaBonty); Suggested changes to the Equine Science and Management undergraduate degree program curriculum (presented by Dr. Bob Coleman)
  • July 27, Andrea Husband Higdon, Agrosecurity Program Coordinator with the Cooperative Extension Service, "Agrosecurity and Protecting the Equine Industry:  UK Cooperative Extension Service in Action"
  • May 25, Dr. Steve Higgins, Director of Animal and Environmental Compliance for the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station, on “Mud, Horses, and Clean Water”
  • April 27, Véronique Julliand, insight into the French horse industry and presentation by some of the MESB students. The Mastere of Equine Science and Business is a one-year certificate program managed by AgroSup Dijon, the National Superior Institute of Agronomic Sciences, Food and the Environment, in Dijon, France, in collaboration with the University of Caen, Normandy France and the College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky
  • March 23, Don Sorrell, Campbell County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources, on the Equine Agent Working Group and Equine Programs in Kentucky
  • February 24, Dr. Fernanda C. Camargo, horse extension professor, “Kentucky 4-H Horse Program: the largest program in the College of Ag….. for a reason”
  • January 27, Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, "The Commission Veterinarian: Roles and Responsibilities in a Regulated Industry”


  • December 2, led by students in the capstone class of the Equine Science and Management undergraduate degree program
  • October 28, Dr. David Whitaker, Director of Horse Science at Middle Tennessee State University, Farm Animal Care Coalition in Tennessee/ Equine Science Program at MTSU
  • September 23, Dr. Kenny Burdine, “Kentucky Farm Re­ceipts, Estimates, Trends, and Forecasts” with an equine focus
  • August 26, Carrie Davis, Locust Trace AgriScience Farm, a new magnet high school teaching equine in Lexington
  • July 22, Denise Spittler, “Equine-assisted activities and therapies – how horses are helping humans at Central Ken­tucky Riding For Hope ”
  • May 27, Kimberly S. Brown, “Use or Be Used! How to Control the Media”
  • April 22, Dr. Kathryn Graves, Animal Genetic Testing and Research Laboratory
  • March 25, Deb Balliet, about equine land protection
  • February 25, Ginny Grulke, discussion about the Kentucky Horse Council and “Understanding the rest of the horse industry: where racing stops and riding starts”
  • January 28, Elizabeth LaBonty, Internship Program overview


  • December 3, meeting was integrated with the Dean’s Equine Advisory Committee and included a program overview of the EI
  • October 22, History of African American contributions to the Kentucky horse industry; David Melanson, Isaac Murphy Memorial art garden project; and Dr. Mark Coyne, redis­covering the equestrian leaders buried in African American Cemetery Number 2 in Lexington
  • August 27, final update about WEG and first volunteer train­ing
  • July 23, international shipment of horses, panel includ­ing Rusty Ford, Kentucky's global equine industry; Susan Grigsby, accredited veterinarian's role in exporting horses; Scott Squires, USDA regulations for the process of export­ing horses; and Dr. Peter Timoney, evolving profile of global distribution of equine diseases
  • June 25, Dr. Lori Garkovich led a presentation and discus­sion of a draft strategic plan for the Equine Initiative
  • May 28, Happy Birthday to the Bluegrass Equine Digest as it turns 1 year old
  • April 30, College of Agriculture at the World Equestrian Games, Holly Wiemers, Laura Skillman and Dr. Nancy Cox
  • March 26, Saddle Up Safely: an important collaboration between UK HealthCare and COA, panel discussion with Bill Gombeski, Holly Wiemers, Dr. Roberta Dwyer and Dr. Fernanda Camargo
  • February 26, College of Agriculture at the World Equestrian Games, Holly Wiemers, Laura Skillman, Dr. Nancy Cox, Dr. Mary Roseman: COA at WEG Overview; Pre-WEG and “Year of the Horse;” Horse Mania; Youth Festival; Kentucky International Equine Summit; Saddle Up Safely; Equine Village Consortium; Endurance event/tent; Student Volun­teer Program; tours of UK COA facilities during WEG; UK Village, official UK sponsorship tent; COA, maximizing involvement and marketing during WEG; next steps
  • January 22, Deborah Borrowdale-Cox, Director of Educa­tion, UK Art Museum, Hoofbeats and Heartbeats: the Horse in American Art


  • December 4, Don Sorrell from Campbell County about Agents Working Group and its ongoing projects
  • October 30, Dr. Mary Davis, Associate Dean for Adminis­tration and Faculty Development, and Laura D'Angelo, a practicing attorney, about equine law
  • September 25, Dr. Mats H. T. Troedsson, Department of Veterinary Science
  • August 28, Kristen Harvey, Kentucky 4-H Horse Program-head set towards the future
  • July 24, EI involvement in 2010 Alltech FEI World Eques­trian Games -- Endurance course on Maine Chance Equine Campus (contacts: Dr. Nancy Cox, Dr. Steve Higgins); Part of the UK official sponsorship package, official university equine program of the Games (contacts: Dr. Nancy Cox, Holly Wiemers); Member of the Kentucky Equine Higher Education Consortium (contacts: Dr. Nancy Cox, Dr. Bob Coleman, Holly Wiemers, Elizabeth LaBonty, Dr. Fernanda Camargo, Kristen Harvey); Rider Safety partnership and educational campaign with UK HealthCare (contacts: Dr. Nancy Cox, Holly Wiemers; Blog: Dr. Fernanda Camargo); Kentucky International Equine Summit 2010 (contacts: Dr. Nancy Cox, Dr. Bob Coleman); Kentucky Youth Equine Festival: Celebrating the World Equestrian Games (contacts: Dr. Fernanda Camargo, Kristen Harvey); Internship program (Elizabeth LaBonty)
  • June 26, Recap of May 22 external stakeholder panel
  • May 22, panel of stakeholders to help UK understand how the Equine Initiative’s changes so far look from the “out­side.” Stakeholders invited to provide constructive comments and challenging ideas. Dean Scott Smith gave an overview of the history that led to creating the Equine Initiative, as well as the constellation of individual investments in person­nel and programs that accompanied “Kentucky’s land-grant university’s re-commitment to the horse.” Panel included Alan Balch; Kim Brown; Mike Owens; Dan Rosenberg; and David Switzer. Discussion facilitated by Dr. Lori Garkovich
  • April 24, Veronique Julliand from Dijon on her master’s program in Equine Science and Business
  • March 27, Dan Fick, Jockey Club, welfare & safety initia­tives in Thoroughbred racing
  • February 27, Dr. Craig Carter, Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center, present and future directions
  • January 23, Dr. James Strickland, overview of the USDA-ARS laboratories and interest in equine forage issues


  • November 21, proposed 2009 equine field day planning
  • October 24, Dr. Bob Coleman, Equine Science and Manage­ment Degree – Where are we?
  • September 26, Kate Jackson, World Equestrian Games, and Tom Harris, UK Associate Vice President, External Af­fairs, current arrangements and additional opportunities for University of Kentucky participation at the World Equestrian Games
  • August 22, Dr. Jim Smith, Equine Extension Veterinarian position, knowledge gained from listening and planning ses­sions and report from the exploratory committee
  • July 25, Inaugural Equine Science Field Day discussion and planning
  • June 27, Lissa Pohl, equine-assisted activities
  • May 23, Dr. Bob Stout, Kentucky state veterinarian, on “Hungry Horses / Starving Horses”
  • April 25, Dr. Nancy Cox, Equine Initiative presentation to UK’s Board of Directors and update on state budget out­come; Marci Hicks, update on development issues relevant to the Equine Initiative
  • March 28, Norm Luba, substantial increase in Quarter Horse stallions standing in Kentucky and the economic impact of that expansion, which has been largely driven by the Kentucky Breeders’ Incentive Fund; Dr. James MacLeod, his vision for some of the Equine Initiative’s next steps and the formation of an executive committee
  • February 22, Dr. James MacLeod, his vision for the EI Director; Dr. Jim Smith, update about Equine Extension Veterinarian study
  • January 25, Wayne Long; students from the College’s equine clubs; and Dr. Nancy Cox with a sneak peek version of her Winter College presentation


  • October 26, held at the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center, overview of LDDC services and Equine Initiative update
  • August 24, unveiling the new Teaching Pavilion at the UK Maine Chance Equine Campus; Dean Scott Smith formally recognized those who worked around the clock to have the facility ready for the start of classes and the new undergradu­ate program (launched August 23); additionally, Dr. Roberta Dwyer spoke about the pre-veterinary program and other student options within the Veterinary Sciences Department; other topics included an overview by Dr. Laurie Laurence on research and teaching happening at the educational and research cluster at Maine Chance
  • July 27, Dr. Ernie Bailey, information and research about the horse genome project and UK’s role in this important research
  • May 25, Dr. Craig Wood, Creative Applications for Learning Environments Lab (CALE) and eXtension
  • April 27, Anne Buchanan, Alltech FEI World Games 2010 Foundation
  • March30, Don Sorrell, Campbell County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Northern Ken­tucky Horse Network
  • February 23, Dr. Lori Garkovich, Horses Count project up­date; Dr. Ray Smith, pasture management update
  • January 26, Rich Wilcke and Terri Burch from University of Louisville, UK and UofL collaboration; Sunny Ham, Hospi­tality students' class project on the Kentucky horse industry; Dr. Lori Garkovich, “In Kentucky, Horses Count” project update


  • December 1, update on the Maine Chance and equine facili­ties planning process, an update on the September one-credit equine markets course and an update from the recently-held Equine Initiative Industry Interim Advisory Committee and Gluck Equine Research Foundation Board meetings
  • October 27, Dr. Roger Brown, update on new equine markets course
  • September 28, Marci Hicks, fundraising update; and Dr. Lori Garkovich, Phase 2 Equine Initiative planning update
  • August 25, Dr. Roger Brown and Kimberly Brown on new equine agricultural economics course in the fall of 2006, essentially the first of a new set of courses under the Equine Initiative; Dr. C.T. Dougherty and Scott Flynn, new data about equine grazing
  • July 28, Dr. Horst Schach on land use study
  • June 23, First meeting held and facilitated by Dr. Nancy Cox; topic was the formation of the Forum itself and setting the stage for a monthly meeting each fourth Friday at 8 a.m.