LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2010) – Nina Bonnie, accomplished equestrienne, Kentucky Horse Park Foundation creator and driving force behind the park, will speak at the University of Kentucky Equine Initiative Distinguished Industry Lecture Series.

The event will take place April 1 in the Maxwell H. Gluck Research Center auditorium, on the UK campus beginning at 6:30 p.m. EDT. The lecture series is free to students and the general public.

“The Distinguished Industry Lecture Series is a signature program of the UK Equine Initiative. It is designed to showcase distinguished industry practitioners from the broad equine industry,” said Nancy Cox, associate dean for research of UK’s College of Agriculture and administrative leader for the Equine Initiative. “While students, from UK and our higher education partners, are a primary audience, the program is also valuable for a variety of our stakeholders. We are very pleased to showcase the outstanding contributions of Nina Bonnie with this second lecture in the series.”

Dan Liebman, editor-in-chief of The Blood Horse Magazine, will interview Bonnie using questions submitted by audience members. There will be three main areas of discussion: Bonnie’s career path, the Kentucky Horse Park and the general state of the horse industry. 

Bonnie began her love affair with horses at an early age. In her teens and early 20s, she showed hunters with considerable success. After meeting her future husband, who trained and rode steeplechasers, Bonnie married and moved to Kentucky where she became more involved in showing, first at a local level then nationally and internationally.

In 1985, Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins saw great potential in the Kentucky

Horse Park and appointed Bonnie chair of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission, a position she held for 12 years. During those years, the commission worked diligently to develop a first-rate competition facility, which is now considered world-class. The Kentucky Horse Park will host the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games this fall, the first time the event has ever been held outside of Europe.

In 1985, Bonnie also started the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, whose sole mission is to improve and enhance the park. To date, the foundation has raised more than $25 million. The United States Equestrian Federation recognized her with a lifetime achievement award in 2002, and she was named Woman of Distinction in Louisville the same year.

Bonnie has been chair and co-chair of the Hunter Committee within the United States Equestrian Federation. She is currently involved in the PACE Board, Kentucky Horse Park Foundation Board, Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center Advisory Committee and Brownsboro Conservation Council.

UK’s inaugural lecture was held with Keeneland President Nick Nicholson in November 2009.

This second lecture series is sponsored by Equine Medical Associates, PSC. Cox credited Dan Rosenberg, Equine Initiative executive-in-residence, as instrumental in planning the event and providing guidance.

For more information about the event, please visit http://www.ca.uky.edu/equine or email equineinitiative@uky.edu


Author: Holly Wiemers
Contact: Nancy Cox, 859-257-3333; Holly Wiemers, 859-257-2226