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FEBRUARY 2019


C ON TE N TS

University of Kentucky students attend KEEP DayPAGE 6

On Tuesday February 12, I got the opportunity to attend The Kentucky Equine Education (KEEP) Day in Frankfort with two of my fellow equine programs students, Julie Witt and Caitlin Shilan. This event was held at the Capitol Annex Building and brought together a diverse group of stakeholders in Kentucky’s equine industry. Attending KEEP Day was an opportunity for not only legislators and key industry leaders to meet, but also for students, racing fans and horse lovers to share their stories and why the equine industry in Kentucky is so important.

Portrait of a Rider: Characterizing Active Participants in Horse Activities and Horse SportsPAGE 8 University of Kentucky researchers Karin Pekarchik and Kimberly Tumlin are seeking participation for an online research survey to better understand who participates in horse activities and sports.

UK hosts 8th annual Equine ShowcasePAGE 9

The University of Kentucky (UK) Ag Equine Programs hosted its 8th Annual UK Equine Showcase on Jan. 26, at the Fayette County Extension office in Lexington. The event highlighted current equine research being conducted by UK and was focused on educating veterinarians, farm managers, horse owners, students and equine enthusiasts.

Other Features Alumni Spotlight-PAGE 7 Undergraduate Students Participate in Unparalleled Research Opportunities at the University of Kentucky-PAGE 10

U PC O M IN G E V ENTS AND I MPORTAN T DEADLINES • • • •

March 4, Midterms March 11-15, Spring Break March 25, Registration begins for summer March 29, Last day to wthdraw from a course

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W E L COM E

Welcome Don’t stop at stop signs if you’re in Guatemala. A wedding of a friend recently took my husband and me on an excursion to Guatemala. I had nothing against the small Central American country, but in all of my thoughts about world travels, it was not on my top 10 list, or even on the list at all. This little nation is notorious for crime and corruption, but I also found gorgeous beaches, picturesque mountain views, volcanos and a rich cultural history. But this article is not a travel channel promotion for you to visit the country; it’s about what I learned while I was there. People do not stop at stop signs! Why does this apply to equine students at the University of Kentucky you might be asking yourself? Well, hang on while I connect the dots. The horse industry, as we all know is full of traditions. Traditions can be good, in that they bring continuity, standards and nostalgia. However, traditions can also be limiting, closeminded and impede progress. Some of the traditions in the horse industry are standing in the way of expansion and advancement. I truly believe that the students today are the people who will bring the equine industry into the 21st Century and be able to innovate and sustain through new technology, research and practices. However, in order to bring about this change, there has to be some people willing to go against the grain, and not be bound by tradition. The thing I found most interesting about the lack of regard for stop signs in Guatemala was that people did not charge through them at breakneck speeds expecting others to head to their will, but instead stop signs were approached with confidence and calculated risk. The speed was slow, the timing was perfect and the merge into traffic was respectful yet bold. If we take the same approach as this generation begins to integrate into the workforce, there is a good chance that change is possible and the future will be bright. Don’t let tradition put restrictions on your own potential. But at the same time, do not charge into traffic and expect others to embrace your recklessness. Take your career and ideas like Guatemalan motorists; don’t let yourself be restricted by antiquated traditional boundaries, but instead proceed with confidence, respect and knowledge. Oh, and obey traffic laws in the U.S., there are consequences here! Amy Lawyer, M.S., Ph.D. Equine Extension Associate

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M A STHE A D

Wildcat Canter Editorial Staff

Samantha Geller, contributing writer Alexandra Harper, MBA, managing editor, contributing writer, layout Misty Medeiros, contributing writer Holly Wiemers, MA, APR, senior editor, contributing writer

Wildcat Canter Editorial Board

Camie Heleski, PhD, lecturer Danielle Jostes, MA, equine philanthropy director Mick Peterson, PhD, equine programs director Savannah Robin, MS, internship coordinator Kristine Urschel, PhD, director of undergraduate studies Kristen Wilson, MS, academic program coordinator

Ag Equine Programs

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

N212 Ag Sciences Building North Lexington, KY 40546-0091 Office: (859) 257-2226 equine@uky.edu www.uky.edu/equine

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photo by Jimmy Henning

C LUBS AN D T EAM S D IR E CTORY U K EVENT ING

Advisor: Dr. Jill Stowe, jill.stowe@uky.edu President: Macy Clark, macyclark23@gmail.com Facebook: UK Dressage and Eventing

E Q UE ST RIA N TEAM

R . E. A. D . CL UB

Advisor: Dr. Kristine Urschel, klur222@uky.edu President: Katie Simmons, kesi226@g.uky.edu Facebook: READ Club

R O D EO TEAM

Advisor: Dr. Bob Coleman, rcoleman@uky.edu

H UNT SEAT TEAM

President: Mackenzie Mentzer, uk.equestrianteam@gmail.com Facebook: UKY Equestrian Team

W ES TERN TEAM

President: Jamie Henley, ukwesternequestrian@gmail.com Facebook: UKY Western IHSA Team

HO R S E RA C ING CLUB

Advisor: Dr. Laurie Lawrence, llawrenc@uky.edu President: Julie Witt, ukhorseracingclub@gmail.com Facebook: UKY Horse Racing Club

Advisor: Monty Ott, monty.ott@uky.edu President: Channing McWilliams, ukrodeoteam@gmail.com Facebook: UKY Rodeo Team

SAD D L E SEAT TEAM

Advisor: Dr. Mary Rossano, mary.rossano@uky.edu President: Audrey Schneider, uksaddleseatteam@gmail.com Facebook: UKY Saddleseat Team

Congratulations to the Hunt Seat Team on placing Reserve Champion in Zone 6 Region 3 at Lakeside Arena!

P O LO T E A M

Advisor: Dr. Roger Brown, rogerbrown@uky.edu Dr. Jamie MacLeod, jnmacleod@uky.edu President: Ben Lynch, benjamin.lynch@uky.edu Facebook: U of Kentucky Polo

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Click here to access contact information for these clubs.


FEAT U R E STORY

University of Kentucky students attend KEEP Day By Sam Geller On Tuesday February 12, 2019, I got the opportunity to attend The Kentucky Equine Education (KEEP) Day in Frankfort with two of my fellow equine programs students, Julie Witt and Caitlin Shilan. This event was held at the Capitol Annex Building and brought together a diverse group of stakeholders in Kentucky’s equine industry. Attending KEEP Day was an opportunity for not only legislators and key industry leaders to meet, but also for students, racing fans and horse lovers to share their stories and why the equine industry in Kentucky is so important. When we first arrived, I was a little intimidated due to the amount of people present for the event, but as soon as Mick Peterson, Director of UK Ag Equine Programs, introduced us to a few key people that work for KEEP such as Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s executive vice president, the conversations were flowing. The three of us met farm owners, directors of Thoroughbred after care organizations, educators, draft horse and Saddlebred enthusiasts, legislators, veterinarians, and many others who make up the diverse equine industry in our state. One unique thing that I noticed was that Caitlin, Julie and I, as soon-to-be-graduating seniors, all have very different paths in life. Caitlin wants to pursue her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, Julie dreams of working within the Thoroughbred Industry as a farm manager, and I am going to pursue my MBA in hopes of working in communications within the industry. The three of us, even with our different paths we are on, were able to connect with nearly everyone at the event. This really resonated with me because it’s a great representative of our industry- there are so many interests and different ways you can be involved with the equine industry but the love of the horse is one thing that unites us. Overall, my experience at KEEP day in Frankfort was remarkable. After the day wrapped up, I had networked with industry leaders, shared my passion for UK and the Equine Program and helped demonstrate the impact that horses have on Kentucky’s economy.

Bluegrass Equine Digest Check out the February issue of the Bluegrass Equine Digest, a free, monthly electronic newsletter dedicated to providing up-to-date information on equine research from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment in collaboration with TheHorse.com and sponsored by Zoetis. Click here to see this month’s stories. • • • •

Preventing Water Pollution on Horse Farms Tall Fescue Varieties Inaugural Horse Industry Safety Summit Undergrad Research

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ALUM N I S PO TL IGH T

Emma Smith, ‘13 Agent, Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau By Samantha Geller Where is home for you? I am originally from Boston, but now live in Newark, Deleware. How did you first become involved in the horse industry? I have grown up owning and riding horses and continue to do so now. I have been interested in horses since I was a toddler, so I am not sure what exactly sparked my interest. My grandmother has always had horses, so that might be it. What were your career goals before graduation? My career goals were to be a veterinarian, specifically for racehorses. Unfortunately, financially that was not possible, so instead I pursued something that would allow me to stay involved with the Thoroughbred industry.

What led you to this position? I have always been interested in something working with racehorses, and being part of a company so involved in every aspect of horse racing, from tattooing to wagering analysis, seemed like the perfect opportunity for me. What advice do you have for current equine students? I highly recommended they take every opportunity that they can. Kentucky has so much to offer with horses, and not just racehorses, and there is so much valuable information to learn from every industry, so that would be amazing to take advantage of.

Where are you currently employed? Currently I work for the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau in Fair Hill, Maryland. What are your current job responsibilities? I am in charge of the tattoo and microchip transition, which takes up the most of my time, though I do help out other colleagues with other tasks if I have time. The tattoo/ microchip project has been something that I have been working on for about a year or so.

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F EAT U R E S TORY

Portrait of a Rider: Characterizing Active Participants in Horse Activities and Horse Sports By Karin Pekarchik

University of Kentucky researchers Karin Pekarchik and Kimberly Tumlin are seeking participation for an online research survey to better understand who participates in horse activities and sports. “Portrait of a Rider: Characterizing Active Participants in Horse Activities and Horse Sports,” is a survey that will help qualify socioeconomic factors and type of participation of equestrians, which includes any person (rider, handler, worker) who interacts with horses. Compared to the amount of research on horse health, little research has been conducted on equestrians, despite the economic importance of this industry globally. “This survey is an important step in making sure we understand who participates in the industry, where they are, and generally get more detail on their backgrounds. There are some pressures to participation rates and workforce development in different areas of the industry, and this is one way to give everyone an opportunity to be counted,” Pekarchik said. Although there are generalizations about who participates, it is unclear if those generalizations are reflective of accurate socioeconomic factors or are perceptions based on stereotypes. Pekarchik and Tumlin aim to receive completed surveys from at least 1,000 participants in order to create a statistically valid portrait of who participates in horse activities. “There are many pre-conceived notions that being involved in the equine industry is precluded by having economic stability. This survey is aimed at understanding potential disparities that we have observed, but are not widely documented in the various sectors of equestrian participation,” Tumlin said. The online survey is open to anyone over the age of 18 and will be distributed in the United States and internationally. The survey will be open until March 31, 2019. To participate, click here. About the researchers: An interdisciplinary team, Pekarchik and Tumlin have been engaged in equestrian research for a couple of years. Previously, they mentored two UK student groups in an engineering senior design course to address equestrian bra design, and wireless sensor systems to quantify lumbar impact of riding on the equestrian’s spine. Currently, Tumlin and Pekarchik, with Mike Sama, an engineer at UK, received funding from the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center to explore impacts of biomechanical forces on the equestrian spine more fully. The funding will support a collaboration with the North American Racing Academy (NARA), the Lexington, race-training program. NARA’s students will participate in both live animal and simulated racing experiences while wearing newly-engineered sensor systems that will measure spine impacts. Eventually, Pekarchik and Tumlin will compare the impacts of riding to other sports activities to better understand the effects on the body. In 2018, Pekarchik and Tumlin co-founded an international community of practice focused on equestrian health. The community of practice members are researchers, instructors, and practitioners in fields related to equestrianism, and as a group, they are writing a comprehensive publication that will outline the strengths and weaknesses of the research currently available about equestrian/handler health, making recommendations to further address health and wellness of participants in the equestrian industry. Broadly, the publication will provide information about who participates in equestrian activities; riding and working with horses across the lifespan; the psychology of riding; and biomechanics, saddle fit, and equipment. The final paper is expected to be published no later than 2021. To learn more about the Female Equestrian Community of Practice, click here.

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FEAT URE STORY

UK hosts 8th annual Equine Showcase By Sam Geller The University of Kentucky (UK) Ag Equine Programs hosted its 8th Annual UK Equine Showcase on Jan. 26, 2019 at the Fayette County Extension office in Lexington. The event highlighted current equine research being conducted by UK and was focused on educating veterinarians, farm managers, horse owners, students and equine enthusiasts. This year’s event had an emphasis on pest management. Lecture topics and presenters for the showcase event included: •Insects and Horse Health: What You Need to Know, presented by Zainulabeduddin Syed, assistant professor, Department of Entomology •Important Equine Diseases Carried by Insects, presented by Rebecca Ruby, assistant professor, Department of Veterinary Science •Vector-Borne Disease Affecting Horses and Humans, presented by Peter Timoney, Frederick Van Lennep Chair in Equine Veterinary Science at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center •Making Your Barn Horse Friendly and Insect Averse, presented by Morgan Hayes, assistant extension professor, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering •Managing Mud and Manure, presented by Steve Higgins, director of environmental compliance for the Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering •Horses and the Ag Water Quality Act, presented by Tammy Brewster-Barnes, Cooperative Extension Event sponsors included Hallway Feeds, McCauley Feeds, and Tribute Equine Nutrition, with additional support provided by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Kentucky Performance Products, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, and The Pond Lady.

UK Ag Equine Apparel Available for Order The UK Ag Equine Programs is once again offering apparel for order. Items can be purchased here using the password: ukequine19. The deadline to order by is March 6.

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S T U DE N T F E ATURE

Undergraduate Students Participate in Unparalleled Research Opportunities at the University of Kentucky By Sam Geller The University of Kentucky has a long history of notable equine research. As a land–grant institution, one of the key missions of the university is to facilitate learning through hands-on experience, expand knowledge through transformational research, and prepare its students of today to be the scientists of tomorrow. Students who participate in research are able to breakout of the normal classroom routine and apply their learning in new and exciting ways. Students gain hands-on skills by going into the laboratories, pastures and barns with research faculty that ultimately can translate into meaningful work in a future career. Undergraduate students at UK have an unparalleled opportunity to participate in equine research though the Gluck Equine Research Center, the College of Engineering, the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, as well as many other departments located across the campus. UK undergraduate students can take part and learn from equine research in areas ranging from nutrition, parasitology, facility design, track surfaces and endocrinology to immunology, musculoskeletal science, plant and soil science and more. Kayla Danicki, a senior majoring in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and minoring in Biomedical Engineering, is working with Mick Peterson, director of UK Ag Equine Programs, as an undergraduate researcher. Danicki, who has an interest in animal biomechanics, has been working with Peterson on a project to develop an equine surgical tool, which she presented to her peers and renowned equine surgeon, Elizabeth Santschi, professor of equine surgery at the Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. Peterson was initially approached by Santschi. She asked if we could work with her on this and I said I needed to find the right person,” Peterson said. “The biggest thing that I have learned from my time as an undergraduate researcher is what it is like to be a research-based engineer,” Danicki said. “Within engineering, there are two types of engineers: engineers who work in the field and engineers who conduct research. Through my hands-on experience, I have learned that working as either type of engineer would be a good fit for me because I have completed tasks that would apply to both types.” ____________________________________ Martin Nielsen, associate professor at the Gluck Equine Research Center, who supervises four graduate students and around 10 enthusiastic undergraduates each year, typifies the passion many faculty have about being an integral part of the undergraduate experience. When asked about the undergraduate researchers in his labs, Nielsen said, “Supervising undergraduate students doing research projects is one of my most rewarding tasks.” Nielsen works with the students he mentors to create meaningful research projects that not only seek to find answers to a question, but also will help the students grow their skills and give them a hands-on experience with research. “Typically, I ask the student to think about some project ideas and do some reading before they meet with me. Then, during our subsequent discussions, we identify a project that may be more or less related to their initial idea. I then ask the student to work out a study protocol and we again meet to discuss,” he said. “Eventually, they proceed with executing the study, generating the data, analyzing and interpreting the data, and finally writing the report.” Nielsen said his goal is to expose students to research and show them how good research ideas take time, collaboration, and discussion. In his lab, Nielsen said he works hard to foster a healthy learning environment where he and his graduate and undergraduate students work together to get a true experience of working as part of a dynamic research laboratory with several on-going activities. The rewards of this experience run two ways. “I never stop being impressed by these young people who show up with a great attitude just wanting to learn as much as possible,” he said. Jamie Norris, a current graduate student in parasitology at the Gluck Center, was once an undergraduate researcher. His passion for research started while working extensively in Nielsen’s laboratory beginning in 2013. Norris was looking to fulfill his internship requirement for his degree in animal science with an equine specialization at UK. Norris met with Nielsen and, very soon after, began working in his lab. continued on page 11...

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FEAT URE STORY continued from page 10... “This, in a broad sense, exposed me to a new possibility which I hadn’t really considered for what to pursue after graduation,” Norris said. “It allowed me to experience what it was really like being able to put to use some of the information that I had acquired as an undergrad and to be able to apply creativity and abstract thought to questions arising from working in Dr. Nielsen’s lab.” Many undergraduate students involved in research are encouraged to share their work with fellow students, publish their findings or present at academic conferences. While working in the laboratory, Norris was given the remarkable opportunity to present his research at the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists conference in Indianapolis. Norris recalled that it was intimidating to meet such influential people in his field, but recently he attended the same conference in Colorado, this time as a graduate student, and said that the connections he made the first time helped him network with more industry professionals the second. As part of Nielsen’s undergraduate research program, students are required to submit written reports upon completion of their research project(s). As a result, a large proportion of his students have subsequently published their work in peer-reviewed scientific journals, which, according to Nielsen, is a tremendous accomplishment for an undergraduate student. As an undergraduate, Norris published his study, “Determination of the specific gravity of eggs of equine strongylids, Parascaris spp.,and Anoplocephala perfoliata,” in Veterinary Parasitology, an international journal focusing on Parasitology. He will be publishing another report on studies from his undergraduate career in the near future. Looking back, Norris said he believes that beginning to work in Nielsen’s lab was a pivotal time in his life. “I don’t think I would have considered graduate school as an option had I not worked for Dr. Nielsen,” he said. Norris is now pursuing his doctorate under the direction of Dan Howe, professor and molecular parasitologist at the Gluck Center. ---------------------------Kristine Urschel, associate professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences and director of undergraduate studies for the Equine Science and Management undergraduate degree program, believes that undergraduate research is something that should be assessable to all students. She herself maintains an open door policy, where any student who wants to learn is welcome. Urschel’s undergraduates can be found working in the lab or with the horses at UK’s Maine Chance Farm. According to Urschel, undergraduate research allows students to get hand-on experience working in laboratories and with faculty members. Students gain confidence in lab skills, horse handling, troubleshooting, thinking on their feet, experimental design and the importance of following protocol, all of which students can use in their future careers or graduate studies. She said she believes that undergraduate research makes students more marketable to graduate school programs and future employers because it shows that the student has an understanding of what research is. It also allows students the opportunity to decide if research is a path they would like to follow. “I’d at least encourage them to come out and watch, see what’s going on, and talk to a variety of researchers,” Urschel said. Students who want to get involved with research, but may not have a lot of time due to classes, are welcome to join in Urschel’s research efforts through helping with animal husbandry, collecting samples, and running lab work. Those who want to be more involved with research can implement it into their coursework through experiential learning, internship experiences or independent study courses, she said. These students often work with their professor(s) to create a plan for how they will be involved in the ongoing research happening in the lab, or they may create their own project designed in conjunction with their professor. “We rarely ever have the problem of too many hands,” Urschel said, adding that she welcomes any student who is interested in finding more about equine research. Students often find out about research opportunities through their academic advisors, faculty or staff who help students plan coursework and connect them with research faculty. If a student is interested in getting involved, they are encouraged to contact their advisor or visit the Office of Undergraduate Research website, where they can find information on how to get involved in research around campus.

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F EAT U R E STORY

University of Kentucky Welcome’s Tim Jedra Source: Maine Chance Farm Facebook Page The Department of Animal and Food Sciences is proud to introduce and welcome Tim Jedra as our new Senior Agricultural Research Specialist- Equine Unit Manager at Maine Chance Farm. Jedra is a lifelong horseman and his expertise and passion will be an asset to our program. Originally, from Upstate New York, Jedra brings diverse equine experiences to the team as a former professional trainer, stallion/farm manager, show manager, and coach. Jedra graduated with a BS degree in marketing and continued his education to earn a MS in teaching from SUNY Cortland. For over 5 years post-graduation, Jedra was the assistant director of the equine drug testing lab at SUNY Morrisville where he worked with the New York State Racing and Wagering board on performance enhancing drug regulations. Most recently, Jedra was an instructor and advisor in the Equine Sciences program at Colorado State University where he taught classes on equine behavior assessment and equine evaluation and coached multiple national champion horse judging teams. Jedra is excited to be working in the Thoroughbred industry in Kentucky and looks forward to helping students at the University of Kentucky be successful after graduation. Outside of academia, Jedra also enjoys outreach and extension and judges 4-H, open and breed shows and provides clinics on multiple topics in the equine industry. Please join us in welcoming Mr. Tim Jedra to Maine Chance Farm and to the University of Kentucky!

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FEAT URE STORY

Inaugural Horse Industry Safety Summit promotes education among equestrians Editor: Holly Wiemers The University of Kentucky Ag Equine Programs, Saddle Up Safely and other partnering organizations will host an inaugural Horse Industry Safety Summit on Tuesday, April 23, prior to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park. The event will be held at Spindletop Hall, 3414 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. EDT and will host researchers, equestrians and equine enthusiasts. In a format that combines expert panels, individual speakers and poster presentations, the summit will focus solely on ways to keep equine riders and handlers safe. “Saddle Up Safely and the University of Kentucky are thrilled to gather this stellar lineup of professionals from all facets of equestrian sport to highlight the importance of safety in all aspects of equine interaction,” said Fernanda Camargo, UK associate professor and equine extension specialist. “Working with horses inherently places riders and handlers at risk. We look forward to offering an event entirely focused on what can be done to keep people safe when working around horses.” Sessions include discussions on helmets and helmet testing; traumatic brain injuries; how to fall from a horse safely; concussion protocol; protective vests and how safety is seen from both the competitor and organizational viewpoints. The summit organizing committee consists of representatives from UK Ag Equine Programs, UK College of Health Science, Kentucky 4-H Horse Program, United States Pony Clubs, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, Retired Racehorse Project, Saddle Up Safely, North American Racing Academy and UK College of Public Health. The Horse Industry Safety Summit is sponsored by the Kentucky Horse Council, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Dinsmore Equine Law/Laura Holoubek. Registration is $50 per person and includes lunch. For more information, click here.

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S T U DE N T F E ATURE

From our students...some of the pieces written in a provocative new course By Holly Wiemers An important part of the mission of our program includes undergraduate education, specifically with our Equine Science and Management undergraduate degree program. A new class that piloted this spring – taught by Camie Heleski, a faculty member and lecturer within the program – is one designed to present provocative, often controversial issues that are current to the equine industry. In EQM 305, Equine Industry Issues, students are introduced to topics, heard from speakers, researched information and communicated about industry issues in written and oral formats. The course is designed to expose students to hot button issues in the industry and encourage them to research and formulate well-communicated opinions about those issues. One avenue made available to this course is publishing some of those stories here. Here one of the written pieces that emerged from students in this course. They are meant to be provocative and sometimes controversial.

My Issue with Equine Issues By Kerri Peters Take a look at this picture. What do you see? She has pictures of race horses as her wallpaper and a picture of her at the track. She studies Equine Science and Management at the University of Kentucky. She must really love horses. And the truth is I do. I love horses and that is why I’ve decided to dedicate my career (and leisure time) to understanding their inner and outer workings. Compared to most, I have a generally good grasp on the anatomy and physiology of the horse. I can tell you, or at least know where to find, information about anything from epidemiology to reproduction. But, for what I have in the knowledge that I’ve acquired through my studies, I lack in hands-on experience in the horse industry. As I’m nearing the end of my undergraduate studies, it’s becoming more and more apparent to me that it’s an issue. I’m a good student with a great GPA and can rock most courses I take, but that won’t get me anywhere if I don’t know how to apply it. My goal is to move on to graduate school, so I can focus on research. I have set up an internship for my swan song undergrad semester in parasitology under the guidance of Dr. Martin Nielsen. Dr. Nielsen is a preeminent DVM and Ph.D. in equine parasitology research. One recently published article called him the “Bon Jovi of Equine Parasitology” (Clarkson, 2018). When searching for an internship of interest, I found so many intelligent people doing some amazing work. From PhD students to already accomplished doctors, the number of possibilities was way more than I expected. It seems that there are still so many questions in the equine industry and so many hurdles to overcome to answer them. But when I step back and see all these bright people with so many ideas, it makes me wonder where I fit in. I don’t have any burning questions. Will I ever have questions? Will there be enough interest in my questions to garner a research study, and even more importantly, will someone fund it? So here is my conundrum. There are all these issues in the horse industry that need to be addressed but I don’t even know where to begin. I’m not active in the riding community to see first-hand where things need to be improved. I’m only involved in the racing community as a fan of the sport, so I’ve never been to a yearling sale or breeding shed. The only time I’ve spent in a laboratory was for chemistry and biotechnology courses, so applying that knowledge to real-life equine scenarios is tough. I’m baring all this information not to embarrass myself, but to acknowledge that I know where my shortcomings are. I also know that I am a student so I’m still learning and I’m not going to have all the answers right now. But it is disheartening when I’m surrounded by these young girls that have so much equine management experience. Some of them have already been working on farms, delivering foals, and training yearlings. Some have spent hours at various hospitals assisting the veterinarians with emergency colic surgery or c-sections. Others are competing at the national level with their jumping horses or reining horses. So, as you can see, it would be a little bit easier for someone surrounded by horses all the time to be able to identify where the issues are. I’m late to the game and sometimes the pressure to make up for lost time is overwhelming. But I consider myself an optimistic person. The bright side to not having as much experience as my cohorts is that I am open to all ideas and theories. I don’t have a preconceived notion of how things should be done. I am a sponge! I am a ball of clay! The horse world is steeped in tradition and superstition, so getting someone to change their ways is difficult. The attitude of “We’ve always done it that way,” has been a subject of interest around psychologists but is applicable to many things in life (Durr, 2013). Fear drives many of our decisions and hesitancy to change. That is where my inexperience is beneficial. I’ll be able to look at issues in the equine industry objectively instead of subjectively. My outsider perspective will allow me to take a step back and evoke my initial response to something I may have a moral or ethical issue with. In the end, wherever my career may take me, I know that I will have the advantage of an open mind.

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SAVE THE DATE

Horse Industry Safety Summit April 23, 2019 7:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. UK’s Spindletop Hall, Lexington, KY This conference will bring together scientific findings and practical experience, from the world’s top horsemen and women, on issues regarding safety around horses.

NORTH

AMERICAN

RACING

ACADEMY

Formore moreinformation information and to register For and to register.


Call to the Post Derby Bash 2019

Saturday, April 27


Saturday, April 27 The Livery

238 East Main Street, Lexington, KY 40507

Happy Hour - 6pm

Join us for hors d’ouevres and local spirits tastings.

Dinner & Drinks - 7pm

Enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Bayou Bluegrass Catering and complimentary drinks.

Live Music - 8pm

Superfecta will have you dancing throughout the night!

Tastings - Silent Auction - Bourbon Pull Dress in your Derby Best!

*Dress - Derby Clubhouse A prize will be awarded to the best ladies derby hat and gentlemens attire.

-All proceeds support CAFE Scholarships-


Ag Equine Programs

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

N212 Ag Sciences Building North Lexington, KY 40546-0091 Office: (859) 257-2226 equine@uky.edu www.uky.edu/equine

Profile for UK Ag Equine Programs

February Wildcat Canter  

Monthly newsletter produced by the UK Ag Equine Programs.

February Wildcat Canter  

Monthly newsletter produced by the UK Ag Equine Programs.

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