Kentucky Horse Council Accepting Applications for its 2005 Equine Education Scholarships
Equine Press Release
The Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for the 2005 Equine Education Scholarship program. The KHC is offering five scholarships to its members or children of its members (under 18 years of age) who will be attending a horse-related program at a Kentucky university or Kentucky-based horse educational program.
The KHC's goal is to award scholarships to deserving individuals who will be assets to Kentucky's horse industry. The selection will be based on academic record, level of need, horse background, community service, career plans, and references. Five $1,000 scholarships will be awarded beginning the semester of enrollment in 2005. Individual awards of recognition will be presented at the KHC's annual meeting in November.
Applications are available at the KHC's office and web site, www.kentuckyhorse.org, and must be postmarked by Sept. 15, 2004.
For additional information about the scholarship and how to become a member of the Kentucky Horse Council, call the KHC at 859/367-0509, 800/459-4677, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of the Kentucky Horse Council
The first council
The Kentucky Horse Council was originally created as an independent agency of state government via legislation enacted in 1974. Perhaps the first Kentucky Horse Councilís greatest contribution was compiling important reference data related to the equine industry, including: "Kentucky Equine Industry Survey 1977;" in 1980, the first "Kentucky Equine Industry Directory;" and two monthly news-based publications. Despite the many contributions of this first council, the state agency was abolished on June 30, 1984, as a result of the state budget constraints.
A new council was formed
A new beginning
Eight years passed without a state horse council in Kentucky. Finally, in the winter of 1992, a grassroots effort to combine the voices and interests of all horsemen took hold. The impetus behind the resurgence of interest in the re-formation of a horse council was the widely recognized need for horsemen to band together in support of all horse breeds.
The Kentucky Horse Park spearheaded the coordination of a meeting to discuss the concept of a new horse council to be privately funded and non-governmentally linked. Articles of incorporation and bylaws for the Kentucky Horse Council, Inc. were signed in March 1992. True to the original Kentucky Horse Councilís mission of representing the interests of all breeds and disciplines, executive board membership is limited to no more than two representatives of any breed or discipline.
The Kentucky Horse Council, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection, promotion, growth and development of the equine industry and serves as a focal point for legislation, education, and communication in Kentucky.
Open Stable Day
The Kentucky Horse Council is committed to playing an active role in supporting and strengthening our stateís horse industry. Open Stable Day was started by the KHC in the spring of 2001 as a service to the horse industry. Open Stable Day is a free event where visitors discover Kentuckyís horse farms and facilities. As a self-guided tour, visitors travel in their own vehicles, at their own pace, and visit as many participating facilities as they wish to explore during the day. The KHC provides a list of facilities and directions on the KHC web site. The day is devoted to helping people interact with horses and to learn about the different breeds of horses, different disciplines of riding and driving, horse care, horse training, horse ownership and leasing options, horse clubs, and horse rescue organizations.
The Trails Committee is allied with other land use groups to protect the environment and ensure that regulations do not restrict riding opportunities. Through monies made available through the National Recreational Trails Act (Symms Act) and cost share challenge agreements with the U.S. Forest Service, the Kentucky Horse Councilís Trails Committee has accessed funds to improve and mark riding trails and to build horse camps in the state. The Trails Committee also published a guide to Kentucky Horse Camps.
A Horse Health Seminar was held in early February 1994 in conjunction with the councilís annual meeting. The symposium, sponsored by the Kentucky Horse Council and Hagyard, Davidson, & McGee Associates, was held at the Kentucky Horse Park and featured vital veterinary and horse management lectures. In addition, an equine trailer rescue course, co-sponsored by Kentuckyís Department of Vocational Education, the Montgomery County Fire Department and the Kentucky Horse Council, was held November 12, 1994. In early February 1996, fifteen veterinarians from Hagyard, Davidson, & McGee presented a Horse Health Seminar at Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. Since 2001, the KHC has incorporated educational seminars into the annual meeting. In 2001, seminars covered How to run a Successful Equine Business, Emergency Equine Care and Basic First-Aid, and Understanding the Nutritional Needs of the Horse. The 2002 seminars concentrated on the health and safety of horses and covered the topics the West Nile Virus and Kentucky OSHA regulations and safety procedures for horse farms.
The KHC strives to keep the Kentucky State Legislature informed of issues that affect the stateís horse industry and works to support or dissuade legislation that may positively or negatively impact the industry.
Signed into law on March 21, 1996 by Governor Paul Patton, the Farm Animal Liability Law, KRS 247.4027, defines the duties of farm animal owners and protects, among others, those who board horses, sponsor shows, conduct rides, and present animals for sale. The purpose of the legislation is to protect horse industry sponsors, educators and participants from liability for injuries to persons or property caused by the risks inherent in working with horses (i.e., those risks which cannot be eliminated through the exercise of reasonable caution and preparedness).
Thanks to passage of House Bill 740 in the 1998 Legislative Session, a new license plate featuring a horse was made available to Kentuckians. The funds raised from sales of the specialty plate are used to develop and implement education programs, to create a better communication system for the horse people of Kentucky, and to help the councilís efforts with legislation impacting the horse in Kentucky.
Communication & Advocacy
Committed to communication, the council organized the first Equine Industry Summit, held on April 4, 1998. Invitations to all known clubs, breed and discipline organizations in the state resulted in more than forty organizations represented. The Summit, which focused on "Equine Welfare: Rights and Concerns," was an opportunity for horse enthusiasts to come together to exchange ideas on topics of concern to the entire industry and to look for opportunities to work together for the good of the industry. As a direct result of the Summit, the KHC published a comprehensive Directory of Equine Organizations in April 1998. The topic for the 1999 Summit was "Grassroots Lobbying: From the Horseís Mouth to Governmentís Ears"
To improve communication within the state, the KHC has developed a web site designed to be window to Kentuckyís horse industry. The dynamic site is a source for issues impacting the industry; events and happenings; horse specialists, trail information, and many other items of interest.
The Kentucky Horse Council today
Today, the Kentucky Horse Council is a membership-based organization with over 300 members. With more than 135 horse groups based in the state, the Kentucky Horse Council is proud to serve as a voice for them all. Several active committees, education, Open Stable Day, legislative, membership, and trails, continue to shape the direction of the horse industry in Kentucky.