Annual Career Fair Unites College Students, Equine Industry

The University of Kentucky Ag Equine Programs will host its sixth annual UK Equine Career and Opportunity Fair from 4:30 to 7 p.m. March 4 at Spindletop Hall, in Lexington.

The event provides college students the chance to meet prospective equine industry employers and to learn about potential volunteer, internship, and part-time and full-time employment opportunities. In addition to browsing booths from area equine businesses, attendees can also participate in sessions led by industry professionals who will offer tips and one-on-one career advice. New this year, participants will also have the opportunity to meet local boarding facilities and trainers.

“This year’s fair will be the biggest and best one yet. In years past, this has been an excellent event for students to connect with industry organizations. We had more than 220 students attend last year alone,” said Elizabeth LaBonty, lecturer and internship coordinator in UK’s Equine Science and Management undergraduate degree program, and whose equine careers’ class is planning the event.

“This year we have expanded it to include businesses students can join for networking purposes, barns that are student-friendly, and trainers who offer riding and lessons,” she said. “What makes this event so special is that it is student-initiated, student-driven, and student-planned. We have 13 students hard at work, and it’s exciting to watch them work, hear their ideas, and see it all come together.”

The event is free and will offer college-aged attendees the chance to visit local equine business and organization booths. Informational sessions will allow participants to explore opportunities related to pharmaceutical sales, graduate school, and jobs within the Thoroughbred industry. Food and drinks will also be provided, as will a shuttle service for students without vehicles on UK’s campus.

“Being a part of the 2014 Equine Career and Opportunity Fair is such an awesome experience," said Courtney Schneider, a junior equine major from Frankfort, Ky. "It's really fun to learn what actually goes into planning an event. I have attended the fair in the past and made a lot of new connections by doing so. This year we hope to make it bigger and better than ever before.”

Morgan Reece, a freshman equine major on a pre-veterinary path from North Vernon, Ind., echoed Schneider's sentiments: “I am excited for the fair because it has evolved into this event that offers students a variety of opportunities. The fair is so different than anything that I have had the chance to help plan. It is amazing to think that I can help bring all of these people together in one event to help us all out,” she said.

Confirmed participants currently include Central Kentucky Riding For Hope, Darley Flying Start Program, Gluck Equine Research Center, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Keeneland, Kentucky Equine Management Internship, Kentucky Equine Humane Center, Kentucky Horse Park, Kentucky Horseshoeing School, Kentucky Quarter Horse Association, Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass, Makers Mark Secretariat Center, New Vocations, North American Racing Academy, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, UK Ag Equine Programs, UK Animal and Food Science Graduate Association, and the United States Equestrian Federation.

Students and potential employers who would like more information about the UK Equine Career Fair can contact Elizabeth LaBonty at 859/257-2226 or e-mail There is also an event Facebook face (University of Kentucky Equine Career Fair), which provides up-to-date info. For more information about UK Ag Equine Programs, visit

Holly Wiemers, MA, is the communication director at the UK Ag Equine Programs.

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More information on Gluck Equine Research Center and UK Ag Equine Programs.

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