Equine Summit Featured a Broad Look at Industry Challenges
RELEASE: May 5, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Anne Lawyer
The 2010 Kentucky International Equine Summit, presented by the University of Louisville Equine Industry Program in cooperation with the University of Kentucky Equine Initiative, concluded last Tuesday evening at the Downtown Hilton in Lexington, KY. The Summit was created with a goal of drawing in industry leaders to share in a discussion and search for solutions for some of the industry’s most important challenges, regardless of the breed or discipline.
With 74 industry experts on hand as panelists, discussions centered on a variety of current issues in the horse industry. Topics ranged from such broad structural issues as ‘The Horse Showing Industry’ and integrating social media networks into marketing, to narrowly focused panels discussing the advantages and disadvantages of Advanced Deposit Wagering in pari-mutuel racing.
Both days of the Summit featured keynote luncheon speakers. Monday’s plenary lunch brought the CEO of the United States Equestrian Federation and Chair of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), John Long. Long focused on what the 2010 WEG means to the U.S. equine community, the region, and the state of Kentucky. He said that in addition to working to stage a successful 16-day event, the goal of the WEG board is to leave a lasting legacy that will positively impact the industry as well as the Commonwealth.
Tuesday’s lunch featured Keeneland President Nick Nicholson. Nicholson complemented the efforts of the two Universities in sponsoring the Summit, and said the only way the horse industry can progress and move past tough times is if egos are set aside and all are able to meet on a common ground to discuss important issues. He also shared Keeneland’s commitment to new technology and a continual adaptation to accommodate its customers.
Representatives from both the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky were pleased with the outcome of the event. Both schools’ equine programs will continue to work together on future projects, as well as on the 2012 Kentucky International Equine Summit.