Students learn about equine opportunities: fair offers information about interning, volunteering

By Mary Elizabeth Vance | @kykernel

More than 200 people attended the fifth annual UK Equine Career Fair at the E.S. Good Barn on Tuesday afternoon. Students flocked to the fair seeking internships, volunteer work and post-graduation careers from 30 local equine businesses.

Equine science junior Kayleigh Leavell came to the fair knowing she was interested in a future as an equine chiropractor.

She was surprised to find she could pursue an internship at the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center riding and retraining off-the-track Thoroughbreds. Leavell was pleased to have gained some new internship ideas from the booths, and liked the convenience of having so many equine businesses in one place.

“It is really convenient to have them all in one spot. Instead of spending hours on the internet doing research, you can talk to everyone in an hour,” Leavell said.

Many different facets of the equine industry were represented, including Keeneland, KEMI, the Darley Flying Start, Woodford Equine Hospital and the American Saddlebred Horse Association.

The Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass, a program using the outdoors to build character and teach leadership, came to the fair for the first time seeking interns for their equestrian program.

Interns would have the opportunity to gain experience in areas such as barn management, riding instruction and training.

“Interns would definitely have a diverse experience here,” said Byron Marlowe, program director.

Not all students came seeking internships or future careers; some came seeking opportunities to give back to the community.

Olivia Erickson, an animal and equine science and management senior, was interested in volunteering at Central Kentucky Riding for Hope.

“It is a great opportunity to give back to the community. It’s also really great when you can positively affect both a horse and a person’s lives,” Erickson said.

The fair was also attended by students from other local schools, including Georgetown College, Morehead State University and Northern Kentucky University.