(Outriders and their horses greet guests at Keeneland / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

Press Release:

The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) Foundation has launched the Gateway Education Program, a job shadow opportunity for Fayette County high school seniors.

This program allows students the opportunity to observe professionals in the equine industry and experience a day in the life of that operation, gain a real life understanding of careers, career pathways, and the education and skills needed for a career in the equine industry.

For the 2022-2023 school year, the KEEP Foundation has partnered with Locust Trace AgriScience Center and the Fayette County Public Schools’ Experience Based Career Education program. After this year, the goal is to expand the program to surrounding counties and eventually statewide.

Students with little to no experience with horses will attend an orientation session at the Kentucky Equine Adoption Center where they will participate in an introductory level equine curriculum program before starting their job shadow position(s). Students with equine experience will proceed straight into their job shadow.

Participating businesses include; The Jockey Club, KESMARC, Kentucky Equine Adoption Center, the Kentucky Horse Park, Machmer Hall Sales, the Secretariat Center, Spy Coast Farm, Stonestreet Farms, and Three Chimney’s Farm.

“This is such a great opportunity for students to receive first-hand experience in exploring the countless careers in the equine industry,” said Alexandra Harper, Executive Director for the KEEP Foundation. “Our industry relies heavily on the next generation of horsemen and women, and we hope this program will help address and reduce future industry workforce issues.”

If you are a student interested in participating or a business wanting to learn more about participating as a host site, please email [email protected].

All of these programs and initiatives would not be possible without the support of Kentucky’s equine industry. If you would like to support the KEEP Foundation’s education initiatives, donations can be made HERE.