UofL’s Equine Industry Program Delivers Uniquely Qualified Workforce

As the world’s eyes turn to Louisville’s Churchill Downs in anticipation of this week’s Kentucky Derby, the city’s hometown university highlights its decades-long program to educate and train the horse industry’s professionals of tomorrow.

The University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program offers the world’s only equine industry degree and certificate programs from an AACSB-accredited college of business, giving students the opportunity to turn their love of horses into a viable career.

For 37 years, the UofL College of Business has been delivering equine degrees through the program with a rigorous business focus and dedication to the combination of horse commerce, business enterprise and academics. The program provides a uniquely qualified workforce to Kentucky’s horse racing industry, as well as equine businesses across the globe.

The program’s core business administration classes combine with 27 hours of specialized education focusing on equine enterprises and event management. Because of the university’s location in famed Kentucky horse country, classroom instruction is supplemented with the opportunity for internships, field experience and contacts with prominent industry professionals.

The program’s 362 alumni include Gary Palmisano, executive director of racing for Churchill Downs Inc.; K. Amy Lawyer, who now directs the UofL Equine Industry Program; Thoroughbred trainers Lindsay Schultz and Jason Barkley; Corey Barberito, assistant trainer for Dallas Stewart; Hannah Boyle, social media manager at Churchill Downs; Sean Collins, assistant tour manager at the Kentucky Derby Museum; Paige Thompson, who recently opened White Tail Eventing in Cincinnati and Ali Sturtevant, who will graduate from veterinary school this spring.

Each year, the program honors a top industry executive with the John W. Galbreath Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurship in the Equine Industry. This year, the 33rd recipient of the award was Michael Dickinson, who has spent his life deeply involved in the horse industry, first as a steeplechase jockey and trainer, as a Thoroughbred trainer and most recently as an innovator of racetrack surfaces.

Over the past two decades, Dickinson has developed and refined Tapeta Footings, an all-weather synthetic material designed to improve safety for both equine and human athletes. Tapeta 10, the latest version of Tapeta Footings, has substantially reduced equine fatalities and outperformed conventional dirt and turf surfaces.

For information about the Equine Industry Program, visit the program website.

About the University of Louisville
In 2023, the University of Louisville celebrates its quasquibicentennial, the 225th anniversary of the 1798 beginnings of higher education in Louisville. One of the nation’s first city-owned, public universities, UofL today is a vital ecosystem that creates thriving futures for students, our community and society. As one of only 79 universities in the United States to earn recognition by the Carnegie Foundation as both a Research 1 and a Community Engaged university, we impact lives in areas of student success and research and innovation, while our dynamic connection with our local and global communities provides unparalleled opportunities for students and citizens both. The university serves as an engine that powers Metro Louisville and the commonwealth and as a classroom for UofL’s more than 23,000 students, who benefit from partnerships with top employers and a wide range of community service opportunities. To learn more, visit louisville.edu.

Photo available on request

Photo caption: Students in UofL’s Equine Industry Program get real-world experience through internships, field experience and contact with industry professionals from throughout Kentucky’s famed horse country.

Jill Scoggins, 502-650-2624, jill.scoggins@louisville.edu