The Kentucky Horse Council elected a slate of new officers at its November 16 Board Meeting. The elections include Erin Woodall – President, Kathy Hopkins – Vice President, Madelyn Millard – Secretary, and Kelsea Rookard – Treasurer.
Erin Woodall served as Vice-President of the Kentucky Horse Council prior to her election as President, and is a lifelong horsewoman and rider. Erin graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Agriculture Education and a minor in Animal Sciences. She has worked at the national headquarters for the United States Pony Clubs (USPC) since 2005, and is currently Activities and Events Coordinator and Systems Administrator. As Activities and Events Coordinator, she assists in the planning, coordination, and onsite management of the USPC Annual Meeting of the Corporation and USPC Championships. Erin collaborates with adult volunteer leadership to provide guidance for the competitive disciplines within Pony Club and in organizing Contests, International Exchanges and Special Opportunities for youth membership. As Systems Administrator, she oversees the technical systems in the Pony Club Office and coordinates with outside contractors.
Erin spent 15 years volunteering at numerous equine competitions before catching the eventing bug herself and started competing in the fall of 2006. She currently serves on the Board of the Midsouth Eventing and Dressage Association.
Kathy Hopkins is the Director of Equine Operations at Lexington's Kentucky Horse Park, and is the outgoing President of the Kentucky Horse Council. Kathy oversees such diverse activities as the planning, organization, management and care of all equine areas and horses at the Park, including the Hall of Champions, the Draft and Carriage Divisions, the Breeds and Farrier Area, and the Education Department which encompasses the community education programs, youth riding, and the Mustang Troop. Kathy also teaches labs for the Lexington Catholic Equine Academy and serves on its Board of Directors, along with working with her husband and son to run Southern Trace Farm, a Fayette County operation dedicated to breeding Thoroughbred sport horses.
Kathy's more than 40 years of experience in the equine industry includes stints as Director of the Kentucky Equine Institute, a program sponsored by the Kentucky Farm Managers and designed to produce graduates ready to enter the equine profession as well-qualified racing and farm managers, trainers, farriers, jockeys, and sales and marketing representatives. She has also served as an Instructor in the Thoroughbred Track and Exercise Rider Training Program, a post-secondary program training students for employment in the racing industry through an intensive curriculum including the anatomy and physiology of the horse and breaking, training, and riding techniques.
Madelyn Millard served as President of the Kentucky Horse Council from 2006-2010, and Vice Chair of the American Horse Council from 2010-2011, then being elected Chair in 2012. Before being elected Secretary, Madelyn served on the Kentucky Horse Council's Health & Welfare Committee and will continue in that post. Madelyn currently manages the Equine Division of Waterwild Farm, a 530-acre family-owned farm in Lexington, Kentucky. She is responsible for 40-50 client horses, as well as twelve Waterwild-owned horses, most of which are sport/pleasure horses involved in disciplines from dressage to eventing. She personally rides gaited American Saddlebreds, an off-the-track Thoroughbred, or a Morgan.
Kelsea Rookard, a Midway College graduate, has been involved in the equine industry for more than 10 years. While at Midway she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Equine Management and Business. Kelsea is currently Director of the Equine Academy at Lexington Catholic High School (LCHS). The Equine Academy seeks to inspire the next generation of equine industry leaders by combining LCHS's rich tradition as a first-class, faith-based educational institution with an incomparable location in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. In addition, Kelsea is an active member of the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the American Road Horse and Pony Association, and the United States Equestrian Federation. In her showing career she received multiple awards at top shows in saddle seat and driving divisions.
Kelsea taught horseback riding lessons for many years, and also worked at the Kentucky Horse Council, where she was involved with their many educational programs. She has a love for all equine, and a passion for assisting students in their learning process while working with horses. In her spare time, Kelsea enjoys riding for pleasure and volunteering in the children's ministry at her church.
“The 2015 Slate of Officers is poised to lead the Kentucky Horse Council into the future,” said President-elect Erin Woodall. “I am excited to get to work immediately with my fellow officers to ensure the Kentucky Horse Council is doing the best possible work for the health and welfare of Kentucky horses, and the education of future generations that will lead our flagship industry and ensure Kentucky remains the Horse Capital of the World.”
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