Corey Johnsen, President, Kentucky Downs, is one of the scheduled speakers for the inaugural Kentucky International Equine Summit 2008.

Corey Johnsen, President, Kentucky Downs, is one of the scheduled speakers for the inaugural Kentucky International Equine Summit 2008.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Equine Economy Part of Summit

Inaugural summit scheduled for April 28-29 in Lexington.

The “Equine Economy in the 21st Century” is among several key topics to be addressed during the inaugural Kentucky International Equine Summit 2008 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Lexington April 28 - 29.

Panelists and individual speakers will discuss opportunities and demands the industry faces regarding technology improvements and competition with other sports for a continued customer base.

The event is sponsored by the Equine Industry Program in the College of Business at the University of Louisville in cooperation with the Equine Initiative in the College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky.

“The equine industry is an integral part of Kentucky’s economy,” said Rich Wilcke, director of the Equine Industry Program at the University of Louisville and summit organizer. “We are pleased to be able to announce the strong list of panelists and speakers we have confirmed for the event. I am confident their expertise will be beneficial to those attending the conference.”

Other topics for the two-day conference include "Wellbeing of the Competitive Horse" and "The Emerging Science of Horse Breeding." The conference aims to bring together industry leaders to examine the issues facing the future of the equine industry.

Following are some of the speakers confirmed for this track:

• Alan Balch—Executive Secretary, American Saddlebred Horse Association

• Corey Johnsen—President, Kentucky Downs

• Denny Hales—Executive Vice President, Ohio Quarter Horse Association

• Craig Dado—Vice President of Marketing, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

• Todd Gralla, SDA—Director of Equine Services, Gralla Architects

• John Nicholson—Executive Director, Kentucky Horse Park

• Jerry Fruth—President, United Stated Equine Trails Coalition

• Sam Sheppard—Chief Executive, European Breeder’s Fund

• Tom Struzzieri—President, HITS

• Phil Terry—Director of Marketing, Little Brown Jug Society

• Tom Aronson—Vice President, Churchill Downs 

• Steve Day—President and Board Chairman, Dover Saddlery

• John Volk—Senior Consultant, Brakke Consulting

• Tom Persechino—Director of Marketing, AQHA

• Rep. David Osborne – Realtor/Member, KY Legislature

• Alan Gutterman—Vice President of Marketing, Santa Anita Park

• Dale Owens—General Manager, Louisville Bats

• John Della Volpe—Founder and Managing Partner, SocialSphere, Inc.

• Mark Simendinger—President, Kentucky Speedway

• John Long—CEO, United States Equestrian Federation

• Robert Clay—Owner, Three Chimneys Farm

• Denny Gentry—Founder, United States Team Roping Championships

• Karen Lippert—Director of Marketing and Communications, Protocol Entertainment, Inc.

• Gloria Austin—Founder, The Florida Carriage Museum and Resort

• Holly Davis – Acting Director, Horselife, Western-English Trade Association

For more information or to register, please visit