KET showcases thoroughbred industry for those interested in career

The video and supplementary resources offer a roadmap of potential career pathways in the horse industry and include helpful tips on getting started.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – To help address Kentucky’s ever-changing workforce demands, KET has created a new video and accompanying resources that showcase Kentucky’s thoroughbred industry and provide information for those who might wish to pursue a career in the field.

Developed with the help of the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Workforce Center, and The Race for Education, the video and supplementary resources—part of KET’s In Demand series—offer a roadmap of potential career pathways in the horse industry and include helpful tips on getting started, whether through internships, apprenticeships, or a state university or college program.

Additionally, the resources offer an overview of thoroughbred jobs, including detailed descriptions of the work expectations, employee qualifications and average annual salary ranges.

“The thoroughbred industry is looking for qualified and dedicated employees who have a passion for the industry,” said Laurie Mays, the Equine Talent Pipeline Management program manager with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Workforce Center. “For those with horsemanship abilities, there are hands-on positions that work directly with horses. But there are positions in other areas as well, everything from landscaping and maintenance to finance and office work. There really is something for everyone in the industry.”

Generating $6.5 billion annually, Kentucky’s thoroughbred industry is a cornerstone of the state’s economy. Kentucky is home to some 54,000 thoroughbreds and leads all states in annual thoroughbred breeding, accounting for more than half of all mares bred in North America in 2019, according to

“Even at a time when it is successfully growing, the horse industry has faced labor shortages,” said Elisabeth Jensen, executive vice president of the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), a nonprofit agency that supports the Commonwealth’s horse industry. “Nearly 80,000 Kentuckians work within the industry, and we want to introduce these jobs and careers to a new generation of Kentuckians who will build on this current success and ensure that we remain Kentucky’s signature industry.”

KET’s In Demand series, which initially debuted in 2019 in a partnership with the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC), highlights career pathways in Kentucky’s fastest growing industry sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, business & IT, construction, transportation & logistics, and healthcare. The series is designed to help job seekers get the information they need as they transition to new employment.

“As with all our educational materials, KET strives to support learners of all ages as they work toward their future careers,” said Tonya Crum, KET’s senior director of education. “This series provides a glimpse of what working in the thoroughbred industry is like and also furnishes useful data to aid in the decision-making process. And raising awareness of various jobs in Kentucky ultimately helps job seekers choose a path that matches their interests.”

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