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Kristen Wilson Named UK Equine Academic Coordinator






Kristen Wilson has been named academic coordinator within the University of Kentucky Equine Science and Management undergraduate degree program, a component of UK Ag Equine Programs.
 
She was previously with the University of Maryland as an extension horse specialist, where she worked with the 4-H Horse Program and taught in the university’s two-year equine business management program. Wilson earned her Bachelor of Science in animal science, equine option, and Master of Science in extension education, both from the University of Florida.
 
“I have always loved Kentucky, especially the Lexington area.  I have had the opportunity to travel to the area over a dozen times in the past eight years and each time I always thought to myself how nice it would be to live here,” said Wilson in response to what made her choose UK.  “Horses are my passion, and to be able to live in such a beautiful area and have a career that allows me to be part of the equine industry is such a wonderful opportunity. 
 
“Also, being raised in Florida, my husband and I are eager to get back to the South to be closer to family and to enjoy the slower pace of living,” she said.  
 
“Kristen brings a different perspective of the industry and background in education at a college level. She has a strong horse background and a lot of experience in the diverse areas we deal with. She is an excellent addition to our team,” said Bob Coleman, associate director for undergraduate education in equine science and management and extension horse specialist at UK.
 
“I am very excited to be part of the UK Equine Program,” Wilson said. “My main goals for my first year are to, one, take time to learn more about the program, students, faculty and the equine industry in Kentucky, and two, to look at the current needs of the program and work with the equine faculty/staff to develop a plan of action for the future of the program.”
 
In her role, Wilson will work closely with faculty within the Equine Science and Management degree program to coordinate undergraduate programs. She will advise incoming program freshman and will also serve as the primary initial advising contact throughout the academic year.
 
She will also be responsible for program monitoring, including tracking enrollment and demographic data, and for working with faculty on assessment of student learning. 
 
Wilson was born in Annapolis, Md., but grew up in Palm City, Fla., where she was first introduced to horses. She has been involved with horses for 20 years and grew up riding hunter/jumpers and dressage disciplines.
 
“My first horse of my own was an off the track Thoroughbred named Distant Signal.  My grandfather introduced me to the Tennessee Walking Horse breed as a teenager and I started out riding and showing his horses.  I then worked for four years during college for Hard Rock Farm in Williston, Fla., assisting in training Tennessee Walking Horses for national level showing,” Wilson said. 
 
Wilson said she has continued to show flat shod Tennessee Walking Horses, including her multi-national champion mare, The Midnight Ride, on the national show circuit.  In 2012, they received multiple national high point awards as well as recently received the Touch of Class award from the Maryland Horse Industry Board in January 2013. In addition, Wilson was named 2012 Reserve Champion in the Amateur Flat Shod division for the Walking Horse Owner's Association.

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