History of Asbury Equine Studies – Asbury University
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History of Asbury Equine Studies

What started as the dream of one man in 1978 has today grown into a 341 acre facility which strives to create the next generation of Equine industry leaders. The farm has become a place where dreams come true and lives are touched. For some students, it is either a ministry tool or their connecting point. For others, it is their calling.


  • The horsemanship class (REC 200) gathered in Professor Harold Rainwater’s ’69 backyard.


  • A proposal to establish an equine program at Asbury University was accepted. The University had acquired a farm on Shanty Hill Lane in Wilmore and designated part of it to be used for the equine center. The land contained 341 acres of open fields and wooded hills. The program would operate on 115 acres near a tobacco and cattle barn that was built in the 1950’s.


  • First round pen ring constructed
  • Official physical education horseback riding class is offered at the equine center
  • Fencing around fields installed; one big field was split in two
  • Jessamine Connection riding lessons started


  • Box stalls were constructed with sliding door; paving of driveway inside the tobacco barn.
  • First issue of In Stride was designed and produced by RenĂ©e Frantum ’00


  • Summer camp program was initiated by Charley Neal ’01
  • Natalie Franich ’01 Bronson coached Phillip Riley in the Kentucky Special Olympics


  • Police Horse training program began


  • Equine Management Minor was approved


  • Phillip Riley wins a medal at World Special Olympic Games in Dublin, Ireland


  • Equine Minor grows to 25 declared students; the largest minor on campus
  • Adopt-a-horse program started by Jenn Glos ’08
  • Groundbreaking ceremony for the start of the Indoor Riding Arena


  • Equine Management & Facilitated Wellness majors were added


  • Completion of the construction for the indoor arena


  • First Equine majors graduated


  • One additional full time faculty member added, as well as two adjunct professors
  • Police Mounts presented at the 2010 World Equestrian Games
  • Vaulting Club officially designated on campus


  • Equine Program was accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA)
  • Out-door wash rack completed
  • Mission Farm established


  • Hunter Jumper club officially established
  • Western club formed
  • Trail club formed


  • Forage team won National Forage Bowl Competition
  • Outdoor arena completed
  • Hay Barn constructed
  • New Tractor donated to the program


  • New solid round pen completed
  • Worship on the Palisades started


  • Leap of faith organized
  • Automated water system installed in fields
  • Farm manager was added to the staff
  • Jesse Westfall hired as trainer-in-residence
  • Additional outdoor riding area installed


  • Construction on 20 stall barn started and completed
  • Two additional hay barns constructed
  • Automated water system added to all pastures
  • Poly Track footing installed in indoor riding arena