May 26, 2010

The University of Kentucky Equine Initiative will host an Equine Farm and Facilities Expo from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT June 1 at Spy Coast Farm in Lexington. The highlight of the expo will be machinery displays from area businesses featuring products designed for small and mid-sized farm operations.

"The expo will allow farm owners and managers to see the range of equipment and supplies that are currently available for small- to medium-sized horse farms," said Ray Smith, associate professor and forage extension specialist for the UK College of Agriculture. "UK specialists will provide hands-on instruction techniques for spraying, seeding, fencing and mowing pastures."

This is the first time UK has held a field day that focuses on the practical aspects of management and machinery for equine operations.

"In the past, most of our field days have focused on showing the results of UK research," Smith said. "This is very important, but we felt like the practical skills of using machinery and basic materials are often missed in a traditional field day. Participants will go home with a much better understanding of the equipment they need to manage their farm and with basic skills for weed control, seeding pastures, building fences, etc."

Smith also said this field day is unique in that it will teach small-farm operators how to maximize their machinery budgets by finding multiple uses for equipment they may already have and demonstrating the use of less expensive pieces. He believes that large machinery shows, in seeking to impress audiences with big, new equipment that most farmers cannot afford or use practically, often neglect the needs of small operations.

UK specialists will present demonstrations from 6 to 8 p.m. A meal will also be provided.

Spy Coast Farm, with operations in Kentucky, Florida and New York, is a multi-state operation specializing in performance horses. The Kentucky farm serves as the base for its horses during the winter and as the primary breeding location. The new facility is located near the Kentucky Horse Park and provides an opportunity for visitors to the expo to view a new working farm in addition to the demonstrations. Spy Coast is known for producing internationally-recognized sport horses, primarily jumpers.

Reservations for the Equine Farm and Facilities Expo are appreciated but not required. Contact the Fayette County Cooperative Extension office at 859-257-5582 or e-mail to reserve a spot.

For more information about this and other UK Equine Initiative events, visit or e-mail

For more information about pasture management events, visit