The presentation will take place during the lunch program at the Equine Industry Conference on October 16 at the Embassy Suites.

LEXINGTON, KY — The late Tim Capps and Central Kentucky Riding for Hope will be honored with the Industry Vision Awards during the Kentucky Equine Education Project’s second KEEP Equine Industry Conference this Sunday and Monday at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lexington.

The Industry Vision Awards — which recognize an individual and an organization for outstanding contributions to the equine industry — will be presented during Monday’s luncheon.

Capps, the University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program director who died April 22 at age 71, was among the industry’s most knowledgeable and respected voices, having worked as a racing and breeding executive, turf journalist and an industry analyst before joining the College of Business’ equine industry faculty in 2006 and becoming director in 2011.

Capps at various times was The Jockey Club’s director of operations, editor and publisher of The Thoroughbred Record, vice president of Matchmaker Racing Services and executive vice president of the Maryland Horse Breeders’ Association, the Maryland Million and the Maryland Jockey Club. He also wrote books in Eclipse Press’ Thoroughbred Legends series about Secretariat, Spectacular Bid and Affirmed and Alydar’s legendary Triple Crown rivalry.

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope is dedicated to enriching the community by improving the quality of life and the health of children and adults with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse. CKRH, located at the Kentucky Horse Park, started as a grassroots effort in 1981. It is a Premier Accredited Center of PATH Int’l (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International). CKRH and its approximately 30 horses service 12 counties. CKRH also provides clinical/intern opportunities for UK Health Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Asbury University, Markey Cancer Center and Midway College Equine Program.

The Industry Vision Award recipients are selected from nominations provided to a committee assembled by the KEEP Board or Directors. Last year’s inaugural winners were KEEP founder Brereton Jones and Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement farms.

“Few people have been such a positive and progressive force for the entire equine industry or in as many capacities as Tim Capps,” said Joe Clabes, KEEP’s executive director. “It’s heart-breaking that we were unable to recognize him before his untimely passing. His legacy lives on in many ways, including the influence he had on his students and future leaders produced by the University of Louisville’s equine business program.

“The aptly-named Central Kentucky Riding for Hope provides an invaluable service for countless families, with its wonderfully compassionate instructors and horses providing immeasurable benefits for their riders, young and old. The special bond between horse and rider has an uncanny way of helping participants not only with physical but cognitive and emotional issues, including instilling a sense of pride, companionship and self-esteem. They represent an outstanding example of the many ways horses provide tangible benefits to the lives of Kentuckians.

“KEEP is proud to recognize Tim Capps and Central Kentucky Riding for Hope as our second Industry Vision Award recipients.”

The two-day Equine Industry Conference will bring together representatives of all breeds and disciplines, legislative and regulatory policy-makers and emerging leaders from across the Commonwealth. The conference begins Sunday afternoon with partner organization meetings and a communications workshop designed to help horse breeds and organizations get more exposure and attract new enthusiasts by embracing the Internet and social media. An evening welcome reception will provide networking opportunities with industry leaders and state legislators.

Some of the most influential and knowledgeable people in the industry will join Monday’s panel discussions, including Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum and American Horse Council Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs Bryan Brendle. The program is designed to inform and promote constructive discussion about strategies for protecting and growing Kentucky’s horse economy. Topics will include the horse industry’s impact on Kentucky’s economy, state and federal legislation, the success of historical horse racing in strengthening year-around racing and workforce development challenges. Monday’s panel discussions will be moderated by Alan Balch, one of the best-known executives in both the racing and show-horse worlds.

Registration for the conference is $75, which includes the Sunday reception, Monday’s continental breakfast and lunch. College students can have the fee waived by using the code STUDENT100. KEEP also offers a lunch-only registration special for $40. Additional information available online at:

Registration information


Communications workshop


The Kentucky Equine Education Project is an all-breed grassroots organization created in 2004 to preserve, promote and protect Kentucky’s signature horse industry. Support for KEEP’s activity comes directly from the horse industry and horse industry supporters that we represent. To learn more about how you can become a member or make a contribution, please visit