The University of Tennessee Equine Science program made a stop at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Wednesday, May 19. The visit was the second one in the past four years and was the furthest point from the campus in Knoxville, Tenn.
The five-day trip began Monday, May 17 with a stop at Keeneland to talk with industry experts about different aspects of racing, from jobs to a look behind the scenes of operating a racetrack. The next stop on the circuit was in Lexington to focus on breeding and raising racehorses. The group arrived at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino mid-day Wednesday, talking with several industry experts, from the track maintenance superintendent to the starter and a jockey. The group of 20 were featured in the winner’s circle for a race named in their honor before heading north to Harrah’s Hoosier Park for the evening racing program.
Due to continuing Covid-19 regulations, some of the options for general tours were not available, including rides in the starting gate. However, students enjoyed dinner in the Homestretch Clubhouse and talked with Emily Gaskin, race marketing manager and on-air racing analyst, during their visit. A stay overnight in Anderson, Ind. will put them back on the road south Thursday to Louisville, Ky. for a visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum. The road trip will end with a stop at Hermitage Breeding Farm in Lexington, Ky. before heading back to campus.
The University of Tennessee’s Equine program has been in place for a long time. The class takes an annual trip to learn more about all types of equine disciplines, rotating their trips each year to provide students with a new experience each year. The group went to Oklahoma last year to research the Quarter Horse breed and different aspects of their use, from working cattle to racing. In 2021, they were set to travel to Ireland for their equine trip, but with Covid-19 restrictions, they had to alter their trip to a journey through Kentucky and Indiana. The class will visit Ireland in 2022.