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Because of Horses

Jun 1, 2018

Horse-crazy kids are born every day and many others find their way to a passion for horses as they go through childhood. But for those who someday want to work in the horse industry, figuring out where to begin can be extraordinarily difficult — especially if they don't have the contacts or the level of knowledge needed to get that first break.


The Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) was founded in 2000 to resolve this very real need. KEMI bridges the gap between desire to build a career in the horse world and actually having the skills and connections to do so, by providing meaningful opportunities to work with leading Thoroughbred farms, as well as significant classroom education.


Most of KEMI’s success is thanks to Elise’s guest today, Leslie Janecka, the program’s coordinator. Leslie has been with KEMI for 18 years (since its establishment) and has helped hundreds of students go on to a broad range of extraordinary careers with horses. In this episode, Elise and Leslie discuss the program — how it was established, the scope of studies, eligibility requirements, what it’s like to be an intern in the program, why the program's interns are much in demand at many of the world's finest Thoroughbred farms, and some of KEMI's most notable successes.


Topics of Discussion:

[:46] Introduction to Elise’s guest today, Leslie Janecka.

[1:41] How Leslie first got involved with the program and what it has been like to watch it evolve over the years.

[2:48] How and why KEMI came into being.

[5:22] How KEMI connects with students around the world, as well as the variety of students who have traveled to KEMI.

[7:38] KEMI's structure: how many interns have gone through this paid internship program, the number of sessions offered each year, and how many students attend each session.

[8:58] The scope of the studies at KEMI and the requirements to get into KEMI.

[10:20] What it is like to be an intern in the program.

[13:27] How many students from KEMI go on to actually work in the horse industry?

[14:46] The criteria Leslie looks for when selecting students for the program.

[18:28] About the farms that have been selected in the past to host the interns.

[20:22] The selection process for the farms KEMI chooses.

[23:43] Success stories from graduates of KEMI.

[24:51] What it means to Leslie when she sees the students graduating and going on to work in the horse industry.

[26:36] Giving back:  KEMI also teaches students how to help/retrain horses after they retire from Thoroughbred racing.

[29:12] Where to learn more about KEMI.

[30:38] Leslie’s parting words about the program.


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Discover More About this Week’s Guest — Leslie Janecka

The Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI)

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


Mentioned in this Episode:

The Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI)

Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club

Kentucky Horse Park


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