LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 21, 2018) — If there were a list of characteristics defining an ideal equine industry supporter for a university program, American saddlebred horseman Fred Sarver would check all the boxes. A fierce advocate, a farm owner offering employment opportunities to both undergraduates and alumni, a selfless giver of time and talents over many years and an industry stakeholder willing to consistently provide constructive feedback, Sarver exemplifies the characteristics needed to advocate for a program.
In recognition for his years of support, Sarver was named the 2018 Friend of University of Kentucky Ag Equine Programs at its Program Reception and Internship Showcase Dec.6.
“When I think of defining servant leadership to the equine programs at the University of Kentucky, the image of Fred Sarver comes immediately to mind,” said Stuart Brown, veterinarian with Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and past recipient of Friend of UK Ag Equine Programs award. Brown co-nominated Sarver for the award.
Sarver has been a professional in the American saddlebred horse breeding industry for more than 35 years. Currently, he is the owner of Cornerstone Farm in Carlisle, Kentucky, and the proprietor of Sarver Equine LLC in Paris, Kentucky. Sarver established Cornerstone Farm in 2008, fulfilling his lifelong dream to provide, with his wife Karen, the very best in reproductive services and horse care available.
“I greatly appreciate receiving the Friend of UK Ag Equine Programs award. It is important to give time and resources to insure a promising future for the next generation of horsemen,” Sarver said. “UK offers an excellent vehicle for future horsemen to receive an outstanding education, and through its internship requirement, have a firsthand experience in the horse industry. I have had the benefit of hosting several UK students as interns, and I have found the energy and enthusiasm of youth is contagious and keeps us sharp.”
“Fred cares more about the quality of education that our students are picking up, both inside and outside the classroom, than anyone I can think of,” said UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Dean Nancy Cox.
Sarver has also facilitated funding for several genetics projects in the Gluck Equine Research Center.
“As a leader in the American saddlebred industry, he welcomes scientific discovery and has recently facilitated funding for studies involving padded shoes on horse movement,” Cox said.
In addition to serving on UK’s Equine Industry Advisory Committee, Sarver is currently a director on the USA Equestrian Trust Board and on the board of directors for the Kentucky Equine Education Project. Sarver has served as president of both the American Saddlebred Horse Association and American Saddlebred Registry. He was also a founding board member of the Kentucky Saddlebred Owners and Breeders Association and American Saddlebred Grand National prize program. Sarver is a past member of the Kentucky State Fair Board, where he served as the director in charge of the World’s Championship Horse Show, the top saddlebred show in the world.
“Fred Sarver has supported both educational and research missions of the equine programs and his Cornerstone Farms is one of our most important links to the equine industry,” said Mick Peterson, program director.
Camie Heleski, a senior lecturer within the equine science and management undergraduate degree program also supported Sarver’s nomination with a letter of support. In it, she wrote, “If you look at his record of service to the horse industry, here is someone who ‘puts his money and time where his mouth is.’ Many people have good ideas, but only a few are prepared to give up valuable time toward putting those ideas into play. Fred is an important advocate for us out in the broader horse industry. I know I am not alone in being so incredibly grateful that Fred Sarver is a friend of UK Ag Equine Programs.”
The Friend of UK Ag Equine Programs was created in 2005 to recognize a member of the public who has provided advocacy, funding or other extraordinary support or a college or university employee who has generated an exceptional relationship with stakeholders that manifested into a new program, new advocacy success or new resources for the program.
Past Friends of UK Ag Equine Programs include Tom Riddle, a Lexington-based veterinarian with Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital; Matt Koch, of Shawhan Place Farm; Bennie and Cheryllee Sargent, of Sargent Quarter Horses and coach of the UK Equestrian Team, western division; Stuart Brown, a Lexington-based veterinarian with Hagyard Equine Medical Institute; Norm Luba, executive director of the North American Equine Ranching Information Council; Dan Rosenberg, of Rosenberg Thoroughbred Consulting; Northern Kentucky county extension agent trio Don Sorrell of Campbell County, Dan Allen of Kenton County, and Jerry Brown of Boone County; and David Switzer, former executive director of Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Owners and Breeders Association.
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