General Questions

Who is an ideal Equine Scholar candidate?

An ideal Equine Scholar is seriously considering a professional career in the equine industry, is interested in earning a liberal arts bachelor degree, and will take advantage of all the resources and opportunities provided by the ESP. The ESP helps students discover the right major and career for them, provides experiences and resources for Scholars in their area of interest, and gives Scholars  an advantage over job-market competition by graduation.

Does Georgetown College offer equine classes or an equine degree?

Because of our business-focus on careers in the horse industry, and our strong belief in the value of a liberal arts education, we do not offer equine classes or an equine degree. The Equine Scholars Program is geared toward educating students on the multitude of professional equine careers that utilize liberal arts degrees. Students who successfully complete the Program earn an Equine Distinction on their transcript upon graduation. (A distinction is similar to an emphasis area.)

What should I major in?

Equine Scholars have the flexibility to choose from any of the 40-plus majors and minors offered at Georgetown College. No matter the major, we can show you how your liberal arts education can be used in a professional equine career.  This also allows Scholars to change their major and still remain in the Equine Scholars Program.

Are scholarships available?

All accepted Equine Scholars receive a $1,000/year scholarship as long as they are active participants in the Program, maintain academic standards (2.65/semester GPA) and remain in good standing with the Program. If you earn a scholarship from a recognized equine organization (Pony Club, breed/discipline associations, etc), we will match that up to $1,000/year.  Also, any student who makes an official campus visit their sophomore, junior and/or senior year of high school receives travel-grant scholarships.

Are internships available?

All Equine Scholars are required to complete at least one internship that combines their major with the equine industry.  For example, a history major could intern at the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park; a communications major could intern at one of the local equine magazines (including The Blood-Horse, among others); or a pre-law student could intern at an equine law office.  The Program and the Georgetown College Graves Center for Calling and Career often receive requests for interns from local equine businesses and breed associations, and many students have successfully found internships by doing their own research, too.  Most internships are unpaid, but students can sometimes receive class credit for them. Internships frequently turn into part-time or full-time jobs as well as offer valuable learning and networking opportunities!

Veterinary hospitals such as Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute reserve internships for students in veterinary school, but we can help students locate local veterinarians to job-shadow.

Can I room with other Equine Scholars?

Equine Scholars can request other Equine Scholar roommates.  If you are interested in rooming with another Scholar, be sure to indicate this on your housing form and GC will do their best to accommodate requests.  This is optional. Many Scholars do room together and many choose not to. It’s up to you!

Is this program aimed at just one discipline?

The ESP is open to all breeds, all disciplines and all future equine career interests!  There is ample diversity among our Scholars and we promote peer learning.  Scholars learn more about different breeds and disciplines by cheering on fellow Scholars at horse shows, riding together, participating in or auditing clinics, and visiting different barns.

Can I visit the Equine Scholars Program?

We encourage all prospective Scholars to make an official campus visit and to include a meeting with the Equine Scholars Program Leadership Team! To schedule your visit, call the GC Admissions Office at 800-788-9985.  Be sure to request an ESP appointment. Consider making your visit an overnight: stay in the dorms with other Equine Scholars, attend classes and try out the cafeteria! That way you can really get a feel for what campus life is like.

Do I have to reapply to the Program every year?

Accepted Equine Scholars are members of the Program and do not need to reapply as long as they are full-time Georgetown College students, are active participants, meet all academic standards (currently, 2.65/semester GPA) and are in good standing with the Program. We understand that circumstances sometimes change; students might reevaluate their interest in an equine career and/or no longer wish to participate in the Program; however, we are seeking students willing to commit to four years in the Program.

Will I have time to participate in other campus activities, work and ride?

Our Equine Scholars are very active on and off campus! We have Scholars in fraternities, sororities, student government, athletic teams, campus ministries and more. Many Scholars also have part-time jobs and continue riding regularly. The Equine Scholars Program does need to be a top priority and a serious commitment, but with good time management skills, students are able to keep a balanced life.

What is Pegasus Camp and what can I expect?

Pegasus Camp is a privilege for Equine Scholars: a chance to move onto campus early, familiarize yourself with campus and get to know your fellow Scholars before school starts. Pegasus Camp is full of fun, horses and team-building activities. Camp is usually held in the days immediately prior to New Student Orientation in August.

Horse Questions

Does Georgetown College have an intercollegiate riding team (IHSA)?

Georgetown College has a hunt-seat Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Team that is coached by Nori Scheffel of Scheffelridge Farm. This Team is in no way affiliated with the Equine Scholars Program; you can ride on the Team and not be an Equine Scholar or you can be an Equine Scholar and not ride on the Team. The Georgetown College Equestrian Team (GCET) is a Club Sport at Georgetown College and governed under Club Sport rules.

If riding on a team is not for you, but you would still like to ride, our prime location in the Horse Capital of the World allows students to take advantage of the multitude of riding resources throughout the area, whether English, western, saddleseat, eventing, reining, gaited horses, driving or any other equine pursuit is your passion. We have a list of local boarding and lesson barns should you want to investigate these options further — just ask us and we can e-mail the Word document to you!

Can I bring a horse to college with me?

Yes, you can bring horses with you.There are many boarding stables located close to the College. Prices, lessons and availability vary to fit every need. We are happy to help students get started with their barn search and can provide a list of stables in the area.  With the convenience of parking on campus, it is easy to get to and from your horse. There is not a Georgetown College barn because we have students who ride in all different disciplines, including western, hunt seat, eventing, Rocky Mountain Horses, Saddlebreds and more; therefore we do not have one barn that we recommend over any others.

Does Georgetown College own horses or accept donated horses?

Because our Intercollegiate Team operates out of Scheffelridge Farm, we have no need for our own horses. We do however, own one (1) horse, Shadow, who was donated to us by the family of Russ McCandless. Shadow is now retired and fostered out to a family who loves him while he is living out his golden years. The Equine Scholars Program does not accept donated horses, but we will gladly pass on information about horses for sale to our Scholars.

Do you provide saddlepads and coolers with the Equine Scholars logo?

We have coolers, scrims, and saddlepads that can be checked out for use at horse shows.  For more information please contact Elissa.  If you would like to purchase your own with the Georgetown or ESP logo on it, you can have it embroidered at one of our local suppliers.

What is the average cost of board in the Bluegrass?

Boarding (which is keeping your horse at some else’s barn, not your own) rates vary across the country. A good median number for board is $300, though prices can go up from there (say $600 for “full care” board, which could include a stall, turnout, feeding twice a day, stall cleaning, holding for vet and farrier, and lessons). Boarding costs vary by barn and it is up to the student to determine what they need and how much they can afford. Note: There are very few indoor arenas in Lexington, a fact that most students from the North will find hard to believe. This is because the winters here are so mild that one can pretty much ride outside year-round.

If I can’t afford to bring a horse to school with me, are there barns where I can take lessons or lease horses from?

This is the horse capital of the world; we have instructors of almost every type of riding within easy distance of GC and horses to lease or free ride are plentiful.

Are there good vets and farriers around Georgetown College?

Absolutely! We are just a few miles from two of the top equine veterinary hospitals in the world, both of which have 120+ qualified vets between the two. Good farriers are also plentiful here, no matter what breed or discipline you ride. In addition, alternative medicine practitioners abound, including chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists.

Application Questions

How do I apply to the Equine Scholars Program?

The ESP application is separate from the Georgetown College application for admission. Make sure you fill out both applications. The ESP application can be downloaded here, or, click here to complete our application online. There is no ESP application fee and the deadline is February 1 for fall semester admission.

I don’t have any horse experience. Can I still apply?

Yes! The Equine Scholars Program is open to all horse enthusiasts, regardless of prior horse experience. Current Equine Scholars range in experience from “never ridden a horse” to “competing since two years old!” The common denominator is that all Equine Scholars are interested in learning more about the business side of the horse industry and are seriously considering a career in the equine industry.

Is there a benefit to turning in my ESP application early?

The deadline for all ESP applications is February 1. Since we do not begin reviewing any applications until then, it is to your benefit to wait and add any new fall/winter information that might aid your application. Be sure to give your reference person plenty of time to write a quality reference letter and submit your application complete with all supporting materials within a safe timeframe to meet the deadline.

Who should I ask to write my reference letter?

Choose a reference who knows you well and who can vouch for not only your equine interests, but also your character, work ethic, academic pursuits and extracurricular involvement.  Make sure to give them plenty of notice so they can write a quality letter.

Can I reapply if I’m not accepted into the Equine Scholars Program the first time?

Students not accepted into the Program can reapply every year by February 1. Visiting the Equine Scholars Program Leadership Team in the fall is highly encouraged if you are interested in reapplying.

How long should my ESP application essay be?

There is no minimum or maximum length for your essay, so focus on completely and clearly answering all parts of the essay question.

What kind of other activities should I list on my application?

Include all of your recent (high school) activities that show community involvement, leadership positions, jobs, honors/awards and volunteer work.  If you have heavy involvement with horses, be sure to also include other activities as well. We are looking for well-rounded students who are active members of their schools and communities and who will continue that active participation in the Equine Scholars Program.

When will I know if I’ve been accepted or not?

Applications are reviewed in February and notification letters are mailed to all applicants as soon as possible, usually in March. Accepted Equine Scholars are asked to return a signed contract as indication of their commitment to the Program.