Kentucky Horse Park names new director

Jamie Link
Jamie Link

Jamie Link has been appointed the new executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. A starting date has not yet been set for Link, who is currently the deputy chief of staff for Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. 

The appointment was made after an international search by the Kentucky Horse Park Commission, chaired by Alston Kerr.

Kerr said that Link’s experience in state government, public-private partnerships, and his equine experience would be great assets as the Park continues its growth, ensuring it will be “the preeminent equine and tourist facility in the world”.

The search committee was made up of business, tourism and government leaders, along with the Pace Group, the search firm that sought and screened applicants for the position.

Link has held several management positions within state government since joining the Department of Parks in 1985 as a business manager. He also served as the chief executive officer for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Link served as the deputy secretary for the Finance Cabinet and the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. He was also the deputy executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park in 2006.

“I am honored and extremely excited about becoming executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park,” Link said.  “I am looking forward to getting to work and continuing the park’s legacy as the finest equestrian venue in the world.”

The Kentucky Horse Park is an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet employing 78 full-time and 62 seasonal employees.  The park is an equine-themed tourist destination, the largest attraction in central Kentucky, and an equine competition facility hosting some of the nation’s top horse shows and equine sporting events annually.

The park hosted some 800,000 visitors and 18,400 competition horses in 200 special events and horse shows in 2013, and hosted more than 1 million visitors in 2010 when the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games were held on its grounds.

The only park of its kind in the world, the Kentucky Horse Park is set on more than 1,200 acres in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region. It contains a working horse farm comprising many equine-themed attractions for visitors, a 260-site campground, the world’s largest equestrian museum, the International Museum of the Horse, and the American Saddlebred Museum, the “Showplace for Saddlebreds.”

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