Anne Sabatino Hardy, Visit Horse Country's first Executive Director, will be leaving that organization to transition to new opportunities in early 2022. Hardy will remain through the transition as the board of Horse Country searches for a new Executive Director.
“The equine industry is vital to the tourism infrastructure of Lexington and Central Kentucky tourism,” said Gathan Borden, Vice President of VisitLEX and Visit Horse Country Board Chair. “[Hardy] has been a tremendous asset in helping develop and grow Horse Country to where it is today. As we embark on this next chapter, the board looks forward to building upon her leadership and success to take Horse Country into the future.”
Horse Country members have hosted more than 180,000 guests and fans since a group of industry participants conceived the idea of a collaborative industry initiative focused on outreach in 2014. Horse Country enables guests to be a part of equine experiences in the heart of the Thoroughbred industry, with documented positive perception change for the sport as well as national and international recognition in press and awards.
“Building Horse Country with the members, board, sponsors, and supporters over these last seven years has been a beautiful challenge and I treasure the relationships I've built through this work as well as the accomplishments we've shared together,” said Hardy. “I look forward to seeing the next vision of Horse Country. I was drawn to this work as someone outside of the industry who was inspired by the members' unified vision of providing engaging access to the horse, land, and people and I still firmly believe in how this outreach prioritizes the guest and fan above all as a way to help them fall in love with the horse, the sport, and Kentucky.”