Kentucky Round-up Announces Clinician Line-up

Lexington KY, December 21, 2012 – The Kentucky Round-Up, hosted by the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) on February 2, 2013 at the Kentucky Horse Park, highlights the need for effective communication between horse and rider through focused demonstrations.  Presenting clinicians Linda Starnes, Avo Kiviranna and Robin Gollehon focus on understanding the horse as an individual and working within his/her strengths as the key to maximizing performance.

Linda Starnes of Brownsville, KY is a certified Level III Parelli Natural Horsemanship Trainer.  She owns, breeds, trains and competes Tennessee Walking Horses with a focus on versatility.  Starnes utilizes Horsenality, a term coined by natural horse training sensation Pat Parelli, to identify horse psychologies and recognize each individual horse’s innate character. By understanding what is uniquely important to the individual horse, Starnes develops a training regimen tailored to them.

Starnes will conduct a live demonstration designed to help the audience better understand the philosophy of utilizing the Horsenality approach to working with horses.  According to Pat Parelli, “This approach to understanding horses helps horses – and their humans – become more balanced, centered and confident.”

Avo Kiviranna, a graduate of the University of Kentucky with more than fifty years of experience in the equine industry, will present techniques on “Least Resistance” training.  Least resistance training describes a measured application of horsemanship skills through appropriate technique, feel, and timing which enables a horse to understand the nature of a specific performance that it is being asked to execute.  It is conveyed through the use of body language that horses themselves use naturally to communicate with one another.  Commonly referred to as “natural horsemanship” by members of the equine community, this method does not necessarily come naturally to aspiring horsemen.

Kiviranna’s equine background includes ten years as Assistant Professor of Equine Science at the State University of New York at Delhi.  He was a county Cooperative Extension Agent, Executive Director of the American Morgan Horse Association, Inc. and a consulting manager to a commercial Thoroughbred breeding operation in New York.  He utilized his knowledge to develop a traveling remedial practical horsemanship business through which he helps owners and their problem horses, or sometimes horses and their problem owners.

Robin Gollehon, a nationally renowned western pleasure training expert and the creator of the Yearling Head Start and Get Ready To Ride Programs, will use her vast experience with developing young horses to present “Movement and Suitability”, an evaluation of a horse’s gaits and their connection to suitability for a sport or competitive level.  In the clinic, she will also demonstrate the connection between how a horse moves its body and style.

Robin, with her husband, Roger, owns and operates Gollehon Quarter Horses in Versailles, Kentucky where they stand their AQHA stallion Good Cowboy Margarita, NSBA World Champion and Horse of the Year. Together they have trained, shown and bred some of the nation’s top pleasure horses and have accumulated more than 80 World and National titles. Ms. Gollehon is a member of the AQHA Professional Horseman’s Association and has been at the top of all the major NSBA Futurities. She was previously named World’s Best Exhibitor, World High Point Lady Exhibitor and Trainer of the Year.

“Avo, Linda and Robin exemplify those characteristics that make trainers great,” Anna Zinkhon, KHC President noted.  “Effective communication between horse and handler is what makes the difference between a good ride and a great ride.  The need for evaluation of the horse’s natural abilities, regardless of the training method employed, is the cornerstone of good horsemanship and clinical demonstrations at the Kentucky Round-Up reflect our commitment to offering meaningful education for the equine community,” Zinkhon continued.  “We are lucky to have such talented horsemen and clinicians residing right here in Kentucky.”

Additional demonstrations will be conducted throughout the day by Mimi Porter (Equine Therapy), Central Kentucky Riding for Hope (The use of miniature horses for therapeutic riding), and a special guest presentation on vaulting.

Mimi Porter, owner of Equine Therapy Inc. and author of The New Equine Sports Therapy, will provide attendees with insight into the ways in which physical therapy can augment traditional equestrian medicine.  Porter has 30 years’ experience as an equine therapist and practiced human sports medicine for 10 years prior to becoming an equine therapist.

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH) is a multi-faceted program that is dedicated to enriching the community by improving the quality of life and the health of children and adults with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse.  CKRH will share with attendees the unique manner in which horses are used to in the physical and psychological therapeutic setting.

Central Kentucky was introduced to the art of vaulting in 2010 when the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games were hosted at the Kentucky Horse Park.  Visitors at the Kentucky Round-Up will have the opportunity to learn more from a local vaulting group about this unique sport that fluidly merges horsemanship and gymnastics.

Admission to this February 2nd equestrian event is FREE for children 12 and younger and $10 in advance for adults ($15 at the door); youth groups receive free admission with half-price tickets available for youth leaders.  An evening concert featuring well-known Kentucky country music artist, John Michael Montgomery, closes the event with tickets available through Ticket Master.  For more information about Kentucky Round-Up and ticket information, visit

ABOUT THE KENTUCKY HORSE COUNCIL – The Kentucky Horse Council is a non-profit organization dedicated, through education and leadership, to the protection and development of the Kentucky equine community. The Kentucky Horse Council provides educational programs and information, outreach and communication to Kentucky horse owners and enthusiasts, equine professional networking opportunities through KENA, trail riding advocacy, health and welfare programs, and personal liability insurance and other membership benefits.  The specialty Kentucky Horse Council license plate, featuring a foal lying in the grass, provides the primary source of revenue for KHC programs.


Ginny Grulke
Executive Director
Phone:  859.367.0509

Kentucky Horse Council
1500 Bull Lea Rd, Suite 214C
Lexington, KY 40511
Phone:  859.367.0509

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