Lydia started out as a steady volunteer in April 2012, she showed interest in all aspects of the rescue and has knowledge in both working in the barn with the horses along with office duties, she began working part time in the office helping with our various fundraisers and projects in March of 2015.  She graduated with an Associates in Equine Management, Anatomy and Physiology and went to the equine school at the Kentucky Horse Park for 2 years while there, she worked with the mares and foals, and The Mustang Troop. She started riding when she was 8, taking lessons at a Morgan Horse farm in Georgetown, and has continued riding off and on when she can. Lydia lives in Nicholasville and has two children, who are also regulars here at the center and are put to work when they are on school breaks. 

Lydia Cassady,

Exec. Assistant to Director and Development Director.

Bio Coming Soon

Contact Info:

Phone: 859.881.5849

Julie Drury Cooper, Barn Manager

Virginia Madelung, Assistant Barn Manager

Carolyn Huffman, Volunteer Coordinator & Adoption Application Processor

Mary Simons, Admin Assistant

Amanda Bryant, Development Director

Karen Gustin, Executive Director

Olivia Dixon, Trainer

Olivia grew up showing quarter horses and paints in  4-H and in local competitions in a wide array of classes as well as trail riding all throughout Kentucky. For several years she was an exercise rider, a veterinarians assistant, and worked at an equine rehabilitation facility assisting racehorses on their path to recovery. With her years of experience and vast knowledge in the equine industry, she has become an asset in evaluating, rehabbing, and re-training our horses so they can find their forever home. She lives in Salvisa, Ky with her husband Matt and her daughter Avery.


Karen has been the Executive Director at the Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Nicholasville, KY since
April 2012. Karen loved horses and rode as a child, but took a hiatus from it for about 25 years. Twelve
years ago, Karen jumped back into the horse world by leasing and taking lessons. Through her daughter’s
involvement, Karen has been active in 4H, as well as the Washington State High School Equestrian Team.
She currently owns three horses, one of which is a rescue. Her favorite discipline is dressage.
A graduate of Colorado State University, Karen has B.S. in Outdoor Recreation. Prior to arriving at the
Equine Humane Center, Karen worked for over 30 years for the National Park Service. Her career took her
all over the continental United States as well as to Alaska and Guam. Prior to coming to Kentucky, she
served as the Superintendent at Olympic National Park in Washington State and enjoyed the company of 
​18 mules that worked in the backcountry! 
​Contact Email: Phone Office:859.881.5849 Cell:360.775.5690

Amanda has been the Development Director at the Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Nicholasville, KY since
June 2014. Amanda has been involved with horses since she was very young. Her parents had American
Quarter Horses which they showed and kept at home. Amanda began taking lessons at an early age with her
feisty Dartmoor pony, ‘Star. She then progressed to hunter/jumper lessons and shows. Amanda currently shows
her American Quarter Horse in the AQHA all-around events. Amanda grew up in rural, Goochland County,
Virginia. Amanda earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Sweet Briar College and her MAT from The University of
the Cumberlands. Amanda started her equine career working as a licensed horse insurance agent in Virginia.
After moving to Kentucky, she worked as the office manager for the United States Hunter Jumper Association.
Amanda is thrilled to be the newest member of the Kentucky Equine Humane Center team, serving as
​their first Development Director. Amanda lives in Lexington with her husband, Eric and daughter, Lillian and son Boone.
Contact Email: Phone:859.951.8893

Mary currently assists with fundraising activities, record keeping and correspondence at KyEHC and began as a
volunteer in 2007. Mary is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a degree in K-12 special education.

After teaching for two years in Illinois and Wisconsin, she became a flight attendant and supervisor with Delta Airlines,

and eventually retired after 35 years.
​Contact Email: Phone: 859.881.5849 

Carolyn has been with the Kentucky Equine Humane Center since May 2011. Carolyn grew up in a military family
which involved numerous cross country moves.Carolyn has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kentucky and
a Masters Degree in Police Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. Following a career start with the
Department of Child Welfare, she enjoyed a full career with the Lexington Division of Police followed by more
​years with Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control.
​Contact Email: Phone: 859.229.6263

Virginia Madelung – Assistant Barn Manager.  Virginia came to the Kentucky Equine Humane Center in December 2011
with over 30 yrs of practical experience in the equine industry. She has a B.S. in Equestrian Studies, and 8 yrs of Vet
Teching at two prominent equine hospitals in Central Kentucky. Virginia’s experience includes foaling mares, sale
prepping, working at the racetrack, and transporting horses overseas to Australia. Virginia has owned a couple of
horses over the years. Her last horse was a saddlebred stallion she met when he was 26 years old. She cared for him
for 2 years and then adopted him when he was 28 years old. Blackie lived to the age of 31, and was a wonderful
friend. Virginia enjoys using one of her hobbies – photography – to benefit the horses here at the Center. It is her way
​of “giving back to the horses that have given me so much over the years.”
​Contact Phone:859.881.5849