Meet Our Team
Our lab is managed by associate professor Amanda Adams, PhD, and relies on many lab technicians, farm and herd caretakers, graduate students, and undergraduate students to run smoothly!
Dr. Amanda Adams is an Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center. She is also Adjunct faculty at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine and has been recently honored as a MARS Equestrian Fellow, specializing in the care of senior horses.
As a lifelong horsewoman, she diverted from vet school after developing an interest in equine research after internships with Boehringer Ingelheim while she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Stephens College.
She then obtained her PhD in Veterinary Science with an emphasis in Equine Immunology from the University of Kentucky and then completed a Paul Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in areas of Immunology and Endocrinology at the Gluck Center. She remained at UK as a Research Assistant Professor before becoming an Assistant Professor, and she is now an Associate Professor.
Currently, her research program encompasses the study of equine immunology and endocrinology in the areas of aging, obesity/endocrine diseases/laminitis, and stress. A unique aspect to her program, which has garnered attention and accolades from around the world, is her carefully curated herd of aged, PPID, obese/metabolic syndrome, insulin dysregulated horses, which are maintained at the Gluck Center for both basic and applied research.
Her passion for horses started early in life as she was born and raised with Quarter Horses.
“In fact, she says, “one of my first Quarter Horses — Docs Fine Pine — has been with me for 30 years. He is now 35 years old and lives in my back yard, along with Tazz, my Mini pony with EMS! I am very much passionate for these special needs horses which drives me in my career to work harder for them.”
Aged Horse Research Center Manager
Margaret McClendon graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science in 2016. She went on to set up a Quarter Horse breeding program in Minnesota before moving to Lexington, KY, in 2017 to work for Dr. Nathan Slovis. After two years with Dr. Slovis, the Director of McGee Medical Center at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, she was promoted to a lab technician at Hagyard. She spent another two years working primarily with hematology and cytology before accepting her current role at the University of Kentucky. Her role as Research Analyst/Lab Manager combines Maggie’s love for both the horse and research. In May 2022, Maggie received her Master of Science in Agriculture from Murray State University. In her spare time, Maggie enjoys gardening, traveling, tending to her own farm, and riding her Quarter Horse mare Penelope.
Stephanie Reedy, MSc, is a native of Port McNicoll, Ontario, Canada. She's obtained a BS in Agriculture and a MSc in Biotechnology/Molecular Genetics, both from the University of Guelph. She says she loves old horses and enjoys conducting research surrounding them: "Anything we do to work towards improving the quality of life in the old horse is interesting to me. I also like the easy keepers though! I've had both very old and easy keepers, hence the love of this program!"
Dr. Brittany Perron is originally from the central coast of California where she grew up competing in rodeo and showing livestock. Her love for the western performance horse led her to Oklahoma in which she graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. Her appreciation for research grew after a summer working with the Purina Equine Research Unit, leading her to a graduate career. She moved to Texas to pursue a master’s degree from Sul Ross State University where her research focused on the improvement of forage digestibility in horses. Earlier this year, She obtained her doctorate from Clemson University, and she has recently joined Dr. Adams’ lab as a post-doc scholar. Her research has revolved around nutritionally managing horses via forage, specifically fresh pasture, by manipulating grazing location and behavior with the goal of improving equine pasture management techniques. She aims to continue working in research and outreach to provide applicable management solutions for the everyday horse owner. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her horses, playing golf with her fiancé and enjoying the outdoors with her dogs!
MARS Equestrian Scholar
Erica Jacquay is a PhD candidate and the first MARS Equestrian Scholar in the University of Kentucky Department of Veterinary Science. Erica attended Virginia Tech where she earned her Bachelor of Science in animal science and graduated from Kansas State with a Master of Science with an emphasis on equine reproductive physiology. She worked in various facets of the equine industry, including training dressage horses, working in the breeding division at Spy Coast Farm and as a laboratory technologist at Equine Diagnostic Solutions before returning to graduate school. Her research program focuses on equine transportation with specific aims to evaluate the impact of short-term transportation on stress and immune function in horses. She has just completed a nationwide survey on equine transportation, a project looking at age related differences in transportation, and is currently researching horses with endocrine disorders, such as EMS and PPID, to evaluate their physiological responses to transportation.
Seth Hatfield is the Farm Manager for the Veterinary Science Department at the Oran Little Research Center in Versailles, KY. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resources Conservation & Management and has worked for the University of Kentucky Veterinary Science Department for over 15 years. Seth has been ALAT certified by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science since 2010. In his spare time, Seth enjoys watching sports and spending time with his wife, son and daughter.
Farm Care Technician
Rachel Stocker-Parks is a Farm Care Technician at The Oran Little Research Center in Woodford County. A Virginia native, she moved to the Bluegrass in 2008 and has been working at the UK Aged Horse Research Center since 2017. Rachel has 35 years of experience working with horses in multiple different aspects of the equine industry. She taught riding lessons for nine years, was a pony rider at Keeneland, and managed Bluegrass Equine Center, a Thoroughbred training and rehabilitation farm. Joha, the first colt she broke at Bluegrass Equine Center ran in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf in 2012. She also has experience in the veterinary field, working as a technician for an ambulatory equine veterinarian. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys traveling, watching her horses race, and spending time with her husband.
Morgan Askins completed her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a concentration in Animal Science (minor in Entrepreneurship) at Western Kentucky University. During her time as a student, Morgan was an active member of Sigma Alpha Sorority, the WKU Equestrian Team, and served as a School of Agriculture Ambassador. Morgan then obtained her Masters in Equine Nutrition at Tarleton State University. Previously, Morgan worked for Alltech as a Quality and Food Safety Specialist, as well as Quality Manager. Most recently, she promoted the sport of rodeo, western way of life and equine industry as Miss Rodeo Kentucky 2022. Her career goal is to obtain her PhD and teach at the post-secondary level. Morgan’s study focus during her time at the University of Kentucky will be on management of obese equines, prone to insulin dysregulation and Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Morgan is an enthusiast of Rocky Mountain Horses and Quarter Horses. Morgan enjoys showing in ARHA, NRHA and AQHA-sanctioned competitions. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, leatherwork, and line dancing.
Farm Care Technician
Erin Fergusson works full time at UK's Veterinary Science Department's Oran Little Research Farm. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science and Management, along with a minor in Agriculture Economics, from UK in 2022. Originally from Georgia, Erin’s love of horses is what brought her to the Bluegrass State. She has previously worked at UK’s Maine Chance Equine Campus, a breeding, training, and sales farm, a hunter/ jumper boarding facility, and a privately owned lesson, training, and competition barn. When not at work she enjoys spending time with her roommates and training future service dogs.