Year Inducted: 

David SwitzerDavid Switzer of Lexington is recognized worldwide for his knowledge, experience and accomplishments in the horse breeding and racing industries. In addition, he is known as an expert in the field of equine foundation bloodstock and insurance, having owned and operated a bloodstock agency for many years.

The outstanding skill set he has acquired through years of hard work has enabled him to confidently and successfully promote the Kentucky Thoroughbred industries locally, nationally and internationally. Switzer has served as a member, director or officer of more than 10 prominent and prolific committees, councils and boards such as the Gluck Equine Research Foundation. The collective work of these groups has led to vital advancements in equine health and welfare, research, education, racing, breeding, marketing and regulation.

Switzer received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture in 1967 and is a U.S. Navy veteran. He is executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Over the years, he has advocated for issues that directly and indirectly affect the College of Agriculture. Switzer’s advocacy led to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s support for the only federal laboratory in Kentucky, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Forage Animal Production Unit. Switzer was a lead advocate in the capital project for the expansion of the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center, now the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, serving on its initial industry advisory planning committee and its present day industry advisory committee. He also attends student events and helps place students in internships.

Switzer played a vital role in communications during the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome crisis in 2001-2002, functioning as a point for communications among veterinarians, farm managers and owners, elected policymakers, Ken­tucky Department of Agriculture, the state veterinarian and UK scientists. He also led efforts to create an emergency response team involving leadership from state government and from the industry, so that if and when the next MRLS occurs, there will be no time wasted coordinating communication efforts.

He was one of the initiators of the Purchase of Development Rights program to preserve farmland in Fayette County. In addition to the Fayette Alliance, Switzer also contributes to his community through organizations such as the Lexington Arts and Cultural Council and the United Way.  He serves on the board of the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program and was integral in helping the organization embark on a $10 million capital campaign to secure a shelter.

Switzer was the inaugural recipient of the “Friend of the UK Equine Initiative” award in 2006.