A Tennessee native with a lifelong passion for horses and experiences that include marketing campaigns, coordinating sales and managing a farm has been selected as the new director of the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center.
Jeanne Brooks Abernathy comes to Cal Poly Pomona from Brookhill Farms, an Arabian horse breeding and training center she founded in 2003. In 12 years, the farm grew from three horses to over 50. Prior to that, she worked as a marketing consultant for a specialty glass company and in various management and sales positions with Xerox Corporation.
“We’re excited to have Jeanne join us as the new director of the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center,” says Mary Holz-Clause, dean of the College of Agriculture. “She brings a passion for horses that started in her childhood. She has managed breeding operations, foaling and animal care at an Arabian horse farm, and has run businesses large and small. She brings a unique set of skills to the center. We look forward to having her here at Cal Poly Pomona and the energy she will bring to the Arabian Horse Center.”
Brooks Abernathy’s passion for Arabian horses began at 13 when she received a half Arabian named Abus Fancy Ben as a gift. Her first job, which paid for the horse’s board, consisted of cleaning stables. Years later, that same horse joined her in founding Brookhill Farm on the rolling countryside outside of Nashville, Tennessee.
Brooks Abernathy says the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center is widely known in the industry as the “oldest continuously run breeding program in the country” and that it’s well-positioned to impact the future of the Arabian horse breed.
She describes her time at Brookhill as a “very hands-on” experience, and she’s looking to continuing that approach at the university’s Arabian horse center.
“You can’t learn everything you need to know about raising horses from a book,” she says. “There’s nothing that can replace the experience of seeing a foal come out of its mother and take its first breath.”