A History of Giving Back

Keeneland was created as a model race track for the Thoroughbred industry. Our founders instilled a vision for contributing – through profits from our racing and sales operations – to the betterment of racing and the Central Kentucky community of which we are an integral part.

Through the Years

Since 1936, the Keeneland Foundation has given more than $18 million to benefit civic and industry-related service organizations.

Among our efforts:

  • In 1954, Keeneland gave $200,000 to the University of Kentucky to build a women's dorm.
  • Keeneland donated $250,000 over 10 years to the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • At the height of the polio epidemic, Keeneland paid $10,000 for the Salk vaccine to inoculate at-risk and underprivileged children in Fayette County who might otherwise have not received the vaccine.
  • On June 19, 1959, Keeneland shut down for two days so our employees, using Keeneland equipment, could move St. Joseph Hospital (then City's Hospital) from downtown Lexington to its current location.
  • In the mid-1980s, Keeneland gave $1 million over several years to the University of Kentucky's Maxwell A. Gluck Equine Research Center.

Recent Major Gifts

Our recent major gifts include:

  • Central Kentucky Blood Center: $60,000 over three years to help build a new facility.
  • Midway Home Place: $50,000 for the construction of a nursing home facility in Midway.
  • Kentucky Historical Society: $250,000 over five years to build the Keeneland Changing Exhibits Gallery.
  • Midway College: $150,000 over three years to assist in the expansion of the equine studies program.
  • Fayette County Education: $60,000 over three years to reward Fayette County schools that are successfully raising the education standards for all students.
  • University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research: $50,000 toward an endowed chair to spearhead efforts to advance research and education regarding addiction.

Thoroughbred Industry Recipients

Keeneland continues to seek innovative ways to improve horse racing and provides valuable financial and in-kind support to many organizations, including:

  • Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation
  • National Thoroughbred Racing Association
  • Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
  • American Horse Council
  • Kentucky Equine Education Project
  • Thoroughbred Racing Associations
  • Racetrack Chaplaincy of America
  • North American Racing Academy
Charitable Giving

Apply for Funding

Funding is focused primarily on the areas of health and human services; education; arts, culture and community; and Thoroughbred industry-related causes. To apply, please complete the grant application and submit in accordance with the Application Requirements and Procedures.

Please provide the following information to complete the application package:

  • Grant Application
  • 501C3 Determination Letter, as referenced in the Grant Application
  • Listing of Board of Directors

Please email or mail all requested information to
Ms. Kari West, Keeneland Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 1690 Lexington, KY 40588
Email: kwest@keeneland.com | Phone: (859) 254-3412

Any application package that is incomplete will not be considered.