Keeneland Library Lecture Series on April 14 Presents a Look at Fayette County’s Famous Iroquois Hunt

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LEXINGTON, KY (April 8, 2015) – The Keeneland Library Lecture Series continues April 14 when Glenye and Christopher Oakford of Lexington discuss their book, Iroquois Hunt: A Bluegrass Foxhunting Tradition.

The Iroquois Hunt Club, founded in 1880, has had many notable members with ties to the Thoroughbred industry, the development of Lexington and major U.S. events.

“The stories of the people who founded it – Gen. Roger Williams, Madge and Desha Breckinridge, Nettie McDowell in the 1880s and Len Shouse, Arnold Hanger, Louie Beard and John Churchill Newcomb, who revived the club in the 1920s – are fascinating,” said Christopher Oakford, a freelance writer and videographer. “They all led interesting lives and it’s possible to look at how Lexington developed through the prism of their involvement with Iroquois.

“Many of the people who founded Keeneland belonged to the club. You can also see how the town developed – and what has stayed undeveloped – by looking at the club’s hunt country, which is the land over which it rides. I’d like people to know how progressive the hunt has been – not something you normally associate with foxhunting. For example, Gen. Williams helped his friend Theodore Roosevelt to establish the national parks, and the hunt founded the world’s first charity dedicated to retiring hunting hounds.”

Glenye Cain Oakford, former secretary of the club, is an award-winning freelance racing journalist. She received the 2012 Eclipse Award for outstanding audio/multimedia for her piece for Daily Racing Form’s website about the arrival of Zenyatta’s first foal.

She is co-founder of the Hound Welfare Fund, a nonprofit that provides food and veterinary care to retired hounds from the Iroquois Hunt Club.

The event with the Oakfords begins at 6:30 ET at the Keeneland Library and is free and open to the public. The presentation will be followed by a reception and book-signing with the couple.

Designed to spotlight notable horses and people in Thoroughbred racing, the Library Lecture Series continues April 29 at the Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center in downtown Lexington, where Pellom McDaniels III will present his book, The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy.

On June 2 at the Keeneland Library, Milton Toby will talk about his book Noor: A Champion Thoroughbred’s Unlikely Journey from California to Kentucky.

All events begin at 6:30 p.m. ET. Each is free and open to the public.

The Keeneland Library may be easily accessed through Gate 1 (Keeneland Blvd.) at Versailles Road and Man o’ War Blvd. On Keeneland Blvd., take the first right, which is Entertainment Court, and head toward the Keene Barn & Entertainment Center. The Library is to the left.

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