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Keeneland Fifth Grade Tours Offer Youth Hands-On Thoroughbred Industry Experience

August 28, 2017

LEXINGTON, KY (Aug. 28, 2017) – Keeneland will host 2,900 fifth-graders from 31 area public and private schools this week as part of its commitment to educate the community about its historical significance and the integral economic and cultural role the Thoroughbred industry plays in Central Kentucky.

Now in its seventh year, the program has given more than 18,000 students the opportunity to see the inner workings of Keeneland and the Thoroughbred industry. From the excitement of the bidding that takes place during sales throughout the year to learning about training the equine athletes who run during the Spring and Fall Meets, local youth will have the opportunity to experience the business conducted at Keeneland.  

“Keeneland is always excited to welcome these students, who are enthusiastic and eager to learn about anything related to horses,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “The tours are a fun way to introduce them to an important part of where they live and encourage a lifelong connection to Keeneland and the Thoroughbred industry.”

Each tour day will commence at the Sales Pavilion, with a welcome by a Keeneland staff member. Students will watch an informative video about Keeneland and take part in a mock Thoroughbred auction. Stops on the tour are a variety of themed educational stations, from Keeneland history lessons in the Walking Ring, Thoroughbred industry careers in the Winner’s Circle, racing information at the Finish Line, the safety of Keeneland’s human and equine athletes, and important landmarks at the track.

Industry partners helping to facilitate the event include Godolphin; Kentucky Derby Museum; Locust Trace AgriScience Center, part of Fayette County Public Schools; North American Racing Academy, affiliated with Bluegrass Community and Technical College; and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. These partners will be represented at stations throughout the tour.

In order to promote further learning, Keeneland has distributed to students a special Thoroughbred Racing and Sales educational workbook, filled with colorful images and information about Thoroughbred training and care, jockey equipment, racing surfaces, a glossary of equine terms and statistics on the industry’s economic impact in Kentucky. 


For more than 80 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. As the world's largest Thoroughbred auction company, Keeneland conducts sales every January, September and November. Its sales graduates dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. In 2015, Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a private, for-profit corporation that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses, and it has donated millions of dollars in charitable contributions for education, research and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. To learn more about Keeneland, visit Keeneland.com.