To our customers:
In 2020 and beyond, Keeneland is fully committed to providing you with a sales experience that is both stable and forward-thinking, to meet the needs of buyers and sellers worldwide during this unique time.
To this end, we are excited to announce a new program that will deliver unprecedented video support to our customers for the September Yearling Sale.
Keeneland's award-winning Broadcast Services team will coordinate "digital inspections" for all Book 1 and Book 2 yearlings as an enhanced service to our breeders and consignors. These professionally produced videos will also enable remote buyers to access quality video representations of yearlings on offer.
Footage will be captured at the farms during the yearling preparation period, as we work closely with every seller to deliver a consistent and quality presentation for your yearlings. These assets will be accessible online for prospective buyers, particularly those whose attendance at the sale may be compromised by limitations due to COVID-19.
Additionally, Keeneland Broadcast Services will provide support to consignors and owners of yearlings in Books 3-6 who wish to record videos or capture photos of yearlings independently. Keeneland will contact you as we confirm yearling placement in sales catalogs.
We are steadfast in our commitment to buyers and sellers, and are leveraging every asset at Keeneland to provide the best-in-class sales experience you are accustomed to with Keeneland auctions – even in a changing selling environment.
Below please find a few additional updates on Keeneland's racing and sales activity over the last week.
Kentucky Racing Developments
Keeneland, as well as the rest of the horse racing community, is excited that racing – even without spectators – is returning to Kentucky this spring. Keeneland worked closely with Churchill Downs and all Kentucky tracks to develop a common set of protocols to conduct racing and we are pleased at the positive response from our Governor.
Based on these approvals, Keeneland will continue to work with government, health and racing officials to refine our plans with the intention of moving forward with the following:
- Expansion of mainside stabling allocations for horsemen who are typically resident during the summer, which will likely permit another 300 horses to stable at Keeneland until August 1.
- The finalization of plans to safely conduct a brief summer race meeting at Keeneland. Keeneland continues to work with all Kentucky race tracks and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to find a window on the racing calendar to run a few of the lost days from the Spring.
We will continue to provide updates as plans progress. Should you have any questions in the coming weeks, please reach out to our Racing Team.
Nourish the Backstretch
We are thrilled with the impact of the Nourish Lexington initiative, of which Keeneland was a founding partner. True to our mission of supporting our industry and community, Nourish Lexington has provided more than 15,000 nutritious meals to anyone in need in the Lexington area during the COVID-19 crisis while employing the skills of the hospitality industry.
We are excited to extend the reach of this initiative even further within our industry through Nourish the Backstretch powered by Keeneland and Blue Grass Farms Charities, which was announced earlier today. Keeneland is grateful for the hard work and dedication shown by our backstretch family who are on the front lines caring for our horses during this challenging time.
Each week, stable employees at Keeneland and The Thoroughbred Center will be invited to pick up meals prepared by Keeneland Hospitality and bagged groceries from Blue Grass Farms Charities throughNourish the Backstretch events. In addition, all proceeds from wagering through Keeneland Select during May will be donated to this initiative.
Sales Medication Reforms
As part of Keeneland's ongoing dialogue with Fasig-Tipton to further strengthen the auction process, last week we jointly announced restrictions on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids and bronchodilators, including Clenbuterol, for all horses sold effective immediately. These reforms continue to promote transparency and integrity, and are in the best interest of the horse.