Major Kentucky equine events adapt for 2020

With recent changes announced for both Kentucky Horse Park’s National Horse Show and Keeneland’s 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Kentucky’s signature equine events are changing and adapting for 2020. Due to COVID-19, both events will take place without spectators, much like the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs earlier this year.

The National Horse Show, Oct. 23 through Nov. 1, was the first event to be hosted in Lexington’s Alltech Arena during the pandemic. To abide by U.S. Equestrian COVID-19  guidelines, those in the arena are required to have their temperature checked and wear armbands and a mask unless on a horse, spokeswoman Kerry Howe told Lexington Herald-Leader.

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will also be conducted without fans Nov. 6 and 7 and air on NBC Sports so that fans can enjoy the races at home. Maker’s Mark, the official bourbon of the Breeders’ Cup, has partnered with Keeneland to release a limited edition bottle to commemorate the return of the World Championships to the Keeneland Race Course.

The distinctive, all-white bottle decorated with purple and green wax and Keeneland’s logo embossed at the top will be available at select local retailers on Oct. 30. The proceeds will go toward the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund(PDJF), which provides financial assistance to 60 former jockeys who were injured while racing and are now living with a disability.

Maker’s Mark released another commemorative bottle before Keeneland’s Summer Meet in July and quickly sold out with proceeds also going to the PDJF fund. Read more about the specialty bottle here.

— Hayley Robb

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