The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will honor Daily Racing Form
's longtime executive columnist Joe Hirsch during the organization's inaugural "horsemen's reception" at the Kentucky Derby Museum from 5-8 p.m. on May 1, the Tuesday of Derby week in Louisville. The Kentucky HBPA will also use the occasion to present the organization's first Horsemen's Award to Butch Lehr, track superintendent at Churchill Downs. The HBPA said the award exemplifies "horsemen helping horsemen through humanitarianism and dedication."
A letter to Kentucky HBPA members from the organization's president Dr. Alex Harthill, said Hirsch will be honored "for his half-century as the voice of the Thoroughbred world -- the man of wisdom, integrity, and kindness in a humbling business."
Harthill also indicated the Kentucky HBPA, in conjunction with the reception, "is focusing on a goal of reversing the downward trend in on-track attendance and dearth of new owners." The HBPA is asking industry participants -- owners, trainers, breeders, jockeys, and others -- to be hand on hand for the reception, to answer questions and provide information to potential horse owners who are being invited to the event. For further information contact the Kentucky HBPA at (502) 363-1077.