With Sheikh Mohammed leading the way, Keeneland Thursday announced a sizeable amount in its fund for the victims of last week's terrorist attacks.
One of the world's leading owners and breeders -- and for years a leading buyer at Keeneland -- Sheikh Mohammed has given $5 million to the fund. The total raised is $5.7 million.
Sheikh Mohammed was attending the Keeneland September yearling sale when the attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon occurred. Keeneland canceled the auction on Tuesday and resumed selling on Wednesday. Many assumed Sheikh Mohammed would not attend Wednesday, but he was visible throughout the day and spoke to the media.
"We think this was a cowardly act against civilians, and we are 100% against it," said Sheikh Mohammed, Dubai's Crown Prince and Defense Minister of the United Arab Emirates. "We are 100% with America, and we will do anything we can to get these people, to get justice."
On Sept. 12, Keeneland announced the establishment of a relief fund and within 24 hours, buyers and consignors had already donated $130,000. That amount rose quickly as the week wore on. The money will be sent to the Red Cross Relief Fund.
"As the World Trade Center was collapsing, we all felt we had to do something," said Keeneland president Nick Nicholson. "We went to the Red Cross website, got the information we needed, and made an announcement of what we were trying to do to help. From people just in the sale pavilion we've already raised over $700,000. Sheikh Mohammed said he wanted to make a personal contribution of $5 million.
"The fact he would do this through the horse business, through Central Kentucky, and through Keeneland sales is a statement of his commitment to this area and to the horse business."
Anyone wishing to contribute to the relief fund may contact the Keeneland Association at 800-456-3412.