Six high-profile individuals are being honored and added to this year's Breeders' Cup Ambassadors. They join 10 other celebrity racing fans and owners who were named Ambassadors during the program's inaugural year in 2012.
The program offers rewards which allow the ambassadors to enjoy horse racing all over the world, including concierge service and tickets. Additionally, they will serve as spokespersons and help promote the 2013 Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The new Breeders' Cup Ambassadors include: international supermodel Kate Upton, golf icon Gary Player, political commentator/media personality James Carville, former NBA coach/player Avery Johnson, actor John Ortiz, and Atlanta Falcons' record-holding running back Steven Jackson.
"I am thrilled to join the Breeders' Cup Ambassador team," Kate Upton said in a release. "You can't beat the style, entertainment, and excitement of a day at the races, especially when you're watching the world's best Thoroughbreds compete. Horses are my passion. I grew up riding and competing and own a couple of horses now, so it was a natural choice to come on board as a Breeders' Cup Ambassador."
The ambassadors are not only horse racing fans but also riders, owners, and breeders. Upton joins the program as a seasoned horse riding champion. Having competed on a national level, Upton began earning riding titles before the age of 13. Gary Player has been a longtime horse racing fan and has bred more than 2,000 winning Thoroughbred horses on his stud farm in South Africa. With many friends at Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., new horse owner Avery Johnson is quickly becoming a racing connoisseur.
"My love for Thoroughbred horses and racing closely rivals my love for golf, and it is such a thrill to now be named an ambassador for the Breeders' Cup," said Player. "I have been breeding racehorses on my South African stud farm for nearly 40 years and have always considered the Breeders' Cup as one of the greatest races in the world."
Previously inducted Ambassadors include: celebrity chef and Breeders' Cup board member Bobby Flay; actress and California Horse Racing Board member Bo Derek; actress Elizabeth Banks; singer/songwriter Toby Keith; sports radio talk show host Jim Rome; former major league baseball manager/player Joe Torre; actress/singer Laura Bell Bundy; University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino; professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek; and Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker.
"We welcome our new class of Ambassadors, who cut across a wide dimension of careers in entertainment, sports, politics, and style, but all share the love and passion for horse racing and the Breeders' Cup," said Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup president and CEO, in a statement.