KEEP Ties Reception to Quarter Horse Racing

The Kentucky Equine Education Project, which named its executive staff June 30, will hold a reception July 3 in conjunction with the return of live Quarter Horse racing to Kentucky for the first time since 1992.

KEEP will hold a reception at 7:30 p.m. EDT in the Round Barn at The Red Mile in Lexington. Quarter Horse racing, last held at Bluegrass Downs, will be offered beginning at 5 p.m. July 3-4.

Airdrie Stud owner Brereton Jones, who serves as chairman of KEEP, will speak at about 9 p.m., as will Gary Carpenter, director of racing for the American Quarter Horse Association, and Joe Costa, president and chief executive officer of The Red Mile.

"The return of Quarter Horse racing has everyone in the equine industry excited," Jones said in a release. "The jobs created by Quarter Horses are very important to the economic well-being of the commonwealth, and we want to make everyone in this state aware of that fact."

"This is a wonderful opportunity for horsemen from different breeds to get to know each other and network," Costa said.

American Quarter Horse Association statistics for 2003 show 35,358 registered American Quarter Horses in Kentucky, along with 13,147 owners.

"We're happy to join KEEP in celebrating Kentucky's diverse horse industry--that's a large part of what makes the industry so strong in this state," Carpenter said.

KEEP, whose mission is to educate the public and legislators on the economic impact of the horse industry in Kentucky, has named Claria Horn Shadwick, an attorney, as executive director; Jim Navolio, the former Kentucky Commissioner for Business Development, as operations director; and Gene Clabes, a horseman and journalist, as equine director.