Horse Country

New Horse Country Board President is VisitLEX's Borden

Gathan Borden, the vice president of marketing for VisitLEX, Lexington's convention and visitor's bureau, has officially been named the new board president of Visit Horse Country. Borden succeeds founding board president Price H. Bell, Jr., who served in the position for the first seven years of the organization. "Visit Horse Country has been a game-changer for the Lexington tourism product," said Borden. "The outreach from the horse industry into the community has been powerful and has allowed us to truly share the Bluegrass in a way we never could before....

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Visit Horse Country Adds TRF Farm to its Membership

The board of directors of Horse Country voted unanimously to add the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's Chestnut Hall facility in Prospect, Kentucky to its membership roster. "Since our first tours in 2015, the members of our not-for-profit organization have opened their gates to more than 150,000 leisure travelers, fans, clubs and schools in service of our mission of fan development for racing and equine sport," said Anne Sabatino Hardy, executive director of Horse Country. "Aftercare is a critical part of the story of racing and experiential storytelling is an effective and...

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Price Bell, Jr. Named Mill Ridge Farm General Manager

Price Bell, Jr. has been appointed to the position of general manager at Mill Ridge Farm. Upon completing his MBA from Vanderbilt's Owen School in 2010, Bell returned to Lexington and his life's passion, the Thoroughbred industry. With conviction for the sport and believing in the great opportunity to develop the industry's fan base, he became actively involved with the founding of Horse Country, while assisting as a bloodstock agent for the Mill Ridge affiliate, Nicoma Bloodstock. He serves on the boards of the KTA-KTOB, TOBA, National Museum of Racing,...

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Your Horse Country Needs You!

Across the world, the economic tsunami triggered by the pandemic has been stemmed, to some degree, by massive government interventions. But these can only go so far, whether in funds, duration or reach. Beyond those margins, many hugely deserving enterprises find themselves perilously exposed--and it will fall onto society, onto each one of us, to help determine which are worth saving. Broadsided by this unaccountable emergency into a sudden, existential crisis, Horse Country is now turning to the community it serves and making its own case for salvation. That's a...

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Amplify Horse Racing Launches Website

Amplify Horse Racing, a grassroots organization launched in 2019 by second-year Godolphin Flying Start trainee Annise Montplasir and Madison Scott of Solis/Litt Bloodstock as an initiative to welcome and educate newcomers about the Thoroughbred industry, collaborate with existing initiatives, and promote opportunities for involvement, has launched its website at "Our goal for Amplify has been to become 'Step One' for newcomers to learn about the Thoroughbred industry," said Montplaisir. "We want this website and the resources we've curated to be a roadmap from basic to technical learning, and how...

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Letter to the Editor: Putting a Number on Potential: 31,487

by Anne Sabatino Hardy Executive Director, Horse Country That's the number left over when you subtract attendance numbers of the record-high 2015 Kentucky Derby (170,513) from the 202,000 views of Claiborne Farm's virtual stallion tour on Facebook (March 17). In fact the TDN's own post-production treatments of virtual tours and unique online content have spawned their own virality. Right now, there's no place more populated than the internet and social media. It's safe. It doesn't require planes, trains or automobiles. It's low-cost, low-barrier and high desire. And, interestingly, the same...

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What Draws Us To This Industry, By Headley Bell

About the time 'spring was about to sprung,' we all got hit...and hit very hard. As a way to adapt and hopefully share, about 8:30 each morning I posted short videos on Twitter. The grass was just starting to green and the birds were starting to sing and yes, we were welcoming our first crop of Oscar Performance babies here at Mill Ridge Farm. It made for a very uplifting setting and the response to these videos is heartwarming. At the same time, Horse Country was actively working with their...

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Silving Linings: Price Bell

Today, I wanted to share some moments that have meant a lot to me these past few weeks. When we started doing virtual tours, it was initiated to continue the mission of Horse Country, and to hope to lessen the blow to fans who wanted to come visit, but were now not able. However, I have been so inspired by giving the virtual tours, because viewers appreciate them so much. I share here a screen shot from one where an ER doctor on the front lines watched, and ambulance workers...

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Future Stars at Spendthrift Farm

The virtual parade of Visit Horse Country tours rolls on as farms continue to release online tours, providing stir-crazy racing fans access to the breathtaking landscape exclusive to the Bluegrass Region. Friday, Spendthrift Farm released their first virtual farm visit with a behind-the-scenes look at the "Future Stars of Tomorrow." "People are pretty familiar with our stallion tour, but I think they love to get a peek of the behind-the-scenes bit that they don't normally experience," said Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey. [tdn_vimeo_embed title="Spendthrift Virtual Tour" admp4="" videomp4= "" thumbnail=...

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Letter to the Editor: The Fan Development Opportunity of a Global Pandemic

Fasig Tipton, Keeneland, Breeders' Cup offer emergency support to Visit Horse Country as Virtual Tours Spike Worldwide Attention on Kentucky's Horse Industry Two weeks ago, operations at Horse Country HQ switched tracks, along with many others, as we and our members began to absorb the realities around COVID-19. Faced with growing warnings about transmission, travel interruptions, and event cancellations or postponements, experiences at member locations became deprioritized in favor of caution and best practices. That Wednesday, Mar. 11, was the last day of normal operations before we began a record...

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Antony Beck: Horse Country. It Works

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: ANTONY BECK Over the past few days, I have read with interest the letters from Allison Bishop and Dermot Ryan about the important role that Visit Horse Country plays in introducing new people to our sport. I would like to add my voice to the conversation. Each day, as the sun rises over the Bluegrass, we direct our full attention to nurturing our horses. We make this investment in hope that the horses we care for will sire or foal the next big winner or that...

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