Horsey events not to be missed in 2020

Holiday Tips 1

Written by Kathy Witt


Georgetown – Kentucky’s Horse Headquarters – rounds up its best horsey events for 2020:


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July 10-12 | BreyerFest: Virtual

Collectors of Breyer model horses and horse lovers in general will want to attend BreyerFest, Breyer Animal Creations’ annual three-day family festival that combines the excitement of a horse fair with model horse activities. For the first time, this event will be heald online while celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Breyer and 31 years of BreyerFest.

BreyerFest will kick up its heels for Celtic Fling in 2020, drawing inspiration from the dynamic history and rich lore of the British Isles. From drafters to minis to sport horses, BreyerFest celebrates the amazing equines that have shaped these unique island nations. Virtual goers will enjoy three full days of equine entertainment, incredible shopping, and activities for kids, workshops and seminars and so much more. Plus, you’ll meet the real horses that inspired Breyer’s newest models and see over 200 horses representing dozens of breeds and disciplines.


American Eventing Championships

August 25-30 | American Eventing Championship

The United States Eventing Association American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds is the annual championship for every level of the Olympic equestrian sport of eventing in America – the pinnacle of the sport for the national levels. Taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park, the event brings together the best junior, adult amateur and professional competitors who vie for national championship titles at every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced.

This ultimate test of horse and rider draws hundreds of horses and riders from around the country to compete for fabulous prizes, a piece of the substantial prize money and the chance to be named the National Champion at their respective levels.




Silver Charm



Sept 5 | Kentucky Derby

Thundering thoroughbreds, showy hats, bourbon-soaked mint juleps, the Stephen Foster ballad that makes every native and honorary Kentuckian sob and more all converge at Louisville’s Churchill Downs for the “greatest two minutes in sports.”

Place your bets, join a grandstand full of horseracing fans crooning along to “My Old Kentucky Home and as the noble steeds leave the paddock for the starting gate and hold your breath. The starting gun sounds and off they go for the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby. The stakes are high; the purse – a whopping $3 million.




October 2-24 | Keeneland Fall Meet

Keeneland’s 2020 Fall Race Meet opens Friday, October 2, and continues through Saturday, October 24. No racing will be held on Mondays or Tuesdays. Highlights include opening Fall Stars Weekend, featuring 10 stakes races and nine Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In events. (Tickets may be purchased online beginning at 8:30 a.m. on August 1.)

Gates open at 11 a.m. with first post at 1:05 p.m. daily. There’s nothing like a day spent at this National Historic Landmark located in Lexington: beautiful scenery, spectacular live horseracing, tailgating on “The Hill” with food trucks, Bluegrass music, a jumbo television screen to watch live racing, wagering options and more – even free parking.



October 24- November 1 | National Horse Show

The world’s best international competitors return for the National Horse Show, founded in 1883 at the original Madison Square Garden. It is America’s oldest indoor horse show, firmly established as a major fixture on the national and international sports and social event calendars. It is considered to be Kentucky Horse Park’s biggest show jumping event of the year.

With nearly $800,000 in prize money offered, this year’s show has again been designated a CSI-W 4* show by the FEI. The International Open Jumpers will compete for over a half a million dollars in prize money, while the top rated hunter sections have a total purse of $195,000. Meanwhile, $100,000 in total is offered to the Amateur-Owner and U 25 Jumper sections.



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November 8 | Old Friends Breeders’ Cup Celebration

Cap off the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland (a highlight of the fall meet season) with a celebratory soiree at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm – home to more Breeders’ Cup winners and contenders than anywhere. 

In its history, Old Friends has retired 10 Breeders’ Cup winners, including 1988 Sprint Champion, Gulch, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 32, and 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion, Cajun Beat, who died in early 2020. Four Breeders’ Cup winners remain at the aftercare facility for retired thoroughbreds: Alphabet Soup (Classic, 1996); Eldaafer (Marathon, 2010); Amazombie (Sprint, 2011); and Little Mike (Turf, 2012). They’ll be on hand to meet and greet guests to the celebration, along with dozens of other champions of the turf.





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