KEENELAND BLUEGRASS INTERNATIONAL CUP POLO MATCH AND PARTY
September 6 | 5:30pm Mt. Brilliant Farm
Known as one of the best parties of the year, the Keeneland and Bluegrass International Cup is a polo match and party with a purpose. Benefiting the Fayette Alliance (a non-profit aimed at fostering sustainable growth in Lexington-Fayette County through land-use advocacy and education) and the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation (the fundraising arm of the Markey Cancer Center), the event features a fast-paced polo match, delicious buffet dinner and field-side snacks, an open bar (and opportunity to stomp some divots while sipping champagne!) and live music after the polo match. For tickets, go to fayettealliance.com.
THE BETSY GALA AND GRAND PRIX
September 20 | 5:30-9:00pm Kentucky Horse Park – Alltech Arena
Held each year in memory of Lexington equestrian icon Betsy Fishback, The Betsy Gala and Grand Prix is a fundraiser put on by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute for the UK Markey Cancer Foundation that pairs delicious food and craft cocktails with world-class show jumping action. Guests can bid on live and silent auctions, as well as riders competing in the evening’s competition via Calcutta auction, then settle in for the show as they cheer on horses and their riders navigating a course of 5-foot fences. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to ukmarkey.org.
BATTLE IN THE SADDLE CELEBRITY TEAM PENNING
September 27 | 7:00pm Kentucky Horse Park
The annual goal for many equestrians who compete in eventing – a sport which combines the equestrian disciplines of dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping – is to qualify for the U. S. Eventing Association’s American Eventing Championships. This annual event, which rotates between major equestrian competition venues throughout the country, will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2019 and 2020. Here, equestrians from all levels and all corners of the country – from children competing on their first ponies to an Olympian preparing horses for international competition – will compete for prize money totaling more than $100,000 and a wide array of merchandise. For a full schedule of events, visit useventing.com.
$100,000 THOROUGHBRED MAKEOVER AND NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM
October 2-5 Kentucky Horse Park
The Retired Racehorse Project’s $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover is the largest and most lucrative competition for horses in their first year of retraining after retiring from racing. Watch as hundreds of horses from 40 states and four Canadian provinces compete in everything from jumping, dressage and eventing to polo, ranch work, trail riding and more. Preliminary competition is on Wednesday and Thursday, with the championship classes on Saturday. On Friday, watch the “Makeover Masterclass,” a Thoroughbred retraining clinic where several celebrity trainers will share their techniques and training tips with the audience as they work with several newly retired racehorses for the first time. For more information, go to TBMakeover.org.