First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
Churchill Downs Hosts “Horses and Hope” Program Created by First Lady Jane Beshear

Press Release Date:  Sunday, November 16, 2008  
Contact Information:  Jay Blanton
Jill Midkiff

Breast Cancer Race Day will raise awareness and education

FRANKFORT, Ky. – As part of the “Horses and Hope” program created by First Lady Jane Beshear and the Kentucky Cancer Program to support breast cancer awareness, Churchill Downs will host Pink Day on Sunday, November 16.

“Horses and Hope” fosters work with the state’s equine industry to identify new opportunities to provide breast cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referral, as well as to raise funds to sustain programs into the future.

“Kentucky horse racing is one of the best times you can have in our beautiful state,” Mrs. Beshear said.  “However, as many of you know, today we will do something even more special – raise awareness of breast cancer – the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Kentucky women.”

Gates open at 11:00. 

In addition to the event at Churchill Downs, “Horses and Hope” sponsored Breast Cancer Race Days to raise awareness at Ellis Park, Turfway Park and Keeneland. 

“The Horses and Hope initiative is a wonderful opportunity to combine the love of the Commonwealth’s signature industry – horse racing, with the need to raise awareness of such a terrible disease that affects so many families in our state,” said Gov. Beshear. “I am honored to participate in this event with my wife, Jane, and help to fight breast cancer.”

Other activities planned include:

  • Backside Outreach, where breast cancer education, awareness and screening will be provided to track workers and their families, placing special emphasis on the uninsured and underinsured;
  • Development of materials and a website that offer screening and treatment resources for  Kentuckians; and
  • Working with colleagues in the equine industry to secure financial and in-kind contributions for “Horses and Hope” programs.

The Kentucky Cancer Program at both the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky has been awarded grants ($10,500 each) from the Kentucky Breast Cancer Research and Education Trust Fund to fund breast cancer awareness, education, screening and outreach activities related to “Horses and Hope.”

In addition, the Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville has committed up to $10,000 from their 2008-09 operating budget to initiate project activities.

The Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville administers fiscal affairs for Horses and Hope.  Donations will be placed in a University of Louisville Foundation account for the exclusive support of the project.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Kentucky’s women.  According to the Kentucky Cancer Registry, an average of 2,700 new cases of breast cancer is diagnosed in Kentucky women each year. Over the last five years, an average of nearly 600 Kentucky women has died each year from breast cancer.