First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear, First Lady attend Horses and Hope Race Day at Churchill Downs
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear today attended Churchill Downs’ Breast Cancer Race Day for the third consecutive fall in Louisville, Ky. Race-goers were encouraged to wear pink articles of clothing to raise breast cancer awareness as part of the Horses and Hope program created by Mrs. Beshear and the Kentucky Cancer Program.
“It is a testament to the extensive support of breast cancer awareness that tickets for today’s Horses and Hope activities have sold out,” said Mrs. Beshear. “With every Horses and Hope event that takes place, more Kentuckians gain an understanding of this pervasive disease and the importance of undergoing screenings. I appreciate Churchill Downs’ continued dedication to promoting awareness and backing this initiative.”
The race day featured a luncheon buffet on Millionaries Row for breast cancer survivors, with Horses and Hope programming beginning at 1 p.m. A parade of pink horses in the paddock preceded the sixth race, which was named after Horses and Hope. Following the race, former jockey P.J. Cooksey, a breast cancer survivor, led other survivors to the paddock for a photo with the First Lady.
New to this year’s event was an appearance by Otto Thorwarth, the Arkansas jockey and actor who portrayed Triple-Crown winning jockey Ron Turcotte in the film Secretariat. In addition, Nashville singer-songwriter Templeton Thompson presented a musical tribute from her CD, Girls and Horses.
Horses and Hope works with the state’s equine industry to provide breast cancer education, screening and treatment referral. The organization also hosts special events in collaboration with equestrian organizations to honor breast cancer survivors and to share information.
Since the program was founded in 2008, Horses and Hope has hosted Breast Cancer Race Days at major racetracks across the state, including Ellis Park, Turfway Park and Keeneland. Horses and Hope has educated more than 283,000 race track and horse show fans and more than 6,000 equine employees. The program has screened 356 workers and detected breast cancer in two individuals, both of whom have received treatment.
According to the Kentucky Cancer Registry, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the Commonwealth. The American Cancer Society predicts that 3,200 Kentuckians will be diagnosed with the disease in 2010.
For more information about Horses and Hope, visit http://www.horsesandhope.org.