Since this is the opening weekend of Keeneland, I figured that I would do a little Flashback Friday to the time I was a model in a fashion show back in April for Fashion at the Races. For those that don’t know, I live in Lexington, which is the “Horse Capital of the World.” Here, in Kentucky, we are obviously known for horses. I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of the Kentucky Derby. Before I tell you about the fashion show, I’ll tell you a little about Keeneland…
Keeneland hosts two meets; a Spring Meet in April and a Fall Meet in October. During those months, the meets are three weeks long. Keeneland was founded in 1936 on 147 acres. There also has been live race meets in both April in October since 1936. The spring meet contains several preps for the Kentucky Derby and the most notable is the Bluegrass Stakes. The fall meet contains several preps for the Breeders’ Cup. In 2009, the Horseplayers Association introduced a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Keeneland was ranked #1, and I believe in 2015, it was #2. Keeneland was also was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2015, Keeneland hosted theBreeders’ Cup for the first time. It was won by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah by six and a half lengths (I’m sure that y’all have heard of him!). American Pharoah was the first horse to win the Grand Slam of horse racing, which is the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup. American Pharoah was actually bred right here in Lexington, Kentucky. He was born on February 2, 2012 at Tom VanMeter’s Stockplace Farm.
Okay, now that you know a little bit about Keeneland, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the fashion show that I was in back on April 9, 2016. It’s Flashback Friday, after all…
The fashion show was put on by Fashion at the Races. It was during the Bluegrass Stakes Brunch at Keene Place, which is at Keeneland. (The Bluegrass Stakes was first run in Lexington in 1911 at the Kentucky Association Track). Since its beginning,The Bluegrass Stakes serves as important prep for the Kentucky Derby. Keene Place is one of Keeneland’s oldest buildings. During the fashion show, we showed off the perfect attire to wear to the Derby (and of course, Keeneland – Anything that you would wear for the Derby is the kind of thing that you would wear to Keeneland). The proceeds from the fashion show went to the American Cancer Society and the Horseman’s Fund. The Horseman’s Fund brings together horsemen from all over the world to raise money for the fight against cancer.
I was super excited to be one of eight models chosen to walk in the fashion show. We all met at Fayette Mall one night prior to the event and began going to different stores to put our looks together for the fashion show. We each were going to wear two looks during the show, including a Derby hat or fascinator. My particular looks came from New York & Company and entwine. The fascinators I wore were from Fashion at the Races and were made by a local milliner, which is a person who designs, makes, trims, or sells women’s hats.
“Fashion at the Races was formed by Bri Mott with the one mission of improving the image of the American Racing industry. After looking around the world at the different countries that have thriving industries, it was decided that they needed to bring a whole new generation to the track to enjoy its magic. Through a mixture of Fashion and Racing, Fashion at the Races hopes to educate people about the wonderful social side that exists on the race days along with the amazing animals on the track. With the Fashions on the Field event leading the assault, we hope to entice people to come to the track to see something new, to experience a fun day and to fall in love with the amazing place that is the races!”
Afterwards, my husband and I enjoyed some live music, mimosas, and some hors’ d oeuvres. That particular day was the opening of the Spring Meet at Keeneland, as well as the Bluegrass Stakes. It was a great event for a wonderful cause that I was proud to be a part of!
***Information about Keeneland’s Fall Meet: Starts on Friday, October 7 until Saturday, October 29. No racing on Mondays or Tuesdays. Gates open at 11am and first post is 1:05 each race day! 2016 Fall’s schedule: here.