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The 45th annual High Hope Steeplechase will run at the Kentucky Horse Park this Sunday, May 20.
The race offers area horse lovers a chance to enjoy the unique mix of beauty and action of steeplechase racing in an environment fit for the whole family. In addition to four top-tier jump races worth a total of $70,000 in purses, High Hope Steeplechase Day will provide a kid’s playground and activities, such as the annual kids’ Stick Horse Derby, face painting, clowns and much more. Other family entertainment offered includes terrier races, equine demonstrations, tailgating and arts and crafts booths.
This year’s event will also feature the inaugural running of The Sportswoman’s Challenge presented by Susan G. Komen Lexington. This will be a one-mile flat race for lady riders and their trusted sport horses, each sporting the racing silks of well-known local thoroughbred farms serving as sponsors.
The 4th running of the “Catch a Riding Star” flat race will also be run, featuring student-jockeys currently enrolled in the North American Racing Academy (NARA). The Kentucky Community and Technical College System launched NARA in 2006 under the supervision of Hall of Fame and two-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Chris McCarron.
Now part of Bluegrass Community and Technical College, NARA is an equine industry workhorse provider. Graduates have been placed in jobs as riders or horsemen throughout the racing and breeding industries, raking in purse earnings of nearly $19 million and claiming over 1,000 victories on the track. McCarron and many NARA students will be in attendance at the High Hope Steeplechase preview during the May 17th Thursday Night Live Festival at the 5/3 Bank Pavilion in downtown Lexington.
Proceeds from High Hope Steeplechase Day will benefit Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital. Over the years, High Hope Steeplechase has helped raise $1.5 million for worthy causes.