Today (October 19th) is National Kentucky Day. This in recognition of Kentucky becoming the 15th territory to be granted statehood, as well as the first state west of the Appalachian Mountains to enter the union.
But that’s all ancient history.
This year the Breeders’ Cup is coming back to Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky on November 6th & 7th.
So to celebrate horse racing’s World Championships’ return to the Bluegrass State, here are some fast, fun facts about the commonwealth of Kentucky:
1. The state horse is the Thoroughbred. The measure to adopt the Thoroughbred as the Bluegrass State’s official horse passed in 1996.
2. The Kentucky equine industry has a $6.5 billion dollar annual impact on the commonwealth. That’s a lot of hay ! The horse industry also creates 60,494 jobs in Kentucky.
3. The commonwealth’s official music is Bluegrass. (Thank you Captain Obvious) There’s a huge legacy of Bluegrass music; in addition to being the state music, the commonwealth’s official instrument is the Appalachian Dulcimer- a stringed instrument of zither family.
4. Senator Mitch McConnell is the state’s official horses-ass.
5. The last Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland generated $150,574,656 in betting handle. The year was 2015, and Triple Crown Winner AMERICAN PHAROAH was Victorious in the Classic.
6. Blackberries are the official state fruit.
7. There is one horse for every 18 people in Kentucky. There are more than 238,000 horses in the commonwealth, which has an approximate human population of 4.5 million.
Much more on the Breeders’s Cup in the weeks to come.