Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction

Dreaming of a horseback riding vacation in Lexington, Kentucky

Kentucky Derby Week Activities in Lexington, Kentucky

Are you planning to watch the Kentucky Derby horse race in Lexington, Kentucky? Perhaps you prefer drinking wine and smelling roses to the traditional mint julep libation served during the running of the roses? Travel Writer and Equestrian Nancy D. Brown has learned that there is more to horse races and horseback riding vacations in Lexington, Kentucky.

Read on for a little Q & A with Equestrian and Lexington Cancer Foundation Director Kristi Martin and her role in the Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction.

Nancy Brown: Do you have a personal connection to horses and horseback riding?

Kristi Martin: Horses have always been my passion.  I feel so fortunate to live on a thoroughbred horse farm and to ride hunter jumpers in one of the most beautiful settings in the world – Lexington, KY.

Nancy Brown: Do you own any horses yourself?

KM: Yes, my husband and I own numerous horses for both business and pleasure.

Nancy Brown: What differentiates the Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction (KBWA) from other events happening during Derby week?

KM: What makes KBWA special is that it is one of the most elegant events taking place during Derby week.  The event occurs in the place where great thoroughbred horse racing starts – where thoroughbreds are born and raised, making them the stars of Derby week.  We host people from all over the world visiting as guests to some of the most beautiful horse farms in the world.  Lexington is a beautiful location, our event is always held in the most lovely of settings.

Nancy Brown : Are there any special auction items relating to horses this year or in previous years? If so, what is the most unique/ rare horse-related item?

KM: We have been fortunate to have some of the most incredible auction items related to horses.  Ashford Stud has been incredibly generous to donate a breeding season to Giant’s Causeway in 2006 and 2007, generating a total of over $500,000, which established the Janice Jones Annual Giving Fund in honor of John T. L. Jones of Walmac Farm’s late wife.  We have also included thoroughbred racing items such as accommodations and tickets to Breeders’ Cup, Del Mar Racetrack, Saratoga Racetrack, as well as Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and more!

Horses and Wine at the Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction, Lexington, Kentucky
Horses and Wine at the Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction, Lexington, Kentucky

Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction 2011

Held during Kentucky Derby week, the exciting and exclusive Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction is hosted by the Lexington Cancer Foundation.  The Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction 2011 couples the equestrian-centric thrills of the Kentucky Derby with the world of fine-wine, for a truly unique horse and wine vacation experience. Wednesday night features Private Vintner Dinners held at exclusive estates, while the main event- the Wine Auction and Derby Gala- will be held on Thursday at the world-renowned Donamire Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Lexington Cancer Foundation has raised five million dollars in the five years it has been in operation, which goes towards cancer research, education, and care. The Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction is responsible for $3.5 million dollars of that amount. The 2010 gross was $600,000 from the live auction lots alone.*

Napa Valley, California’s Michael Polenske owner of  Blackbird Vineyards will serve as the 2011 Vintner Chair; Lail Vineyards, Schramsberg Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, Jonata, Quintessa, Flowers, Revana Family Vineyards, Darioush, Morlet Family Vineyards, Skipstone Ranch Vineyards, Jones Family Vineyards, Reynolds Family Vineyards, Jackson Family Wines will all be included as Vintner Partners.

Private Vintner Dinners take place on Wednesday  May 4th 2011 7:00pm,  followed by the Wine Auction & Derby Gala on Thursday,  May 5th 2011  6:00pm.

*Last year’s Live Lot packages included Haute Invitation! A trip to NY Fashion Week with tickets to join (and be outfitted by) Badgley Mischka, Private Jet Travel to NY, Broadway Tickets to Tony Award Winning “Next to Normal” with a backstage meet & greet with Tony winner Alice Ripley, dinner for four at Gramercy Tavern, accommodations at The Palace Hotel, and fashion tips from an InStyle Magazine fashion editor, to name just one!

What are your favorite things to do in Kentucky?

A horseback riding vacation in Lexington, Kentucky
A horseback riding vacation in Lexington, Kentucky

If You Go:

Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction

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