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Keeneland Library opens new exhibit: The Heart of the Turf - Racing's Black Pioneers

Samantha Lederman

A new exhibit celebrating Black Americans' significant and unsung contributions to Thoroughbred Racing opens at the Keeneland Library Thursday and WUKY’s Samantha Lederman paid a visit to find out more.

Library Director Becky Ryder tells me the exhibit will run until the end of August, and will then exist in perpetuity online. She hopes schools and local community groups will visit, and the library is already making plans to adapt the components into a mobile exhibit to further increase it’s exposure.

Those four hall of farmers are jockeys Isaac Murphy and Jimmy Winkfield, trainer Ansel Williamson and trainer/owner Ed Brown.

Samantha Lederman

Greg Harbut, a bloodstock agent, Kentucky Horse Racing Commissioner, co-owner of Living The Dream Racing Stable and Chair of the Ed Brown Society has a personal connection to the exhibit

Ron Hill has worked for Keeneland Sales as a Ring Man for 24 years. The person holding the horse when the gavel drops - that’s Ron, and it’s a deceptively skilled position that takes years of experience and a certain innate quality to pull off.

Samantha Lederman

Hill has traveled the world with horses, and he has come to the Library today with his wife, who he met while working, with horses, in Japan for a year. He is delighted with the exhibit.

The Keeneland Library, nestled just behind the Keene Entertainment Barn on “The Hill” is open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm and is free and open to the public.

Listeners might remember Lederman and her English accent from when she was a morning news anchor on WUKY from 1999 to 2001.