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Why Study The Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is a Historical Event

Thoroughbred racing dates to the middle colonial period and for most of our history it was our most popular sport. The Derby is the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States. 


The Kentucky Derby is a Cultural Event

Over 150,000 people come from around the world to attend the Derby, and tens of millions watch on television. It is our state’s signature event.


The Kentucky Derby is a Economic Event

The most recent economic impact study shows that the Derby has an over $217 million impact on the regional economy. Overall, the horse industry in Kentucky has over a $3 billion impact generating over 55,000 jobs.

The Kentucky Derby is an Athletic Event

Understanding the roles of the jockey and Thoroughbred as athletes, as well as the scientific basis for their performance, helps provide insights and comparisons into human training, nutrition and health.


The Kentucky Derby is about Diversity

From enslaved jockeys who were our first sports "stars" to female jockeys and exercise riders to the large Hispanic workforce on the Backside, Thoroughbred racing is all about diversity.

Our goal is to provide students with an understanding of the Thoroughbred industry in Kentucky, as well as knowledge of the rich cultural history and impact of the Kentucky Derby. We offer a free kids program to all public and parochial schools within the states of Indiana and Kentucky. All our education programs are tailored to meet Core Academic Standards Curriculum Standards.