Keeneland Library celebrates 80 years

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Overlooking an iconic track, record setting sales pavilion and stalls housing some of the finest thoroughbreds around is a stately yet slightly inconspicuous building that’s home to one of the most expansive collections of thoroughbred literature in the world.

You might not even notice the Keeneland Library, located just up the road on the right on the way to the track, but once inside, there’s a good chance you’ll get caught up in its magic.

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Open year round, the library us celebrating it’s 80th Anniversary.

According to director Becky Ryder, it’s the most comprehensive thoroughbred library that’s open to the public and freely offers its services, “We have researchers from around the world that need detailed information data photographs stories the whole one yards.”

A special aspect of the library is that its specifically constructed to preserve and protect about 6000 bound volumes of the daily racing form dating back from 1896.

Every time anyone searches through those vaults, they’re reminded again of the extent of information at their disposal. Ryder adds, “You might have overlooked it before, but now that they have a specific research request it all comes alive again.”

However, they don’t only accommodate the leading authors, experts and historians. “Then we have someone who just comes in and wants to see the biography of a horse like cigar.” Ryder goes on and says,  “Some famous horse that they really love and we can take them over there  and pull out a book about native dancer or man o war and they’re happy.”

Everyone is invited to come enjoy the many resources including guest speakers and rotating exhibits throughout the year.

With the thoroughbred industry currently thriving, it’s important to respect and understand it’s storied past, track it’s progress and picture the wide open future of racing, and it’s all there within the limestone walls of the Keeneland Library.

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Amber grew up on the beaches of the Space Coast of Florida, but comes to Lexington from the Western Slope of Colorado, where she was the evening news anchor for the CBS affiliate in town. The change from flip flops to snow boots was a major culture shock, but she fell in love with the mountains, beautiful scenery, amazing people and endless opportunities to explore the western terrain. However, as a Gator and graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, she’s excited to be in Kentucky and back in SEC territory. She feels fortunate to have spent almost two decades working in various aspects all across the country in the world of television. From news to film, TV, and commercials, Amber has always loved the close connection the industry provides with the community and enjoys bringing breaking news to viewer’s homes, helping keep everyone aware of what’s happening. Telling people’s stories is her passion, and she’s learned everyone has something interesting to contribute, and many of the best lessons come from the most unlikely sources. While in Colorado, she covered a variety of stories, including the major changes, issues and solutions as medicinal and recreational marijuana are introduced across America. Like many Lexington residents, horses are Amber’s first love, and she’s so happy to be living in the Horse Capital of the World. Equine Science was actually her initial college major, with the intentions of becoming a veterinarian, so she has the utmost respect for everyone in the industry. She was a member of the University of Florida’s Equestrian team, Block and Bridle Club, and grew up riding and showing horses. She was extremely active in the 4-H Equine Horse Judging and Hippology programs and even competed at the Kentucky Horse Park on various occasions. Amber can’t wait to get involved in anything and everything horse related in the area. Her other hobbies include running, dancing, traveling, hiking, exploring, reading and art. She loves sports and can’t wait to attend games here in town. Amber loves meeting new people and trying new things. Traveling the world has inspired a list of what to do, where to go next, and what adventures await. She’s hoping to jump right into the Lexington lifestyle! Please send any and all ideas and thoughts for stories, things to do and try, etc etc and connect with her on both Facebook and Twitter: @AmberFreemanTV or email at Afreeman@wtvq.com.