Horses and Hope

A new initiative of Horses and Hope will go beyond breast cancer
to serve both men and women with mobile screening and education
for many cancers. Kentucky ranks first in the nation for cancer deaths,
and has the second highest incidence rate for all cancer sites.
This new prevention and early detection program
will focus on Kentuckians most at risk.


Horses and Hope is a breast cancer initiative of the Office of the First Lady and the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP). The goal is to work with the state’s equine industry to identify new opportunities to provide breast cancer awareness, education, early detection through screening and treatment referral, as well as to raise funds to sustain programs into the future.

The project will initially focus on Kentucky’s four thoroughbred race tracks to provide education and outreach for race fans and track workers and will be expanded to include other Kentucky equestrian venues into the future.


Office of the First Lady, Jane Beshear
Jane Beshear has continued the legacy of Kentucky First Ladies to support breast cancer initiatives for the Commonwealth. In keeping with her interest of horses, she has chosen to build on her relationships in the equine industry to deliver breast cancer education and services to the workers in the horse industry and their families. She has convened a group of women horse owners, trainers, jockeys, race track representatives and others to serve on her committee called the Pink Stable.

Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP)
The Kentucky Cancer Program is the state mandated cancer control program jointly administered by the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. The mission is to reduce cancer incidence and mortality by promoting and coordinating cancer education, research and service programs through 12 regional offices located across the state. KCP has collaborated with Kentucky First Ladies for almost 15 years on breast cancer initiatives for the state.

Project Supporters

Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program
The Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program is a state and federally funded program which provides low cost and no cost breast cancer screening to low income women through local health departments. Individuals diagnosed through the program are eligible for treatment through Medicaid.

Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund
The Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund is a non-profit charitable organization that covers select medical services including breast cancer screening and treatment for eligible individuals employed in Kentucky thoroughbred racing. It is funded by unclaimed pari-mutuel tickets generated at the state’s thoroughbred race tracks.

Kentucky’s Equine Industry
Select members of Kentucky’s equine industry have already made a commitment to provide financial and in-kind support of Horses and Hope. The First Lady and her Pink Stable will continue to engage additional individuals/groups and new resources.

Breast Cancer Related Organizations/Businesses
Organizations and businesses with a vested interest in breast cancer will be invited to participate in Horses and Hope activities as opportunities arise.

Project Activities

During the first year, the project will feature two special events and fundraising at each of Kentucky’s four thoroughbred race tracks as follows:

Breast Cancer Race Days
First Lady Jane Beshear, the Pink Stable, and KCP will work together to coordinate special breast cancer awareness and education days.

Backside Outreach: Breast Cancer Education and Screening
KCP will employ and train part-time outreach workers to provide brief one-on-one interventions, group education and screening referrals to track workers and their families, placing special emphasis on the uninsured and underinsured. KCP will promote opportunities to link women with screening resources such as mobile mammography, the Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program through local health departments, and the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund.