To our customers:
First, I’d like to thank everyone who has been so kind and welcoming as I transition into my new role with Keeneland. This is both a privilege and a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I very much look forward to working alongside our team to support your needs as we move into the fall season and into the future.
Over the course of the summer, the Keeneland team has been working diligently on the operational plans for the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. From expanding our bidding opportunities to building our safety protocols, we are leveraging the full resources of the Keeneland team to deliver for our customers.
While Keeneland is excited to unveil our full portfolio of remote bidding options, we continue to work closely with state and federal government officials, including representatives of both Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressmen Andy Barr, to seek exceptions to allow international travelers to attend the September Sale. Just as we have done for 80+ years, Keeneland will exhaust every measure possible to bring the world to Keeneland.
Keeneland September COVID-19 Testing:
We have also received a number of questions regarding COVID-19 testing during the September Sale. We will be communicating final plans very soon, and are working in concert with health and government officials as well as Fasig-Tipton to deliver consistent and reliable protocols and testing. Keeneland’s continued commitment to safety and our compliance with the Governor’s Healthy at Work standards allow us the opportunity to operate our auctions and race meets. It is for this reason that we will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival at the sale (which will need to have been completed within the last five days). If a participant does not have proof of a negative test, we have made arrangements for onsite testing at Keeneland. As we have all experienced, information available with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic changes frequently, and we may need to update and amend our protocols accordingly.
Keeneland Remote Bidding/Inspection Opportunities:
Whether you wish to attend in person or you find yourself unable to travel, Keeneland is providing our customers a number of ways to prepare and participate in the September Sale remotely. We strongly encourage buyers to familiarize themselves with these tools and take a few minutes to set up your account and establish credit within the Keeneland Sales Portal.
- Online Bidding: This service will fully integrate with the live auction environment, providing live video with enhanced speed that allows for a real-time bidding experience as the sale is occurring.
- Phone Bidding: Keeneland has expanded its existing phone bidding program to accommodate for expected increased demand in 2020.
- Walking Videos: Keeneland’s online catalog will offer the capability to showcase walking videos for any yearling selling in the September Sale, allowing buyers to access and view virtual inspections from anywhere.
The health and safety of our customers is our top priority. With that goal, Keeneland also has expanded our on-site bidding options to provide additional bidding locations beyond the sales arena and back ring to allow for further social distancing. We look forward to sharing these details with you in the coming weeks.
Before closing, and with a heavy heart, we acknowledge the passing of our own Katherine McKee on Monday. As previous Manager of Keeneland’s Horsemen Hospitality and most recent Director of Racing Administration, Katherine has been a part of the Keeneland journey alongside many of you. We will always cherish the legacy of her dedication and love for horsemen and her Keeneland family. Although she battled advanced melanoma for nearly three years, many of you may have been unaware as Katherine’s positive attitude, dignity and grace never wavered. She was an amazing person and friend and will be tremendously missed by all of us.
Shannon B. Arvin