Jockeys and other giants of horse racing will meet fans and participate in signing events. | Photo by Eclipses Sports Wire

Equestricon, a public event that’s a blend of trade show, convention and fan festival, is coming to Louisville this October, coinciding with the return of the Breeders’ Cup to Churchill Downs.

“It’s really just a big celebration of racing,” said Dan Tordjamn, a co-founder of the event.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet prominent jockeys and other horse racing professionals. Equestricon also has lined up an autograph signing with the team behind recent Triple Crown winner Justify, including trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith, and a photo opportunity with Justify’s trophies. Proceeds from those two events will go to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

“We are so excited to share the thrill of winning that with the fans,” said Bethany Wurl, public and client relations manager with WinStar Farm.

Equestricon also will include a trade show with more than 100 racing organizations, racetracks and farms, as well as racing and equine products, fashion brands and an array of services for sale.

The event will be held from Oct. 29-30 at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Tickets, which are already on sale, are $10 for adults per day. Also available are $65 two-day passes with access to additional events.

Tordjman said organizers chose to host Equestricon at the convention center in a big part because of the $207-million renovation that is slated to wrap up by Aug 1. An official grand opening for the convention center is set for Aug. 6.

“We said ‘This is showtime; this is exactly where we want to be,’ ” he said.

The event, which is only in its second year — its first in tandem with Breeders’ Cup, will have an estimated economic impact of $460,000 on top of the Breeders’ Cup’s estimated impact of $70.8 million.

Tordjman called the Breeders’ Cup “the Super Bowl of horse racing.”

During its first year, Equestricon attracted attendees from 34 states and six countries. Tordjman said tickets sales have already matched those from 2017.

Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]


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