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KY Tourism, Arts and Heritage Foundation Receives $1 Million Endowment Gift



Endowment Gift will Benefit the World’s Championship Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair

The Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Foundation is thrilled to announce that it has received an endowment gift of $1 million from William Blacklaw of Oregon City, Oregon, which will be used to establish the “Barbara Blacklaw Memorial Fund” to benefit the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show. 

The endowment will be invested in an interest-bearing account. Accrued interest on the endowment will be disbursed annually, commencing in August 2019, to provide additional prize money to the owners of ribbon winners of the Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship competition held on the final night of the World’s Championship Horse Show each year.

“We cannot thank Mr. Blacklaw enough for his generosity in providing this significant donation to our newly-established foundation,” said Don Parkinson, Secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. “It is a wonderful tribute to Mr. Blacklaw’s late wife that is certain to enhance the World’s Championship Horse Show.”

Mr. Blacklaw and his late wife Barbara established Singing Hills Stables as an American Saddlebred horse breeding and training facility in 1968, which is recognized as one of the country’s premier Saddlebred establishments, with locations in Oregon and in Shelby County, Kentucky.  Mr. Blacklaw and his late wife shared a love of the American Saddlebred, and Mr. Blacklaw hopes that the establishment of the Fund will serve to promote excitement and enthusiasm for the Grand Championship event and the breed in general.

“I am greatly appreciative that Mr. William Blacklaw chose the World’s Championship Horse Show to honor his late wife, Barbara, with the creation of the Barbara Blacklaw Memorial Fund,” said Scarlett Mattson, Manager of the World’s Championship Horse Show. “This endowment, through the Horse Show, recognizes the American Saddlebred Horse and its importance to the state of Kentucky.” 

David Beck, CEO of Kentucky Venues, which owns and produces the Kentucky State Fair and the World’s Championship Horse Show, commented that “We are so appreciative of Mr. Blacklaw’s generous gift, as it will further enhance the experience for competitors at the World’s Championship Horse Show.”

“The Foundation is honored to facilitate the establishment of the Barbara Blacklaw Memorial Fund, which will be a meaningful legacy for the World’s Championship Horse Show and the American Saddlebred industry for generations to come,” said Tandy Patrick, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Foundation board member.

The Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization formed in 2018 to serve visitors, communities and the Commonwealth of Kentucky through monetary or in-kind donations to the Tourism Cabinet’s agencies such as Kentucky Venues.

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