Press Release

Tara Guenthner Named Executive Director of 2018 Louisville Breeders' Cup Host Committee

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 6, 2018)The Louisville Breeders’ Cup Host Committee today announced that Tara Guenthner, Chief Inspiration Offer of Hipp Inspired, a full-service meeting planning and event design management firm, has been appointed the executive director for the Host Committee.

The Louisville Breeders’ Cup Host Committee is comprised of diverse leaders from the public and private sectors who are responsible for coordinating and creating partnerships and events surrounding the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will take place in Louisville on November 2 and 3. As executive director, Guenthner and her team at Hipp Inspired will oversee the local Host Committee in designing and managing the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Festival, a week-long series of events and activations that will culminate in the running of the 35th annual World Championships. Working closely with the directors of participating equestrian, hospitality, and sponsor organizations, the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Breeders’ Cup, and Churchill Downs, Guenthner and the Host Committee will work to produce a seamless and cohesive calendar of events.

Equestricon, a fan-centric convention exploring the world of Thoroughbred racing, and the Thoroughbred Owner Conference, produced by OwnerView, are among the events that will launch a week of exciting activities. Several charitable events, including Jocktails, benefitting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, and The Breeders’ Cup Bash, benefitting Thoroughbred Charities of America, are also scheduled.

“I look forward to working with the Louisville Breeders’ Cup Host Committee to welcome the Breeders’ Cup back to Louisville,” said Guenthner. “We’ve begun working with many in the community to prepare for an enjoyable week of events and we look forward to announcing our plans in the near future.”

Guenthner joins a distinguished party of Host Committee Co-Chairs, including Jonathan Blue, chairman and managing director of Louisville's Blue Equity; Bruce Lunsford, chairman and CEO of Lunsford Capital; Dr. J. David Richardson, professor and vice chairman of surgery for the University of Louisville Physicians and Surgery; and Alex Rankin, chairman of Sterling G. Thompson Co. and newly elected chairman of the Churchill Downs Inc. board of directors.

“With an impeccable track record of producing unparalleled events in Louisville and beyond, Tara was an obvious choice to lead this year’s Breeders’ Cup Festival as executive director, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the team,” said Blue. “With a clear and ambitious vision, we are confident that Tara and our Host Committee will deliver the most exciting Breeders’ Cup Festival yet.”

The Louisville Sports Commission, led by Karl Schmitt, will be responsible for Breeders’ Cup Festival sponsorship sales. A variety of packages have been created to allow for full community participation. For information on sponsorships, please call Julie Howell at (502) 587-6742.

About Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races (13 Grade 1 events) with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held November 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Hipp Inspired

Hipp Inspired is a full-service meeting planning and event design and management firm based in Louisville, Kentucky. With years of experience in the meeting, event, and hospitality industries, Hipp Inspired has an impressive roster of past and current sports related clients, including Keeneland, the PGA of America, and the United States Golf Association. Hipp Inspired also services a roster of clients in the healthcare industry, including Louisville-based pharmaceutical companies US WorldMeds and HEMA Biologics.

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