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    Being the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby comes with a great responsibility in this state.

    In Kentucky, where over 90 percent of the world’s bourbon is made and distilled, bourbon isn’t something anyone takes lightly.

    And, when Woodford Reserve chose Jeaneen Barnhart’s work to grace their commemorative 2010 limited-edition Kentucky Derby bottle, they picked one of the best in the business


    Barnhart’s artistry with horses has been nationally showcased before as her work was featured as the official Kentucky Derby poster twice before.

    She was selected again last year for the 2009 Kentucky Derby poster- the same piece that now covers the Woodford bottle.

    The Kentucky Derby and its affiliations seem like the perfect partnership for Barnhart as she is the premier equestrian artist in the world’s premier equestrian state.


    With Derby week upon us all, Barnhart took a moment with us to let us pick her brain and see her thoughts on her latest accomplishments and what it all means to her.


    Tell us how you felt after hearing news about the Woodford bottle?

    The reaction to Woodford Reserve opportunity was definitely different from Derby Festival Poster because it was completely unexpected! It was post Kentucky Derby season and as the artist for the 2009 Kentucky Derby Festival poster, I moved away from the horses and on to other projects. When I received the news from Brown-Forman, it was like winning a contest that I had no idea I entered! I’ll never forget that moment.


    Who was the first person you told when you found out and why?

    My sister Doreen, of course! I needed her as my designer and supporter. Next person we told was our mother.


    What’s your schedule been like with appearances and bottle signings?

    This past weekend was totally full! I was at two different Party Barn locations,a Party Mart and Prospect Party Center.

    There may be more dates added in the future.


    Are you a bourbon fan?

    After visiting Woodford Reserve Distillery a few years ago, I became a fan!


    Finish this sentence: Horses are…

    THE LIFE of Louisville’s biggest party of the year!


    Tell us what you think of the Kentucky Derby?

    The Kentucky Derby is an event that should be experienced, at least once, by everyone!


    Jeaneen Barnhart is a nationally-acclaimed artist whose work has been featured at art galleries nationwide.

    Find more of her work at and

    Photo: Woodford Reserve

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    Holly Freeland's picture

    About Holly Freeland

    I graduated from Western Kentucky University (GO Tops!) with an English and Journalism degree. I spend my time playing soccer, watching UK basketball, stalking David Beckham and laughing at Chelsea Handler.

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