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    The Historic Seelbach Hilton today announced the first-ever Old Friends Along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail dinner and bourbon tasting to benefit the famed haven for retired thoroughbred racehorses.

    The inaugural event will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 28, at the hotel, 500 South Fourth Street in downtown Louisville. Tickets are $100 per person, and the hotel is offering a reduced room rate of $75 for the night.

    “This will be a great match of two of our state’s signature industries, bourbon and horses,” said Jon McFarland, the Seelbach’s general manager. “It’s going to be one of Louisville’s premiere events while helping such a dignified, worthy cause.”

    Old Friends Equine, located in Georgetown, Kentucky, is a home for at-risk thoroughbreds whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. Among the many champions are the great sprinter Ogygian and Eclipse winners Sunshine Forever and The Wicked North.

    “I can’t think of a better way to spend a night in Kentucky,” said Michael Blowen, President and Founder of Old Friends. “Great bourbon, unforgettable horse tales and a world-class hotel. And it all goes to help these great Kentucky athletes.”

    A live auction will include equine art, horse racing memorabilia and much more. Each guest will receive a commemorative Kentucky Bourbon Trail/Old Friends rocks glass from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail links eight of the state’s legendary distilleries and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

    The evening begins in The Seelbach’s famous Rathskellar, the only surviving Rookwood-Pottery room in the world. Seven of Kentucky’s Master Distillers will be there to offer samples of the Commonwealth’s finest bourbon.

    They are: Harlen Wheatley of Buffalo Trace; Jim Rutledge of Four Roses; Parker and Craig Beam of Heaven Hill; Fred Noe of Jim Beam; Kevin Smith of Maker’s Mark; Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey and Chris Morris of Woodford Reserve.

    Blowen, KDA President Eric Gregory and Larry Johnson, the Seelbach’s celebrity historian, will all be on-hand to discuss the event and their respective Kentucky treasures.

    Bourbon-inspired appetizers will be served, followed by a magnificent dinner in The Oakroom. The menu, prepared by Chef de Cuisine Nicole Walker, in the only AAA Five-Diamond restaurant in the region, will be a bourbon-inspired feast which will be followed by dessert and live auction in the Rathskellar. Bluegrass and other regional music will be played by Steve Cooley and Mike Shroeder.

    First Course


    Sweet Potato Bisque

      Topped with Bourbon Smoked Goat Cheese Flan

    Bourbon Cr


    me Fraiche

    Pancetta Brittle

    Main Course

    Kurobota Pork Shank 

       With Anson Mills Polenta

    Heirloom Winter Vegetables

       With Bourbon Reduction

    Bourbon Roasted Apples



    Oakroom Chocolate Bourbon Bread Pudding

       With Fee Brothers Orange Bitters For more information, call (502) 807-3463 or go to

    In addition to the special reduced room night, there will be an after-hours party in The Old Seelbach Bar featuring jazz musician Dick Sisto. Sunday brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $29 per person.


    For more information on Old Friends Equine, call (502) 863-1775 or go to The farm is open daily to tourists by appointment.

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