LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation recently announced the creation of a Professionals' Circle Program and Rider Ambassador Program, both of which are sponsored by sport horse enthusiast Jacqueline B. Mars.

Through the Professionals' Circle Program, members can offer monetary contributions as well as their time toward supporting Grayson's work and research. Stakeholders and fans from all aspects of the equestrian industry are welcome to join.

As part of the Rider Ambassador Program, equestrians representing all disciplines, from Thoroughbred racing to show jumping to driving, are invited to promote Grayson's mission through social media as well as at events and horse shows. Ambassadors will educate their respective equestrian communities about Grayson's efforts and how the research supported by the foundation benefits all horses.

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"We are grateful to Ms. Mars for sponsoring this program, which will allow individuals to spread awareness about Grayson's work to improve the lives of horses of all breeds and disciplines, including the sport horse community," said Jamie Haydon, president of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. "The launch of these programs coincided with the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows in Lexington, Kentucky, and reflects how Grayson-funded research has a wide-ranging impact on the equine community."

Ambassador Margie Engle said, "I am honored to do whatever I can to support the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation. Their work is so beneficial in striving to better the lives of horses in our industry. I believe they are doing a great thing and I am honored to support anything that benefits the health of the horses."

Mike Smith added, "When I think about all that horses have done for me, it seems natural to help give back to them through my support of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. This organization has great past performances in identifying and funding research projects designed by experts to help keep horses sound and healthy and to treat them when they do have problems."

Individuals who are interested in participating in the Professionals' Circle Program or Rider Ambassador Program should contact Holly White at hwhite@jockeyclub.com or 859-224-2842.

Jacqueline B. Mars has been involved with sport horses and the equestrian world for more than four decades. She has been associated with top sport horses including Giltedge, Prince Panache, and Harbour Pilot. Her grandmother Ethel Veronica Mars owned Gallahadion, the 1940 Kentucky Derby winner.

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is traditionally the nation's leading source of private funding for equine medical research that benefits all breeds of horses. Since 1983, the foundation has provided more than $27.5 million to fund 366 projects at 44 universities in North America and overseas. Additional information about the foundation is available at www.grayson-jockeyclub.org

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