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At Keeneland every April and October—in the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington, Kentucky—thoroughbred racing is showcased at the highest level, drawing the world’s best horses and jockeys to one of the world’s most beautiful race courses.

On April 23rd at this Proven Winner’s LIFE+STYLE event, hosted by Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens, you will enjoy Keeneland’s beautiful grounds, eat delicious food throughout the day, learn from some the country’s best authorities on both gardening and stylish ways to entertain in your garden. To top off the day, from the Lexington Room on the 4th floor of the grandstand you will enjoy the BEST view of this picturesque setting for a day at the races. Those participating in this event will also have an option to join us in a cocktail reception at historic Botherum on the 22nd.


Wednesday, April 22 ~ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Historic Botherum ~ 341 Madison Place Lexington, KY
Private Cocktail Party for attendees of the LIFE + STYLE presentations

Price: $50 per person


If you would like to attend all four events as a single guest ($450.00) register here.
Cocktail Parties additional $50.00 per event.

Thursday, April 23 ~ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Keeneland ~ Lexington, KY
LIFE + STYLE presentations

NOTE: Strict Dress Code!

Price: $125.00 per person
Table of Eight ~ $900.00 (10% savings)


  • Breakfast ~ Featuring recipes from Canal House.
  • Inspiring lifestyle presentations.
  • Lunch ~ Drinks not included.
  • Races ~ Drinks not included.
  • Incredible swag bag!


Wednesday, April 22
April 22, 2015 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Private Cocktail Party ~ Tour of Proven Winners Southern Test Garden

Historic Botherum

Exclusive to Keeneland attendees.
Seating is limited!

Thursday, April 23
April 23, 2015 7:45 am - 8:30 am

Continental Breakfast

April 23, 2015 8:30 am - 8:45 am

Marshall Dirks ~ Great New Plants for 2015

April 23, 2015 8:45 am - 9:00 am

Bill Thomason ~ President of Keeneland

April 23, 2015 9:00 am - 9:30 am

Jon Carloftis ~ Proven Winners Favorites

April 23, 2015 9:30 am - 9:45 am


April 23, 2015 9:45 am - 10:15 am

Marshall Dirks ~ How Plants Become Proven Winners

April 23, 2015 10:15 am - 10:45 am

Janna and Ashley Pemberton ~ Patio Gardening and Gardening Trends

April 23, 2015 10:45 am - 11:15 am

Tim Wood ~ Color Choice Flowering Shrubs

April 23, 2015 11:15 am - 11:45 am

Patrick Howard ~ Keeneland Floral Designer

April 23, 2015 11:45 am - 12:15 pm

Rob Samuels ~ Maker’s Mark

April 23, 2015 12:15 pm - 12:30 pm

Guide to Betting

April 23, 2015 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Lunch Buffet ~ Lexington Room

April 23, 2015 1:05 pm - 5:00 pm



Jon Carloftis

Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens

Garden Topics:

Proven Winners Favorites

Kentucky native, Jon Carloftis, award-winning garden designer, garden writer, television guest, author, and lecturer, is a great American gardener. His career in gardening began in 1988, far from home in New York City where he became one of America’s pioneers and leading authorities in rooftop/small space gardening. 

Jon grew up on the banks of the Rockcastle River in South Central Kentucky, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It was there he began a love affair with nature. Jon is the owner of the Rockcastle River Trading Company, a popular home and garden store located on his family’s property in Livingston, Kentucky.  The beautiful gardens, designed by Jon, that surround the Carloftis home and store have been featured in Story, Sophisticated Living, BMW Magazine, Country Home, Garden & Gun, Outdoor Rooms, and Southern Living.

Be sure to check out the article on historic Botherum in the April 2015 issue of Southern Living!

Rob Samuels – COO Maker’s Mark

Maker's Mark

Garden Topics:

The Distinctive Craft and Heritage of Maker's Mark

The Samuels Family has been producing whisky longer than any other family in the world. Rob Samuels is continuing the family legacy as an 8th generation bourbon distiller and upholding the traditions of craft and quality established by his father, Bill Samuels, Jr., and grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr. – the founder of Maker’s Mark.

Rob has spent time working every job at the distillery; from the milling, cooking and fermentation of the grains to distillation, warehousing, bottling and even the dipping line where every bottle gets its signature red wax seal. All of this experience has given him a unique understanding of the distinctive craft and heritage that is the legacy of Maker’s Mark.

In 2010, he was appointed COO of Maker’s Mark, taking over the reins from his father, Chairman Emeritus Bill Samuels, Jr., in overseeing the leadership, guardianship and marketing of Maker’s Mark.

Bill Thomason

President of Keeneland

Garden Topics:

Thoroughbred Racing

Bill Thomason became the seventh President and CEO of Keeneland on September 1, 2012.

He is a member of The Jockey Club, a Trustee of the American Horse Council, and a board member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA), Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB), Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Foundation, Kentucky Chamber, Central Kentucky Chapter of the American Heart Association and Central Bank Lexington’s Advisory Board of Directors. He formerly served as the assistant treasurer for the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders and was a member of the audit committee of Breeders’ Cup Limited. Thomason also previously served as treasurer of the Thoroughbred Club of America.

Tim Wood

Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.

Garden Topics:

Color Choice Flowering Shrubs

I work for Spring Meadow Nursery and I travel the world looking for new plants for the Proven Winners plant brand. I’m a 3rd generation plants-man that started on my father’s nursery at 8. Tired of hard work I set off to Michigan State and Youngstown St. My on the job training came at Longwood Gardens, The Arnold Arboretum at Harvard, the Chicago Botanic Garden, Kingwood Center & Zelenka Nursery. Then with a bit of luck, I landed this sweet job. I have articles and photographs in nursery and gardening magazines, hosted a radio show and published 3 books; Tree and Shrub Gardening for Michigan, The Best Garden Plants and Gardening Month by Month. I have a passion to share my love and knowledge of plants with others – that’s you. Thanks for joining me.

Janna and Ashley Pemberton

Pemberton's Greenhouses

Garden Topics:

Patio Gardening and Other Gardening Trends

Pemberton’s Greenhouses, a sixth generation family-owned business, serves the retail and wholesale bedding plant market in Lexington, Kentucky. Located inside the circle off Georgetown Road, Pemberton’s offers annuals, tropicals, house plants, poinsettias, and related containers and supplies. Pemberton’s also provides winter plant storage, custom container design and planting, plant rental, delivery services, and contract growing. As some of the most respected growers in the region, Pemberton’s will help you get the right plants in the right places. At the LIFE + STYLE event at Keeneland.

Marshall Dirks

Proven Winners

Garden Topics:

Great New Plants for 2015 ~ How a Plant Becomes a Proven Winners

Marshall Dirks will bring his enthusiasm, humor and 20+ years of experience with Proven Winners products to “center stage” at the Keeneland LIFE + STYLE event.  As the second employee hired by Proven Winners, he is technically in charge of marketing and public relations. All the plant geeks who surround him are turning him into a passionate gardener!



If any of your questions cannot be answered here, don’t hesitate to contact Proven Winners via the contact form below.

You may also contact us at:

Phone: 815-899-1973


When and Where will the LIFE + STYLE Event be held?

Wednesday venue:

April 22
Private Cocktail Party
Historic Botherum
Lexington, KY

Thursday venue:

April 23
4201 Versailles Road
Lexington, Kentucky 40510

What is the cost of the LIFE + STYLE Events?

Day Event: $125.00 per person

Table of Eight: $900.00 (10% savings)


Will I receive a ticket for the LIFE + STYLE Event?

No, tickets are not mailed. You will receive an email confirmation once you have completed registration.

A name tag will be waiting for you when you provide your name at the door!

What if I register and for some reason can’t come?

Your registration is transferable.

To transfer your seat to another guest, please call the Proven Winners office at 815-899-1973 and we will be happy to change the name on the registration.


Recommended Hotel Accommodations

Double Tree Suites
2601 Richmond Road
Lexington, KY 40508

Hyatt Regency
401 W High Street
Lexington, KY 40507

369 West Vine Street
Lexington, KY 40507

Campbell House
1375 S Broadway
Lexington, KY 40504

Gratz Park Inn
120 West Second Street
Lexington, KY 40507

What is the dress attire?


Men – Coat + Tie.
Women – Dress or dress slacks.
All – No denim or athletic attire.


Are there options for my dietary requirements?

A vegetarian meal option is available. You can make that choice when you register at Proven Winners.

Will there be special accommodations for those with physical limitations?

All locations are handicapped accessible.


Looking For More to do in Lexington?


Historic Botherum directions.

Keeneland directions.

Keeneland map