Louisville man behind handmade equipment for the biggest names in horse racing
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A quick glance at Kenny Luckett's hands reveals evidence of years of hard work. The Louisville native has been making equipment for races horses at Churchill Downs for 37 years.
"We sell reigns, halters, bridles and anything a horseman would need," Luckett said.
Luckett's shop is on 4th Street, in the shadows of the legendary track. You can see the big board from the front of his store.
"My mother was a seamstress," Luckett said. "I started sewing when I was real young. She made dance costumes."
Luckett now makes tack for some of the most famous trainers in the business.
"I do work for Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, Steve Margolis and just about everybody at the track," Luckett said.
You might recognize some of his work featured on Oaks and Derby horses.
"Churchill buys each Derby horse a halter and each Oaks horse a halter," Luckett explained. "I put a plaque on it that says Kentucky Derby or Oaks 143."
Luckett has made name plaques for thousands of horses over the years, but he didn't hesitate when asked about his favorite.
"American Pharoah! We did a bunch of halters for him and they would take them and put them on him for just a little bit of time. They would then auction them off. One of the halters sold for $8,000."
It's hard to see Luckett's trademark seal when the horses flash by on the track. But if you see a horse in the paddock or after a race, look for Luckett's signature mark stamped in the leather. That's how you'll know that it was made right here in Louisville.