Horse Country: Preakness Goes Danish

by Editorial

Denmark chosen to host the International Pavilion at the Preakness Stakes, May 19 in Baltimore.
By John Arundel

The welcoming committee at the International Pavilion at The Preakness in May, 2011. Photo by John Arundel.

The City of Baltimore and its storied race course Pimlico may be  4,000 miles from Denmark’s colorful capital city of Copenhagen, but a merger of sorts is on the way as The Maryland Jockey Club has selected Denmark as the host nation of its third International Pavilion at the Preakness, taking place Saturday, May 19.

Anyone who’s ever been to Denmark can probably see behind the reasons: Its capital city is the oldest kingdom in the world, offering countless opportunities for exploration of tourist hot spots like Tivoli Gardens and its 110,000 twinkling lamps and 400,000 fresh flowers in springtime, and places farther afield like Kronborg Palace, the famous setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. There’s also The National Museum and Rosenborg Palace in Helsingor, which houses the fabulous Danish Crown Jewels.

Building on the successes of the 2010 and 2011 International Pavilion, hosted respectively by the Embassy of Spain and Ambassador Jorge Dezcallar, followed by the Embassy of Mexico and Ambassador Sarukhan, organizers say the 2012 International Pavilion will showcase the cultural richness, vast traditions and delicacies of Denmark in a setting truly fitting for the “Sport of Kings.”

With this designation, the Embassy of Denmark and its Ambassador Peter Taksoe-Jensen will serve as honorary hosts welcoming distinguished guests and dignitaries to historic Pimlico Race Course for the 137th annual running of the storied Preakness Stakes.

“In just two short years, the Pavilion has become the premier destination at Pimlico on Preakness Day and we’re delighted to partner with the Embassy of Denmark and Ambassador Taksoe-Jensen in bringing the international community to the annual running of the Preakness,” said Tom Chuckas, president of the Maryland Jockey Club.

The Jockey Club was founded in 1743, which makes it North America’s oldest sporting association. After 269 years it remains the corporate name of Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, which opened in 1870, and is home to the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing’s famed Triple Crown.

“I am proud and excited about this opportunity for Denmark to showcase our country, our culture, and our business strengths at this historic event,” Taksoe-Jensen said. “Our goal is to make the International Pavilion the shiniest element of the ‘middle jewel’ of the Triple Crown at the Preakness Stakes.”

The International Pavilion is an “invitation only” hospitality destination catering to prominent leaders in business, culture and politics.Each year a different country is selected to serve as the Host Nation of the International Pavilion, with its respective Ambassador serving as Honorary Host.As such, the chosen embassy is accorded the opportunity to promote its culture, cuisine, and business in a relaxed environment that encourages cooperation and conviviality.

The 137th running of the Preakness Stakes takes place on Saturday, May 19.

The view from the finish line at the International Pavilion at The Preakness. Photo by John Arundel.

Fashion abloom at Pimlico. Photo by John Arundel.

Pimlico on its biggest race day of the year. Photo by John Arundel.

For more information on sponsorships or tickets, call Jim Learned at (202) 380-3229 or log on to

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