(LEX 18) — Many Kentuckians are remembering Queen Elizabeth II and her many visits to the state as news of her death spreads around the world.
According to state tourism records, Queen Elizabeth II's five visits were from 1984 to 2007, with the vast majority coming in the late '80s and early '90s.
In 1984, she visited Keeneland to celebrate the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, which was the first race named in her honor. Lane's End Farm in Versailles hosted the queen during this visit.
Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin issued the following statement:
"Keeneland joins the world in mourning the loss today of Queen Elizabeth II, a beloved leader with exceptional integrity and an unmatched horsewoman. Queen Elizabeth’s lifelong love for horses and her passion for racing left an indelible legacy on the sport around the world and at Keeneland.
"The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) will be even more special this fall as we honor her memory and celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
"Keeneland extends its deepest condolences to her family and her Country."
Back in 2007, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell met with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the White House for the State Dinner.
Also pictured: His Royal Highness Prince Philip - the Duke of Edinburgh, First Lady Laura Bush, President George W. Bush, and McConnell's wife, Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.
"Today all Americans stand with our great friends across the Atlantic in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
"Elaine and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family and to the many millions of people across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and the entire world who have drawn reassurance and inspiration from her historic reign, sterling character, and shining example.
"For 70 long years, from the aftermath of World War II well into the 21st century, across 15 different Prime Ministers, through great triumphs and great challenges, the Queen’s steady leadership safeguarded the land she loved. Despite spending nearly three quarters of a century as one of the most famous and admired individuals on the planet, the Queen made sure her reign was never really about herself — not her fame, not her feelings, not her personal wants or needs. She guided venerable institutions through modern times using timeless virtues like duty, dignity, and sacrifice. She offered our contemporary world a living master class it needed badly.
"The decades of Her Majesty’s reign saw an intense deepening of the special relationship and close bond between the United States and the United Kingdom. The Queen who met sitting President Harry S. Truman as a 25-year-old princess and met a dozen more of our Presidents during her reign presided over an historic strengthening of our nations’ alliance that has changed the course of world history for the better.
"The British people’s loss is the entire world’s loss. We Americans join our friends in prayer, in grief, and in gratitude for such a remarkable leader and such a successful reign."
"I join the world in sadness to hear of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II," said Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton in a statement. "For 70 years, the Queen, the longest-serving monarch in British history, was steadfast, strong, and committed to serving others. She was an admired woman, and a friend of Kentucky and the Bluegrass region. She had a passion for horses and visited our beautiful horse farms on several occasions during her reign. Let us keep her, the royal family, and the British people in our thoughts and prayers."
Kentucky State Auditor Mike Harmon also issued the following statement:
"Like many of us, Queen Elizabeth found Kentucky to be a special and unique place. She paid many visits to our Commonwealth and supported our signature equine industry. I join all Kentuckians in offering our prayers and condolences to her family and her people."