The Lexington Junior League Horse Show, with its high-stepping horses, red-coated ringmasters and upbeat organ music, has been an annual staple at the Red Mile for 73 years.
Now the event, which kicked off Monday night, is exploring a move to the Kentucky Horse Park.
"It has to be a possibility," said Laurel Martin, this year's show chairwoman.
But Martin emphasized that the show will stay right where it has always been if that's what its advisory board, box holders, trainers and others want.
"We have generations of people who have shown here and won here," she said. "It's very sentimental here."
The show, billed as the largest outdoor Saddlebred show in the world, is the first leg of the Triple Crown for Saddlebreds, Martin said.
Bret Day, of Grey Ridge Farm in Versailles, has been coming to the show since he was a child, and he said its format has changed little since then.
"This show probably has the nostalgia and history to it more than any other show in the nation," he said. "It thrives on romance. ... It makes people feel like they're stepping back in time a little bit."
Parker Lovell of Cash Lovell Stables in Winston Salem, N.C., said her husband's family has been showing horses at the Red Mile for three generations.
"He can't remember a time in his life when he wasn't here in July," she said.
On Wednesday, the couple's 6-year-old daughter, Cashlynn, will show here for the first time.
"For the girls to have a chance to ride on this historic track, it's really a memory that they will keep with them for a lifetime," she said. "They'll be on the rail tonight, scrutinizing every movement and trying to master the Red Mile."
In the meantime, children prance in circles "playing horse show," taking turns pretending to be the judges, handing out paper ribbons as prizes.
On Monday afternoon, Parker Lovell, like most of the stable owners setting up for the week, had put up colorful bunting around the outside of the barn that her group will use. Ferns were hung from the eaves, fresh sawdust covered the dirt, and a table was set up with cookies, chips and bottled water.
"Horse people live like gypsies," she said, noting that they want to make the barn as much like a "home away from home" as possible for the clients whose horses they train.
As the Lovell family settled in, Emily Wallingford Marshall of Maysville waxed her wagon in preparation for the night's competition.
She had started the day washing her mare at 8:30 a.m. After arriving at the track, she spent nearly three hours cleaning her horse's harness, and she had several hours of work left after that.
"You go in the ring and you're in there 10 minutes," Marshall said.
But there's a payoff for all the work, even if it doesn't come in the form of a ribbon and purse.
"Once I get in there, it's all adrenaline rush," she said. "It's complete fun."