Free drinks still might flow at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games this fall.
Gov. Steve Beshear said Wednesday he is trying to find a way to allow bourbon distilleries to provide free samples of bourbon at the international event at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
State lawmakers were unable to come to an agreement during last month's special legislative session on a measure to allow the bourbon tastings.
Beshear was asked Wednesday after speaking at the state Future Farmers of America convention in Rupp Arena whether he is considering an executive order or regulation to allow the bourbon samplings at the Games.
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"I obviously want to find a way that we can do that for the World Games," he said.
"I think it would be a shame if Kentucky's signature industry, the bourbon industry, couldn't have that kind of presence at an event ... that is going to bring people from all over the world into Kentucky.
"So we are looking at what options we may have."
Currently, free, limited samples can be given only on bourbon distilleries' properties.
Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers Association, said the industry appreciates Beshear's efforts "to find a way to promote bourbon."
He said the industry's board met last week and reaffirmed its decision to drop its $100,000 sponsorship of a Kentucky exhibit at WEG because the samplings bill did not pass.
The group's marketing committee will meet next week to find a way to promote bourbon at the Games.
Asked whether the industry would reconsider its sponsorship if Beshear finds a way to allow the samplings, Gregory said, "We'd have to look at what the governor legally could do."
Beshear also said he has made no decision on whether to implement "Instant Racing" gambling through an executive order or regulation.
It would allow horse tracks to install electronic gambling on randomly chosen, previously run races.
A proposal for it could not find enough support during this year's regular session of the state legislature.
"We're reviewing it to see what options we might have," Beshear said.