Deauville became   Lexington’s first Sister City in 1957. Lexington and Deauville are both recognized as centers of the   thoroughbred industry in their countries, and both feel their communities   derive from the Sister City relationship’s mutual benefit on culture,   economic, and education levels. 

Located on the   channel coast near the port of LeHarve in the Calvados department of the   Basse-Normandie region of France, Deauville is only about 100 miles from the   capital city of Paris. Deauville holds   a population of 8,000 through the winter; in the summer however, the population   swells to over 100,000. With its   beautiful beaches, horse racing, the casino, tourists flock to this quaint   town to experience truly a world of elegance and leisure.


Deauville   is home to two racecourses – La Touques and Clairefontaine. Because of their status as the center of the   horse industry in France, Deauville was one of the host cities during the   2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy. The three most important races held in Deauville each year are: Le   Maurice de Gheest, Le Jacques le Marois, and Le Morny. In recent years, Le Prix d’Astarte and Le   Prix Romanet have gained more status in the racing world. Deauville is also Sister Cities with County   Kildare, Ireland – also a Sister City to Lexington – creating a triangle   relationship promoting the horse industries in each country. 

To further promote tourism in Deauville during the summer season, the   Deauville American Film Festival was created in 1975. The festival has provided an opportunity   for American and European stars to travel to Normandy. 

Deauville   is a popular location in popular culture. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, Deauville is mentioned as   a place Tom Buchanan and Daisy visit on their honeymoon. It is also the location of the screen   adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Links”. Deauville is also the birthplace of Coco   Chanel’s clothing career, as it was in her second shop located in Deauville   where she took the step from hat making to clothing. 

Lexington and Deauville


Goals of Lexington-Deauville Sister Cities Relationship: 

  1. Build a strong bond of friendship between the people and communities of Lexington and Deauville. 
  2. Build upon the love of the thoroughbred horse and horse industry already shared between the two cities. 

For both cities to benefit from exchanges in the following areas: youth and education; arts and culture; municipal; professional; and tourism/business. 

Annual Youth & Education Programs: 

  • High School Student Exchange 
  • Encourages international relations and diplomacy in young people by providing a cultural experience for both Lexington and Deauville students as well as their families. 
  • Elementary/Middle School Skype Program 
  • Provides a virtual exchange opportunity for younger students to become aware of cultural differences between the U.S. and France. 
  • Calvados/Lexington Summer Internship Program 
  • Provides opportunities for French and American university students to work in another country to gain international business experience. 
  • University of Kentucky – University of Caen Exchange 
  • Allows two students from the University of Caen and two students from the University of Kentucky to study abroad for a semester or entire year. 
  • Deauville Teaching Assistantship Program 
  • Provides an international year-long teaching opportunity in Deauville for two graduate students.