Paddock proposal: Bengals cheerleader engaged at Churchill Downs on eve of Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Love is in the air at Churchill Downs. And for a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader, a paddock proposal came as a complete surprise.

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Justine Templin was at Churchill Downs on Friday with her boyfriend, Jack Kerby, on the eve of the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

The couple, who live in Dayton, Ohio, were attending the Kentucky Oaks race. Templin, who was on the sidelines cheering in February when the Bengals competed in Super Bowl LVI, did not bet on receiving a marriage proposal on Friday.

“I figured, you know, we’re all dressed up, it’s a great occasion, our families are all here together,” Kerby, who is a Louisville native, told WDRB-TV. “It’d be the perfect time to do it.”

“The easiest ‘YES’ of my life,” Templin wrote on Instagram. “I love you so much, Jack, and can’t wait to spend forever with you.”

Templin said she was blindsided by the proposal.

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“Very surprised, but so excited,” Templin told WDRB.

According to Templin’s biography on the Bengals’ official website, the Xavier University graduate is in her fifth year of cheerleading for Cincinnati’s NFL team. She is also a data conversion supervisor at Reynolds and Reynolds in Cincinnati, according to her LinkedIn profile.