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KENTUCKY HORSE PARK magazine

WALK WITH

LEGENDS

Hands-On Experiences

®


THINK

BIGGER

Tour the most authentic replica of Noah’s ark in the world where millions are coming from every corner of the earth to see the biblical account of the ark come to life. •

Transport back to the time of Noah and his family.

Be amazed at the massive Ark (510 feet long, • 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high)!

Explore exotic animals from all over the world at Ararat Ridge Zoo. Enjoy a delicious, hearty meal from Emzara’s Buffet or one of our outdoor vendors.

Plan your visit at ArkEncounter.com Williamstown, KY (south of Cincinnati)


KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

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10 HISTORY OF THE

KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

12 MONUMENTS

CONTENTS

TOUR

16 HANDS-ON

EXPERIENCES

24 MUSEUMS AT THE

KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

30 NEARBY

ATTRACTIONS

36 EQUESTRIAN EVENTS

PUBLISHED FOR THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK 4089 IRON WORKS PARKWAY LEXINGTON, KY 40511 859-233-4303 KYHORSEPARK.COM All Horse Park Photos by James Shambhu

NICHE TRAVEL PUBLISHERS | 301 EAST HIGH STREET | LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY 40507 | 866.356.5128 | WWW.SMALLMARKETMEETINGS.COM

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W W W. K Y H O R S E PA R K . C O M


KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

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t is my great pleasure to welcome you to Lexington, Kentucky — home of the Kentucky Horse Park. Owned and operated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky Horse Park is a genuine treasure of our state and a facility unlike any other in the world. Since 1978, our mission has been to celebrate our unique relationship with the horse through education, exhibition, engagement and competition. The park is a multifaceted facility, and unless you are positioned behind the scenes as I am privi-

Breyerfest, we truly shine as a venue capable of offering something for everyone.

leged to be, you may not realize just how many facets

No trip to Kentucky would be complete without

this includes. The lifeblood of the park is our staff,

a visit to the Kentucky Horse Park. In the following

who work hard to ensure our venues are ready for

pages we have highlighted some of the “must see”

events, our horses are properly cared for and the

park attractions, such as our Hall of Champions —

park grounds are in pristine condition. With over

home to retired Kentucky Derby winners Funny

1,200 acres, it is a constant responsibility. The park

Cide and Go for Gin. You can also experience one

is a place where Kentuckians and visitors from all

of our Parade of Breeds Shows or discover the past

over the world come to see horses up close and ex-

in the International Museum of the Horse. And

perience just what makes our park so special.

don’t miss the numerous monuments throughout

The Kentucky Horse Park is one of the finest

the park grounds, including a statue of the mare

equestrian competition venues in the world and is

Sergeant Reckless, a decorated Marine from the

also home to the National Horse Center, a vibrant

Korean War. Last but not least, we also offer horse-

business center of more than 30 national, regional

back riding for those who truly want to experience

and state equine organizations. Situated within a

the park in a memorable way.

day’s drive of most of the U.S. population, the park is a convenient location that offers world-class

I invite you and your family to come experience all the Kentucky Horse Park has to offer.

amenities for equine competitions at all levels. It’s also a place where horses are happy and comfort-

Best regards,

able away from home. Along with horse shows, the Kentucky Horse Park hosts over 200 non-equine events annually. From nationally recognized events such as the Festival of the Bluegrass to the Southern Lights Holiday Festival, dog shows, outdoor expos, bridal shows, and the event that straddles both worlds,

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LAURA S. PREWITT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

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KENTUCKY HORSE PARK FOUNDATION

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s chair of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation board of directors, I am privileged to witness how special the Kentucky Horse Park is to individuals from all over the world. Our donors come from all walks of life and all corners of the globe, and the diversity of our donor family demonstrates the vast appeal of the Kentucky Horse Park. Who are the generous individuals who support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation? • They are equestrians who compete at the Kentucky Horse Park on a regular basis and value state-of-the-art facilities. • They are animal enthusiasts who are passionate about horses and want to ensure that the park’s resident horses have a wonderful home. • They are lovers of nature who want to ensure that green space is preserved, maintained and available for all to enjoy. • They are scholars who value the incredible resources of the International Museum of the Horse and want to preserve those resources for future generations. • They are investors in our children who want to know that every child who wishes to experience

joins me in thanking them from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you! And if you haven’t joined the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation family, we invite you to do so. Whatever your passion, whatever your interest, there is a place at the Kentucky Horse Park for you. Consider joining the Man o’ War Society of Annual Giving or supporting the Kentucky Horse Park Field Trip Fund or remembering the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation in your estate plans. There are so many ways to join the growing family that loves and supports the Kentucky Horse Park, and we would be honored to welcome you. Best regards,

the Kentucky Horse Park has the opportunity to do so regardless of his or her ability to pay admission. These are just a few of the generous individuals who make the work of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation possible through their charitable gifts. The board of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation

CLAY GREEN CHAIR KENTUCKY HORSE PARK FOUNDATION

For more information about supporting the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, please visit our website at www.khpfoundation.org or call our office at 859-255-5727.

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With your help we will protect and share our equestrian story.

Become a Part of the Man o’ War Society of Annual Giving

We are equestrians who compete on a regular basis and value state-of-the-art equestrian facilities.

We are lovers of nature who want to ensure green space is preserved, maintained and accessible for all to enjoy.

We are investors in our youth and want to guarantee access for any child who wants to experience horses.

We are animal enthusiasts who are passionate about providing a wonderful home for our resident equines.

The Man o’ War Society. Donate Today. Share Your Story. 4037 Iron Works Parkway, Suite 180, Lexington, KY

|

859 255 5727

|

KHPFoundation.org


A BLUEGRASS NATURAL

T H E K E N T U C K Y H O R S E PA R K D E B U T E D N E A R LY 5 0 Y E A R S A G O

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t was truly a groundbreaking moment in Kentucky history as Governor Louie B. Nunn steered a team of mules and split open the earth on the old Walnut Hall Farm north of Lexington in 1974. It was a symbolic first step for the Kentucky Horse Park, which would open four years later as a state-owned attraction aimed at teaching people about the important connection between humans and horses. In a time before the term “start-up” was coined, Kentucky had ventured into unexplored territory with a type of park that existed nowhere else in the world. Such an innovative idea, of course, did not instill universal confidence, and many people questioned the sanity of the $35 million venture. Would Kentucky’s salute to all things equine become a white elephant? Thankfully, the detractors were ultimately proved wrong, although the horse park’s history has not been without its bumps, especially as it worked to find its footing in the early years. But the park always had several points in its favor. Once travelers on Interstate 75 caught sight of its 27 miles of plank fences, pastures and grazing herds of horses, they were

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curious. Why not exit here and check this out? The 1,224 acres of land the state purchased was perfectly suited for what would be, in essence, a big horse farm because, since the 1800s, it had been a horse farm. Well-to-do landowners had raised horses there — thoroughbreds, standardbreds, saddlebreds — and they had left behind barns, sheds, paddocks, pastures and a training track that could be repurposed for the park. Some 14 structures were retrofitted, and 23 new ones were built for the horse park.

EARLY LESSONS LEARNED: EXPAND AND DIVERSIFY

The park’s early years taught leaders some lessons. For one, in addition to seeing horses and visiting its impressive museum, visitors wanted to be entertained. A couple of years in, lively educational programs, like the Parade of Breeds and Hall of Champions, were created. It also became clear that admissions from visitors would not sustain the park. Stables and competition arenas were added to attract horse shows and other equine competitions. Soon, major events, like the ThreeDay Event and the Egyptian Event, an Arabian show, were being held. Both events continue today. As its reputation in the equine industry grew, the park also became a popular location for equine organizations. Having such a village of equine orga-

nizations had been part of the park’s master plan. Today, 30 equine-related organizations are based in the park’s National Horse Center.

THE WORLD COMES TO THE HORSE PARK

In 2010, the Kentucky Horse Park stepped onto the world stage as the site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the Olympics of the equine world. A half-million people from around the world attended, and long after the 16-day competition concluded, the Horse Park reaped benefits, largely because of the $107 million in facility expansions and upgrades that hosting games required. Those included construction of the $40 million Alltech indoor arena and more permanent outdoor seating at the Rolex stadium. Within a year of the games, the park’s upgraded facilities had already attracted 14 new equine events. Today, over half a million people come to the park each year to see its shows, museums and horses but also to attend more than 200 events now held here. About half are equine-related; those that are not range from car shows and vintage home decor expos to high school sports and Kentucky crafts exhibitions and book fairs. As it begins its 41st year, the Kentucky Horse Park will continue to find new ways to educate people about horses and to serve as a gathering place for equine and other events.

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SHELBYVILLE SHELBYVILLE. SIMPSONVILLE . SIMPSONVILLE. KENTUCKY . KENTUCKY Visit Visitthe theAmerican AmericanSaddlebred SaddlebredCapital Capitalofofthe theWorld Worldtoto witness witness some some ofof the the finest finest shows shows inin the the country. country. BeBe sure sure toto wear wear your your best best forfor the the Shelbyville Shelbyville Horse Horse Show Show and and bebe ready ready toto have have a good a good time! time! Don’t Don’t forget forget toto stop stop inin toto one one ofof our our many many eclectic eclectic shops shops inin charming charming downtown downtown Shelbyville Shelbyville oror make make your your way way toto the theOutlet OutletShoppes Shoppesofofthe theBluegrass. Bluegrass.Visit VisitJeptha JepthaCreed Creed Distillery Distillery forfor a selection a selection ofof crafted crafted spirits. spirits. We’re We’relocated locatedbetween betweenLouisville Louisvilleand andLexington, Lexington,and anda a great great place place toto stay stay while while you you visit visit the the surrounding surrounding areas. areas.

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Several Several Shelby Shelby County County equestrian equestrian venues venues offer offer aa variety variety ofof horse horse farm farm tours tours including including American American Saddlebred Saddlebred Horse Horse Farms Farms (tours (tours byby appointment). appointment). Kismet Kismet Farm: Farm: Simpsonville Simpsonville Léttleiki Léttleiki Icelandics: Icelandics: Shelbyville Shelbyville Historic Historic Horse Horse Farm: Farm: Shelbyville Shelbyville For For booking booking and and tour tour information information bebe sure sure toto checkout checkout www.VisitShelbyKY.com www.VisitShelbyKY.com oror call call usus atat 502.633.6388 502.633.6388

EVENT EVENTCALENDAR CALENDAR

Early Early May May Kaspha-Horse Kaspha-Horse Show Show Mid Mid June June Shelby Shelby County County Horse Horse Show Show Early Early July July Paso Paso Fino Fino Horse Horse Show Show Early Early Aug. Aug. Shelbyville Shelbyville Horse Horse Show Show Mid Mid Sept. Sept. Kaspha-Horse Kaspha-Horse Show Show Early Early Oct. Oct. Sahiba-Horse Sahiba-Horse Show Show


WALK AMONG LEGENDS EQUINE MEMORIALS GRACE THIS HALLOWED PARK

S

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

hade trees and miles of pathways and paved roads make the Kentucky Horse Park a naturally pleasant place to walk. Seventeen equine sculptures, stationed along pathways throughout the park’s core, can turn a stroll into an educational experience as visitors learn about the horses memorialized here. Books and films inspired by some of these equine heroes are available in the gift shop. Here’s a brief description of each sculpture and its general location.

NEAR THE VISITORS CENTER

EDWIN BOGUCKI

HERBERT HASELTINE

The world’s most-famous thoroughbred and his larger-than-life monument tower over the park entrance. Man O’ War’s remains and his statue were moved to the park right before it opened, and in the past few years, it’s original bronze finish was painstakingly restored at the cost of $10,000, with funds provided by the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. The stallion is surrounded by the graves of several of his progeny, including his most famous son, War Admiral. Man O’ War is considered the most outstanding horse of the 20th century by most racing experts

KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

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BEHIND THE VISITORS CENTER

MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE BRIAN MAUGHAN

A statue of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat sits at the opposite end of the long walkway from Man O’ War. Both chestnut stallions earned the name Big Red. Each was handsome and charismatic, attracting ardent fans. Secretariat’s playful personality comes through in this sculpture as he prances along after his 1973 Kentucky Derby victory with jockey Ron Turcotte up and groom Eddie Sweat at his side.

ORION

MAN O’ WAR

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SECRETARIAT

STEVE GREEN Orion was one of 79 fiberglass horses displayed during Lexington’s first Horse Mania public art project in 2000. Orion’s sponsor, the Patchen Wilkes Farm, was the home of White Beauty, the first registered white thoroughbred.

Marguerite Henry’s 1947 tale of an Assateague Island, Virginia, pony named Misty is beloved by generations of horse-crazed kids. The real Misty became a celebrity, appearing in parades, at book signings and at movie premieres.

HAPPY GO LUCKY

VERYL GOODNIGHT Prospectors and Western settlers depended on burros like Happy Go Lucky to carry their possessions. Sure-footed, hardy and tolerant of extreme heat, the little donkeys have thrived in the West’s deserts.

HALL OF CHAMPIONS Two racing greats that retired to the Horse Park are immortalized at the Hall of Champions.

ALYSHEBA

FRISKY FILLY AND THE PROMISE

SHELLEY HUNTER

These two sculptures are reminders that today’s long-legged foals may become tomorrow’s champions.

Alysheba, son of Alydar, won the 1987 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and was an Eclipse Award winner. He lived at the park briefly, dying at age 25.

GWEN REARDON

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HALL OF CHAMPIONS

JOHN HENRY

SHELLEY HUNTER

two consecutive Five-Gaited World Championships and the Amateur Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship and was preparing for Lexington’s Junior League Horse Show when he died tragically.

INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE HORSE

Successful racehorse John Henry resonated with fans. He brought $1,100 his first time at auction, then earned $6.5 million at the track. A gelding, John Henry retired to the Horse Park after an injury ended his racing career.

AMERICAN SADDLEBRED MUSEUM

SUPREME SULTAN PATRICIA CRANE

The life-size, high-stepping bronze captures the proud carriage and flowing movement of America’s first breed.

THE PHOENIX

PATRICIA CRANE

PATRICIA CRANE

Supreme Sultan was a champion under fine harness whose impact went beyond the show ring. A leading sire, the chestnut passed along his high gate and refined appearance, further improving the saddlebred breed.

WILD-EYED AND WICKED SALLY JACKSON

Wild Eyed and Wicked’s charisma matched his memorable name. He won

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The park’s newest monument salutes Sergeant Reckless, a plucky mare who carried ammunition to frontlines and wounded soldiers to safety during the Korean War. Korean War veterans and many others helped fund the memorial to American’s greatest war horse.

BIG BARN

BRET HANOVER

A champion standardbred and crowd favorite, Bret Hanover won 62 of 68 races; his offspring won more than $62 million.

ROXIE HIGHLAND

SUPREME SULTAN

JOCELYN RUSSELL

LUIS SANGUINO

GEORGE F. YOSTEL Pansy Yount bought the champion Roxie Highland for Spindletop, the saddlebred farm she built in the 1930s, just down the road from the Horse Park. When the mare died in 1939, Yount held an elaborate funeral with a hearse and a full casket.

SERGEANT RECKLESS

The park asked equine artist Patricia Crane to choose a legendary horse to memorialize. Crane chose five-gaited champion The Phoenix, a winner from his first show to his last over a nine-year career.

TERRA COTTA HORSE The colorful clay horse was painted by guests at the first International Night at the Museum in 2018 and is inspired by horses made by potters in India to honor gods.

BASK

EDWIN BOGUCKI Bask, a small, fiery Arabian brought to the U.S. from Poland in the 1960s, had an outsized impact. Nearly 200 of the 1,000 Arabians he sired became U.S. or Canadian national champions.

ROLEX STADIUM

BRUCE DAVIDSON AND EAGLE LION JEAN CLAGETTO

Bruce Davidson and Eagle Lion were a winning team as they took the Head of the Lake obstacle at the Rolex — now the Land Rover — Three-Day Event. Davidson is a longtime member of the U.S. Equestrian Team and two Olympic gold medal teams. The Chronicle of the Horse chose Eagle Lion as one of the 50 most influential horses of the 20th century.

KENTUCKY HORSE PARK 13 magazine


BEST WITH FRIENDS GROUPS EARN SPECIAL TREATMENT AT THE HORSE PARK

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ouldn’t it be fun to end a day at the Kentucky Horse Park with a dinner in one of the world’s largest barns? An evening in the Big Barn, home to giant draft horses, is just one of the possibilities for groups. The park’s varied venues, from a club lounge that overlooks an indoor arena to an open-air pavilion in the campground, attract groups of all types: travel clubs and motorcoach groups, corporate meetings and company picnics, family and class reunions, children’s parties and weddings. Working with the park’s group sales coordinators, these visitors can design memorable occasions: cocktail recep-

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tions under the trees in the Visitor Center courtyard or the International Museum of the Horse, small dinners in the restored farmhouse that houses park offices, and romantic nuptials next to the park’s lake or in the circular park anchored by Man O’ War’s larger-than-life statue. A recent refurbishing at the visitors center makes it more conducive to gatherings. A new horseshoe-shaped desk can double as a bar; much of the space is open and thus flexible; and a 150-seat theater works for awards ceremonies, lectures or video presentations. Because the park is designed to be a self-guided experience, it allows

motorcoach tour travelers to see what interests them. If there’s time for lunch, group sales can help arrange a buffet-style meal in a private dining room for groups of 15 or more, or have custom box lunches prepared in advance. If travelers prefer lunch on their own, the park’s Bit and Bridle restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Paddock Café, a grab-and-go sandwich spot, operates when horse shows are held at the park. For more information about these and other group options, call group sales at 859-259-4225.

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A VISITOR’S VENUE T H E H O R S E PA R K W A S D E S I G N E D F O R A L L A G E S

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

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KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER GO FOR GIN

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fter being cooped up in a car, arriving at the Kentucky Horse Park feels like finding an oasis. Pastures are bordered by plank fences; tall trees, flower beds and landscaping make it feel like a park. Visitors soak up sights, sounds and scents that aren’t part of an average day: a child’s big smile as she touches a pony’s nose, the sound of a horse’s whinny, the smell of hay and leather in a barn.

NO ROLLER COASTERS AT THIS THEME PARK

WELCOME TO THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

VISITORS CAN HAVE HANDS-ON EXPERIENCES WITH BEAUTIFUL THOROUGHBREDS AND OTHER HORSES AT THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK. GOING OUT ON A TRAIL RIDE All photos courtesy KHP

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With 1,224 acres, the Kentucky Horse Park is larger than the four theme parks at Disney World combined, but more than half of the park remains undeveloped pastureland. Exhibits, museums, barns and other attractions are clustered, so getting from one to another is handicapped accessible and not overtaxing, along sidewalks lined with trees and bronze sculptures of famous horses. Instead of roller coaster rides, this equine theme park offers another kind of thrill: the chance to meet horses of many breeds. About 80 horses live at the park. Visitors can meet ancient breeds like the Marwari, a war horse that hails from India; snap a photo as Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin smiles his toothy grin; and learn about the important role African-American jockeys and trainers played in thoroughbred racing.

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FIRST STOP: THE VISITORS CENTER

GRAZING IN A PASTURE AT THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

The newly refurbished Visitors Center is information central. Staff at a horseshoe-shaped reception desk sell tickets, provide maps and brochures, give directions and answer questions about the park and the region. Because the park is within sight of Interstate 75 and a few miles north of Interstate 64, it is often a first stop for visitors to the state and region. For souvenirs, a large gift shop is stocked with T-shirts, books, toys, jewelry, Kentucky-made crafts and the largest permanent inventory of Breyer model horses in the country. Cold drinks, prepackaged sandwiches and other snacks are available here, or visitors can dine at the park’s restau-

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rant, Bit and Bridle, behind the visitors center. A theater shows the short film “Rein of Nobility,” an introduction to the Horse Park. Visitors can also take a souvenir photo in front of a fun backdrop or read about the Horse Park’s history in a series of displays. Tours of the park are self-guided, and most visitors plan their schedules around popular programs like the Parade of Breeds or Hall of Champions. And because no one wants visitors to rush through their stay, every admission ticket is good for two days.

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HORSE-DRAWN TROLLEY RIDES In the city, sightseeing buses help tourists get their bearings. At the Horse Park, visitors climb aboard a trolley pulled by a team of draft horses like Elvis and Kiser, a pair of Clydesdales. The slow, open-air ride is accompanied by the clip-clop of the horses’ platesize hooves, the jingle of their harnesses, and the “whoa” and “get on” commands of the driver/tour guide.

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Hauling a heavy trolley filled with people seems like a tough job, but these two are built to pull, each standing 17 hands — just shy of 6 feet at their back — and weighing 1,700 pounds. And like all horses that live here, they are well treated, spending days off grazing and dozing. The trolley tour takes about 10 minutes and, in season, runs continually; as one trolley pulls away from the covered pavilion where passengers board, another arrives. The route covers a loop and helps visitors understand the park’s layout. Along the way, guides share history and tidbits and point out the shop where a farrier makes horseshoes; the Big Barn, where draft horses live; the Hall of Champions barn, where retired racing champions are doted on by devoted grooms; and the half-mile training track, a holdover from when the park was a standardbred farm in the late 1800s.

START YOUR BARNSTORMING A visit to the Horse Park means spending time in the barns where horses live. Many were part of the original farm that predated the park and have been repurposed. For example, the Big Barn is home not only to draft horses but to an exhibit of carriages. Retired champions live in roomy stalls in a barn now called the Hall of Champions. The park’s mounted police horses have their own barn, where visitors can see the most laid-back horses in the park, which have proved in mounted police competitions that nothing — smoke, loud noises, crowds — rattles them. Be sure to visit horses in their stalls after the Hall of Champions show and the Parade of Breeds and talk to the grooms, managers and volunteers who care for them. These unscripted, casual conversations and face-to-

POINT GIVEN

HALL OF CHAMPIONS

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BIRTHPLACE OF BEER CHEESE

A TROLLEY RIDE PAST THE BIG BARN

muzzle meetings with the horses are what people remember most. Touching the horses is not only allowed but encouraged.

BIG BARN AND DRAFT HORSE MEET-AND-GREET The Big Barn lives up to its name, and at 463 feet long and 74 feet wide, it is one of the largest, if not the largest, barn in this country. The park’s largest horses, its draft breeds, live here, and visitors can see them up close during a Draft Horse Meet-and-Greet. As one of the monumental horses stands calmly, a groom demonstrates how 65 pounds of harness is placed on the horse and explains why blinders are useful for keeping it on the straight and narrow path. Afterward, everyone, from the smallest child on up, is invited to pet the gentle giant.

BREEDS BARN: THE PARADE OF BREEDS The horseshoe-shaped Breeds Barn wraps around a large show ring in the park’s United Nations, an equine emporium of nearly 30 breeds. Twice each day during the season, several breeds are paraded out and ridden around a roomy ring. Riders wear

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PARADE OF BREEDS

costumes that reflect their horse’s heritage: a long silk dress for the rider of the rare Marwari, a breed from India; colorful parade banners and clothes for a Medieval knight and his Percheron; buckskin leggings for the rider of the Appaloosa, a favorite of Native Americans; and a waistcoat and a tricorn hat for the rider of the Morgan, a true American breed. Lively music matches the horse and its gait, like “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” for the smooth-riding Tennessee walking horse. The announcer’s descriptions are rich in detail about each breed, its history and its roles in everyday life. At show’s end, all five breeds return for a patriotic salute and then spend time at the ring’s rails, where fans can pet them, have photos snapped and talk to riders. Before or after the show, visitors are welcome to walk around the barn and see the breeds that weren’t in the show that day. A plaque next to each stall describes the specific horse and its breed.

HALL OF CHAMPIONS The horses that live in the Hall of Champions are all retired stars. They left the racetrack or the show ring as winners, and like most sports heroes, they have a following.

Heritage & Outdoor • Bluegrass Heritage Museum • Downtown Cafes, Antiques & Specialty Shops, and Art Galleries & Studios • Holly Rood-Gov. James Clark Mansion • Leeds Center for the Arts • Fort Boonesborough State Park • Civil War Fort at Boonesboro • Kentucky River Blue Water Trail Culinary • Beer Cheese Trail • Beer Cheese Festival - June 8, 2019 • Ale-8-One Tours • Wildcat Willy’s Distillery (OPEN LATE 2019) • Abettor Brewing Company • Hamon Haven Winery • Harkness Edward’s Winery • Laura’s Hemp Chocolates

tourwinchester.com 800.298.9105 Winchester is just minutes to Lexington’s restaurant & distillery district, The Kentucky Horse Park & Red River Gorge ziplining.

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Each day, several of them leave their roomy stalls to spend a few minutes with their adoring fans and listen, ears perked, as announcer Kathy Vespaziani recounts their standout careers. The lineup includes thoroughbred legends Da Hoss, Funny Cide and Go For Gin, as well as American quarter horse Be A Bono, standardbred trotter Mr. Muscleman and standardbred pacers Staying Together, Western Dreamer and Won The West. Fans will be reminded of Funny Cide’s unlikely 2003 win in the Kentucky Derby, the first gelding to win that race since 1929, and how the group of friends who owned him traveled by school bus as he attempted to win racing’s Triple Crown. Vespaziani and the grooms who care for these champions also describe these champs’ personality quirks — how Funny Cide is a bit of a grump and loves his naps; how Go For Gin plays in his water bucket and how Mr. Muscleman and Be A Bono have become best buddies.

HORSEBACK TRAIL & PONY RIDES The Horse Park has made a lot of youthful dreams come true by offering pony rides. Children 2 to 12 and under 90 pounds can ride a gentle

pony in the barn area in season. For $5, riders get three trips around the paddock. Guided trail rides meander along the outer edges of the park, and even those who haven’t ridden at all or in years are comfortable aboard horses that are chosen by staff specifically for each rider’s skill level. The 35-minute rides leave five times a day in season and cost $25.

CAMP AT THE HORSE PARK The Kentucky Horse Park’s 260site campground, adjacent to but secluded from the main park area, has many fans. They talk about the shade in the summertime and the clear, clean water in the junior Olympic swimming pool. They appreciate a well-stocked camp store that goes beyond supplying firewood and ice with thoughtful supplies like pool toys and Kentucky Proud food products.

They talk about how their children had to be dragged away from the well-designed playground or spent hours riding bikes around the campground’s circular layout. A place this popular means reservations are advised, especially in the summertime or on holidays like Memorial Day, July 4 or Labor Day, when the park has special celebrations for the long weekends. Recent upgrades have improved Wi-Fi and added two additional pull-through sites. About half of the campers are on vacation; the other half stay at the campground while they attend or participate in one of the park’s equine or other events. The campground continues to attract new fans through special events like weekend Halloween Campouts and the Bourbon Country Burn, where bicyclists take to country roads and visit bourbon distilleries, returning to the campground at night to unwind.

Guided trail rides meander along the outer edges of the park, and even those who haven’t ridden at all or in years are comfortable aboard horses that are chosen by staff specifically for each rider’s skill level.

A TEAM OF DRAFT HORSES

ICONIC GREEN PASTURES AND BLACK FENCES

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The International Museum of the Horse is committed to educating the general public, equestrian, and academic communities about the relationship between man and the horse throughout history and the world.

Smithsonian Affiliate

International Museum of the Horse Kentucky Horse Park • imh.org


THE WORLD

OF HORSES

F O U R M U S E U M S I L L U S T R AT E B R E E D S A N D D I S C I P L I N E S BY VICKIE MITCHELL

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AL-MARAH ARABIAN HORSE GALLERIES Courtesy KHP

PRIZES ON DISPLAY AT THE WHEELER MUSEUM Courtesy USHJA

THE AMERICAN SADDLEBRED MUSEUM IS ONE OF FOUR FASCINATING MUSEUMS AT THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK.

Courtesy American Saddlebred Museum

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EXAMINING ARTIFACTS AT THE INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE HORSE Courtesy KHP

fter visitors step into one of the Kentucky Horse Park’s three museums, they realize why the park’s admission is good for the day of purchase and the next day. One look at the vast collections in, say, the International Museum of the Horse or the American Saddlebred Museum, and visitors say, “We’re gonna need more time.” The park is also home to the Wheeler Museum, which focuses on hunter/jumpers and show jumping. Each museum tells its story through diverse collections that include lifelike models, film, photography, art, clothing, and tack and other equipment.

INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE HORSE The park’s largest and first museum shows how the history of humans and horses has been entwined for thousands of years. One of the few museums of its kind in the world, the International Museum of the Horse is blessed with a growing collection of more than 16,000 objects and photographs. The museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, which brings opportunities to share collections and collaborate on research. Although the museum is quite large at 60,000 square feet, it never overwhelms guests, as designers chose to lead visitors along a path through time. Instead of large galleries, exhibits border a roomy walkway, much like a

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trail that a horse might have followed through the Appalachian Mountains with Daniel Boone. Along this path visitors find a Roman chariot, a Colonial carriage and a Conestoga wagon, as well as reproductions of the bronze horse statues found in the tomb of a Chinese general and a re-creation of an archaeological dig in Kazakhstan that proved horses were living among men 3,000 years earlier than previously thought. One of the museum’s best-known artifacts is the skeleton of the famous stallion Lexington, who made his imprint on the Thoroughbred industry. There are collections of horseshoes and stirrups and stories of the 6 million horses used in World War I. The museum is the park's finest educational resource and the best place to get a grasp on the many ways the horse has touched human lives in the history of not only this country but also the world. Visitors also learn how

Established 1792

w h e r e o l d b e co m e s

different cultures have leaned on the horse to pull their plows and wagons, fight their wars, carry them and their baggage, and provide entertainment, excitement, beauty and pure joy. Because the museum is set in the middle of Thoroughbred horse country, a number of exhibits have local ties, such as a glittering collection of 560 trophies won by Calumet Farm, whose success at the racetrack for 50 years, beginning in 1932, can be measured in the pounds of silver needed to make the trophies for its 2,400 wins. The museum interacts with the community in other ways. It has held a series of one-night family festivals, each of which focused on a particular country and incorporated the cuisine, art, music, sport and, of course, horses of that culture. It worked with local historians and schoolchildren to enrich its newest permanent exhibition, “Black Horsemen of the Kentucky Turf.”

BLACK HORSEMEN OF THE KENTUCKY TURF AT THE INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE HORSE

AN EXHIBIT AT THE AL-MARAH ARABIAN HORSE GALLERIES

EXPERIENCE 145 YEARS OF HISTORY, UP CLOSE! Courtesy KHP

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SADDLING UP AT THE AMERICAN SADDLEBRED MUSEUM Courtesy American Saddlebred Museum

W W W. K Y H O R S E PA R K . C O M


AL-MARAH ARABIAN HORSE GALLERIES AT THE INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE HORSE

Courtesy KHP

This exhibition tells the stories of forgotten or previously unknown African-Americans who had great impact on thoroughbred racing in Kentucky. Many were highly successful trainers and owners, some of whom had learned their way around fast horses when they served in the cavalry during the Civil War. Many were enslaved men, who got no credit even as their skills led to the success of their owners’ thoroughbred racing stables. Through objects, photos and journals contributed by those in the local community, the museum has given a more detailed accounting of the many contributions of these African-American horsemen and women. In the exhibit, reproductions of paintings by Edward Troye are illustrative backdrops. Troye was one of the few artists who would depict black horsemen working with Thoroughbreds, so his paintings show African American men at their horses’ sides. As these horsemen grew in number and prominence after the Civil War, Jim Crow laws emerged. The exhibition explores how societal and political upheavals and, ultimately, discrimination, erased opportunities for African-Americans in the Thoroughbred industry.

The mood shifts as you step from the International Museum of the Horse into its 8,000-square-foot, two-level gallery dedicated to a single but singularly important breed: the Arabian. The breed’s roots in the Middle East desert are established in two early exhibits. Near the gallery’s entrance, pictographs of horses decorate the walls of a replica Middle Eastern desert cave. Wind whispers and music plays in the tents of a Bedouin camp where the Arabian mares, so highly regarded by the tribes, would have bedded in the tent with their owners at night. The $10 million exhibition tells the story of the breed that has influenced all others and shows how its impact

spread from the Middle Eastern desert around the world. Lifelike models, videos, clips from movies and photography show what makes the Arabian so enchanting: the teacup nose, the proud raised tail, the large eyes and the flared nostrils. The black skin and wide round hooves made the horses able to withstand the desert sun and sand. Fans of film will want to station themselves at the Arabians Horses of the Stars Theater, where clips from movies that starred Arabian horses are screened on a loop. The popular “Black Stallion” novels are nearby, yet another way the Arabian worked its way into popular culture. The exhibit delves deeply into the breed’s history, with stories of influential breeders, famous horses and the breed’s arrival in Europe and the United States. The versatility of Arabians becomes apparent as visitors learn that representatives of this

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breed are found in almost every breed and discipline, from carriage driving and dressage to racing and reining. IMH.ORG

AMERICAN SADDLEBRED MUSEUM The American Saddlebred Museum opens visitors’ eyes to the wide influence of this American breed. After a few hours in this well-designed museum, which remains open even as it expands and remodels this year, visitors understand that those fancy show horses that high-step around competition rings are only one chapter of this breed’s story. The saddlebred, it turns out, was nearly always in the picture as America was explored and settled. Many figures in American history chose a saddlebred as their ride, including Buffalo Bill and Gen. Robert E. Lee, whose handsome, often photographed gray horse, Traveller, was part saddlebred. The breed’s arched neck, lively step and beautiful face also made it a natural for Hollywood and for parades. Mr. Ed, television’s talking horse, was a saddlebred. So was Fury, who also starred in horse films like “Black Beauty.” The handsome palominos wearing silver saddles at the Rose Bowl parade? Saddlebreds. It’s tidbits like those, along with stories like that of Elaine Kramer, a Wisconsin cowgirl, who for 20 years entertained crowds at rodeos and other events by driving three pairs of matched sorrel saddlebreds as she stood on the backs of the last pair, that make this museum an unexpected delight. The museum is blessed with the largest collection of saddlebred artifacts in the world, including items that are personal and memorable. Guests enjoy seeing the black homburg hats preferred by one saddlebred rider, an intricately designed silver saddle and

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shiny first-place ribbons — as long as a saddlebred’s flowing tail — awarded at horse shows. By the end of this year, the museum’s extensive expansion and renovation will be finished. The project includes a new entrance, a wraparound theater, more interactive exhibits, a full catering kitchen, an outdoor event space and an expanded gift shop. This is the second time the museum has been renovated since it opened in 1986. The work that has already been completed has garnered attention. In December 2018, the newly expanded gift shop was voted store of the month by the Museum Store Association. The shop is a favorite stop for Carson Kressley, the Bravo star and home decor expert who also owns and shows saddlebreds. In the November 2018 issue of People magazine, he included two items from the gift shop in his list of 10 holiday gift ideas: an American

EQUESTRIAN ARTIFACTS AT THE WHEELER MUSEUM

Courtesy USHJA

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saddlebred horse throw and brass candlesticks with saddle stirrups as their base. WWW.ASM.ORG

WHEELER MUSEUM The Wheeler Museum, tucked into the ground-floor corner of the United States Hunter and Jumper Association, might be small, but it always tells a compelling story about the graceful sport it represents. Riders, owners, grooms and fans are generous in loaning personal items and memorabilia each time the museum mounts a new exhibit. Its current exhibit, “Through the Lens: The Art of Hunter/Jumper Photography,” opens this spring and runs through 2020. The exhibition showcases 60 years of horse show history through images shot by 10 legendary photographers. Horse show

photographers are the visual historians of the hunter/jumper sport. Their photos capture the elegance of hunters and power of jumpers in action as well as the intimate relationship between riders and horses in harmony. Photos and artifacts are displayed with stories behind the images and notes on the art and technique of the shot, offering a look at how equestrian photographers frame spectacular and fleeting moments that would otherwise be lost. Through exhibits including items from the permanent collection of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame that weave photography, trophies, ribbons, equipment, clothing, and records and remembrances of champion horses and riders, the Wheeler Museum helps preserve the history of hunter/jumpers and show jumping as it informs a new generation that may become fans of the sport. WWW.USHJA.ORG

AMERICAN SADDLEBRED MUSEUM Courtesy American Saddlebred Museum

THE WHEELER MUSEUM AT THE U.S. HUNTER JUMPER ASSOCIATION

Courtesy USHJA

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W W W. K Y H O R S E PA R K . C O M

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WHILE YOU’RE HERE T H E S E K E N T U C K Y FA V O R I T E S C O M P L E M E N T A T R I P T O T H E H O R S E PA R K BY VICKIE MITCHELL

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W LEXINGTON’S PICTURESQUE HORSE COUNTRY Courtesy VisitLEX

ithin an hour’s drive of the Kentucky Horse Park, a week’s worth of discoveries await, from hand-carved wooden roosters in Kentucky’s craft capital and bottles of fragrant bourbon along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to a replica of Noah’s Ark on a rural ridge and more than two dozen horse farms that open their gates to visitors. When you plan your visit to the Kentucky Horse Park, include some free time to explore some of these other Bluegrass-area attractions.

BEREA AND THE KENTUCKY ARTISAN CENTER

A TASTING FLIGHT ON THE KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL By Marty Pearl, courtesy KY Bourbon Trail

THE ARK ENCOUNTER

A SHORT DRIVE SOUTH OF THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK, BEREA IS A KENTUCKY ARTS AND CRAFTS HOTSPOT. Courtesy Berea TCC

W W W. K Y H O R S E PA R K . C O M

Courtesy Ark Encounter

You could spend weeks visiting artists’ studios and galleries across Kentucky. Or you could travel Interstate 75 to Berea, 40 miles south of Lexington. Berea is Kentucky’s craft capital, proclaimed so years ago by the Kentucky Legislature. Berea College has been influential in its hometown’s ascent in arts-and-crafts circles because of the crafts program it created to teach students how to make beautiful handmade products that people buy and cherish. These days, through the Kentucky Artisan Center, Berea exposes visitors to artisans who work far beyond the region. The center sits within sight of the interstate. Built of Kentucky limestone laid by Kentucky stonemasons, the handsome building houses the work of more than 700 Kentuckians,

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almost all of it for sale. On Saturdays, a featured artist is at work here. The quality, quantity and variety of work makes the center a worthy destination and a good stop for weary travelers, with restrooms touted as Interstate 75’s best — they feature fresh flowers — and a cafe that delivers Kentucky Hot Browns, meatloaf, catfish and desserts like bourbon bread pudding. A couple of miles away in Berea, two clusters of studios, galleries and gift shops draw shoppers. College Square, a city block surrounded by Berea College and anchored by the Boone Tavern hotel and restaurant, is lined with shops, coffeehouses and cafes. Old Town, on downtown’s western outskirts, is a straight, wide street where weavers, silversmiths, glassblowers, knitters, painters, candy-makers, potters and others work in studios set amid galleries and gift shops. The Berea Visitors Center is also located in the district in a revived railroad depot. WWW.VISITBEREA.COM

KEENELAND RACE COURSE Thoroughbreds race at Keeneland Race Course in April and October, but the storied racetrack is a year-round destination with plenty to excite racing fans even when the horses aren’t running. Keeneland got its start in 1936 during the Great Depression and came away with a loss of $3.47 after its first year, but it has flourished since, growing from 147 acres to today’s 1,038 acres. It has taken such care to retain its original look even as it has vastly expanded its original stone and timber grandstand that most agree the Lexington horsemen who founded the track would feel right at home 80 years later. Just six miles from downtown Lexington and across the highway from

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the local airport, Keeneland has retained its peaceful, rural vibe and is considered one of the most scenic racetracks in the country. It is also one of the most historic and is a designated National Historic Landmark. During spring and fall meets, fans cheer as thoroughbreds pound down the track. Between races fans might have a cup of burgoo or watch jockeys in brilliant silks board their mounts in a saddling paddock shaded by a massive sycamore. Any time of year, visitors can eat elbow to elbow with riders and trainers in the track kitchen, take a self-guided or guided tour, or spend time and money in a gift shop whose quality merchandise has made it a destination in itself. It’s nice to wander around the stable area and see thoroughbreds being cared for at their barns by attentive grooms or, in the very early morning, hang out by the track rail and watch horses being galloped as part of their training regimen. WWW.KEENELAND.COM

THROWING POTTERY IN BEREA

Courtesy Berea TCC

THE 510-FOOT-LONG ARK ENCOUNTER

LEXINGTON

VISITORS CENTER Lexington’s Old Courthouse is the new home of the Lexington Visitors Center. Topped by a massive dome, the big, square limestone building is hard to miss and well located, across from 21C Hotel and a soon-to-open hotel and retail complex called City Center. Visitors can park for 30 minutes in two metered spots designated for the visitors center on Upper Street or opt for on-street metered parking and pay lots nearby. Those who plan to spend more time exploring downtown can ask a visitor information specialist for a three-hour validation ticket so they can park in the Victorian Square garage two blocks away. Visitor information specialists at the center suggest things to see and do. The center is stocked with plenty of visitor guides, maps and brochures. Touch screens allow visitors to learn more about the Bluegrass. They can also take pictures with a life-size model of Lexington’s Blue Horse and create and send a digital postcard to family and friends. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. The center is closed on Sunday.

WWW.VISITLEX.COM/ABOUT/VISITORS-CENTER W W W. K Y H O R S E PA R K . C O M


ARK ENCOUNTER

Courtesy Ark Encounter

SADDLING UP AT KEENELAND

Courtesy Keeneland Race Course

One of Kentucky’s most unexpected sights — a full-size replica of Noah’s Ark — is 40 miles north of Lexington, a few miles off Interstate 75 near Williamstown. Former President Jimmy Carter, a builder himself, said the ark was “some of the best woodworking I’ve ever seen.” The Chicago Tribune called it “an undeniable spectacle … it must be seen to be believed.” It is hard to grasp: a 510-foot-long, 50-foot-tall wood timber ark on a Kentucky hilltop. Visitors gasp when their shuttle bus comes up the hill and the ark looms before them. Built to the dimensions described in Genesis, the ark’s three floors are lined with exhibits that answer questions about the biblical story: How did Noah and his family care for all those creatures? What was Noah doing before God

commanded him to build the ark? What happened to Noah and his family? The Ark Encounter, though, is more than a tour of a monumental structure. Since it opened in 2016, the Ark Encounter has added features. Last winter brought the opening of a nearfootball-field-size ice rink. A zip-line network offers fast flights across valleys. Yaks, kangaroos, sheep, goats, ostriches and other animals live in its zoo, and camels and donkeys can be taken for short rides, just as one would have in biblical times. A buffet restaurant provides meals. In addition to a traditional gift shop with T-shirts, stuffed animals, books and other souvenirs, the ark’s Fair Trade Village Market sells items made in Kenya, Nicaragua, Thailand and Vietnam by artisans who turn scraps of fabric, metal cans and newsprint into purses, jewelry and sculptures. Sales help support the artists’ work. WWW.ARKENCOUNTER.COM

Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm

Little Mike with Game On Dude photo courtesy of Laura Battles

W W W. K Y H O R S E PA R K . C O M

Tours daily, call for reservations 502-863-1775 Old Friends Farm 1841 Paynes Depot Rd. Georgetown, KY 40324 oldfriendsequine.org

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If you want to learn more about bourbon, it makes sense to visit Kentucky, where 95 percent of the amber-hued liquor is made. There’s never been a better time for Kentucky’s official native spirit, and even those who aren’t serious bourbon drinkers will enjoy the history and ambiance of its distilleries. The only trouble can be keeping up with what’s new in this rapidly growing industry. Two dozen new distilleries opened in the state in recent years. In 2017, 1.2 million people visited Kentucky distilleries, double the number three years earlier. One of the best ways to get started is to travel all or part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Fourteen distilleries banded together to create the trail, which showcases their bourbons and their options for visitors. It’s a notable group that includes stalwarts like Wild Turkey and Four Roses in Lawrenceburg and newcomers like Angel’s Envy and Bardstown Bourbon Co. in Bardstown. Almost all the distilleries, old and new, are pouring millions of dollars into their facilities to attract even more tourists. They’ve built swanky visitors centers with glass-walled tasting rooms, installed pieces of Dale Chihuly’s glass art in public areas, opened fancy restaurants and casual cafes. The trail’s website offers a wealth of information on corporate outings, tours, options for bicyclists traveling the region, classes and workshops, dining ideas and outdoor adventures. The Bourbon Trail’s offshoot, the bourbon craft tour, details 13 microdistilleries, which also welcome visitors for tours and tastings of bourbon and other spirits they make. Beer lovers also find plenty of local brews to savor. Lexington alone has more than 10 breweries and

A TASTING EXPERIENCE AT WOODFORD RESERVE DISTILLERY

Courtesy VisitLEX

A WATERING HOLE ON LEXINGTON’S BREWGRASS TRAIL Courtesy VisitLEX

DARBY DAN FARM Courtesy VisitLEX

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brew pubs. In Georgetown, just a few miles north of the Kentucky Horse Park, Country Boy Brewing’s 22,000-square-foot production facility offers tours and a large pub. Food trucks park outside most breweries at night making them a go-to for a beer and casual meal. Some, like Country Boy and West Sixth in Lexington, host events like yoga nights, trivia competitions and live music. WWW.KYBOURBONTRAIL.COM

HORSE COUNTRY A day or two at the Kentucky Horse Park can leave visitors hankering for more horse experiences. Since 2015, a group of horse farm owners has obliged through an organization called Horse Country, which specializes in horse farm tours and other

equine-related activities. By welcoming visitors, the more than two dozen thoroughbred farms and one sporting horse farm educate, entertain and, ultimately, win new fans for horse racing. A dynamic website makes it easy to sign up for tours online, but a Horse Country concierge is also happy to help visitors arrange their visits. A Horse Country tour offers the chance to see some of the region’s most notable farms, like Runnymede, the oldest continuously operated horse farm in Kentucky; Claiborne Farm, the home of Secretariat; and Coolmore at Ashford Stud, where Triple Crown winner American Pharoah stands at stud, as well as newer operations like WinStar, which has, in a short time, seen great success. Tours are also offered by non-farm members like equine veterinary hos-

pitals, a horse feed mill and an equine rescue center. Sport horse fans will want to visit the Horse Park’s nextdoor neighbor, Spy Coast Farm, where show jumpers are trained. Most tours last about an hour, and like the farms themselves, each is different. Many remain family operations, so it isn’t unusual for a family member to serve as tour guide. A tour might also be led by a dedicated staff member — a longtime groom or a stallion manager who can share insights on the personalities and quirks of the horses in their care. Tour availability and scheduling change throughout the year, and generally, more tours are offered on weekends than on weekdays. Although every tour is different, each promises gracious hosts, handsome horses and beautiful settings. WWW.VISITHORSECOUNTRY.COM

Your next adventure starts in

Grant County, KY

visitgrantky.com 800-382-7117

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After a day at the horse park, take a short drive north to Grant County - home to the Ark Encounter, a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark. Spend some time at Lake Williamstown or visit Brianza Gardens & Winery. We’ve got beautiful lakes and parks, hiking trails and friendly folks.

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A

PARK FOR EVERY SEASON I N T E R N AT I O N A L E V E N T S D R A W V I S I T O R S Y E A R - R O U N D BY VICKIE MITCHELL

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O

ne visit to the Kentucky Horse Park won’t do. Each year, new events mean more reasons to visit the park. These eight major events are just a start; check the park’s calendar or Facebook page or visit www.kyhorsepark.com to learn more.

JUNIOR LEAGUE HORSE SHOW

LAND ROVER KENTUCKY THREE-DAY EVENT APRIL 25-28

LAND ROVER KENTUCKY THREE-DAY EVENT

THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK PLAYS HOST TO SOME OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS EVENTS IN THE EQUESTRIAN WORLD.

There’s nothing better than springtime in Kentucky, especially when it’s combined with the nation’s top equestrian eventing competition: the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. With blooms bursting, it’s also a perfect time to appreciate the Horse Park for its beautiful setting. Spectators wander the grounds, especially during Saturday’s cross-country competition, where horses leap elaborate jumps stationed across open fields. The Three-Day Event put the Horse Park in the international spotlight when it began 41 years ago. It is the only Five-Star event in the country and one of only six internationally. Riders and their horses from around the world compete for $400,000 in prize monies; it is also the first event in the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Like most events of its size, the Three-Day Event offers spectators many options for food and fun, including merchant villages and exhibits. WWW.KENTUCKYTHREEDAYEVENT.COM

YOUNG VISITORS AT BREYERFEST All photos courtesy KHP

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FESTIVAL OF THE BLUEGRASS JUNE 6-9 The first weekend in June is all about bluegrass music, when fans bring blankets and banjos to the park’s campground for Festival of the Bluegrass. The Cornett family first held the festival in 1974 on part of Walnut Hill Farm, which later became the Kentucky Horse Park. The family continues to run the festival. Bluegrass fans have been loyal, returning each year to what has been called “a family reunion on steroids.” The musical lineup includes perennial favorites like the Lonesome River Band and Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, as well as newcomers like Nashville-based Hogslop String Band. Other favorites from the 2018 festival include the Wooks, Larry Sparks, Seldom Scene and Town Mountain. Many opt to stay in RVs or tents at the campground, where the music continues with pickin’ around campfires.

The horse show, also the major fundraiser for the Lexington Junior League, has raised more than $4 million for the league’s charitable efforts since it began in 1937. Beyond the show ring, face painting, bounce houses, pony rides and other free activities entertain fans. WWW.LEXJRLEAGUE.COM

BREYERFEST JULY 12-14 The horses may be small, but Breyerfest is a big deal. The annual festival celebrates Breyer model horses; the 1:9 scale miniatures have been on children’s wish lists since the first model, #57 Western Horse, was created in 1950. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Breyerfest, held at the Horse Park since the festival began. In 2018, some 30,000 people who are Breyer’s biggest fans and collectors, attended the three-day festival. They toted their

WWW.FESTIVALOFTHEBLUEGRASS.COM

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF LEXINGTON CHARITY HORSE SHOW JULY 8-13 The Junior League of Lexington Charity Horse Show is well known in saddlebred circles, but its recent move to the Rolex Arena will allow the world’s largest outdoor saddlebred show to grow even larger. Competitors experienced the park’s advantage for the first time in 2018 and appreciated its plentiful stalls and warm-up rings, as well as the arena’s all-weather surface. The show gives spectators the chance to see 1,000 top competitors vie for $70,000 in prize money. The show is the first leg in the Triple Crown of saddlebred shows.

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JUNIOR LEAGUE HORSE SHOW

HIGH HOPE STEEPLE CHASE

HATS OFF DAY SALUTES HORSE INDUSTRY JULY 27 What better way to celebrate the equine industry than for 14,000 Kentuckians to enjoy a free summer celebration at the Kentucky Horse Park? In its 17th year, Hats Off Day is a salute to an industry that directly or indirectly employs almost 200,000 and pumps $8 billion into the state’s economy. The evening event for families begins with a warm welcome and goodie bags at the front gate. Earliest arrivals also receive a free Hats Off cap. Children race off to ride a pony or horse, color a horse-themed mural, jump in a bounce house, listen to music or try to win one of several competitions. Horses also provide entertainment, from a demonstration by the park’s mounted police to high-stepping hackneys and saddlebreds. The evening ends on an exciting note with a show jumping championship, the $50,000 Rood and Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix. Through a live auction and various sponsorships, Hats Off has raised nearly $1 million for the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and the Kentucky Equine Humane Center.

WWW.KYHORSEPARK.COM W W W. K Y H O R S E PA R K . C O M


Breyer collections for exhibitions, sales and even horse show-like competitions. The festival’s many activities include a craft tent where Breyer models can be created in miniature, pony rides, dog agility exhibitions, equine demonstrations and performances, circus acts, a petting zoo and magic shows. For serious collectors, there are seminars and workshops, a swap meet and a marketplace with dozens of vendors selling everything from miniature horse blankets to custom barns for Breyer horses. WWW.BREYERHORSES.COM

The horses may be small, but Breyerfest is a big deal. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Breyerfest, held at the Horse Park since the festival began.

HIGH HOPE STEEPLECHASE

In September 2018, the High Hope Steeplechase celebrated its 50th year. The annual Sunday of steeplechase racing moved to the Horse Park early in the park’s history and has been a staple ever since. It’s as much a party as a sporting event, with tailgating, VIP tents and lawn boxes. Guests can spend time between races shopping in the Mercantile Village or having a drink in the lounge. Musicians play throughout the day. All the fun has a purpose: High Hope is a nonprofit and through the years has supported causes such as children’s hospitals, therapeutic riding programs, and arts and jobs programs for disadvantaged youth. WWW.HIGHHOPESTEEPLECHASE.COM

SEPTEMBER 22 This grand tradition came to the Bluegrass in the 1960s, organized by enthusiasts of a sport that was, at the time, much better known in the Northeast and Europe than in the Bluegrass.

NATIONAL HORSE SHOW OCTOBER 26-NOVEMBER 3 The oldest continuously held horse show for hunters, equitation and show

Just 32 miles SW of Lexington Historic B&B’s & Inns, Hotels & Rentals

HarrodsburgKY.com 800-355-9192 W W W. K Y H O R S E PA R K . C O M

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LAND ROVER KENTUCKY THREE-DAY EVENT

SOUTHERN LIGHTS

jumpers in the United States, the National Horse Show has become a larger show since it moved to the horse park in 2011. In 2015, it began hosting the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup; in 2017, a new equitation championship was added. Over eight days of competition, $800,000 in prize money is awarded. Founded in 1883, the National Horse Show offers the chance to see Olympians, world champions and top international equestrian athletes, including the United States Gold Medal World Championship Team. To help support local nonprofits, the show sponsors the National Horse Show 5K each year on the Horse Park grounds. WWW.NHS.ORG

SOUTHERN LIGHTS NOVEMBER 21-DECEMBER 31 For 25 years, Southern Lights has brightened the holidays for thou-

sands. From mid-November through New Year’s Day, carloads of people drive through three miles of colorful light displays that depict holiday favorites like Santa and his sleigh and Kentucky staples like basketball and thoroughbred racing. New displays are added each year. For many, Southern Lights is an annual tradition and a low-cost way to get into the holiday spirit thanks to its “by the carload” pricing. It is also a time for making memories. Families pose for pictures in front of the Christmas tree; a lighted “Marry Me” message can be rented to add sparkle to marriage proposals. In 2018, one couple even got married at Southern Lights. The light display winds its way through the park and back to the visitors center, where visitors can see Santa — with a small charge for photos — take camel and pony rides — again, a small charge — and ride a small train.

Rise and Dine! Offering a complimentary buffet of hot & healthy breakfast options to start you day right!

Our KY Horse Park Guests Save 20%! To reserve your room, call 800.MARRIOTT or visit fairfieldinn.com Fairfield by Marriott | Georgetown/Lexington 200 Tiger Way Georgetown KY USA 40324 502-868-9955 fairfieldinn.com/LEXGT

You're our #1 priority.

Learn more at http://fairfield.marriott.com/guarantee.php Discounted rates are per room, per night -- and subject to availability. Call us at (502) 868-9955 and mention the "KY HORSE PARK" rate to save 20% off regular rack rate pricing.

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Craftspeople sell their wares and food vendors supply meals and snacks. Southern Lights kicks off in mid-November with the Southern Lights Stroll, the only time visitors can walk through the light display. Many do, bringing babies in strollers and dogs on leashes. There’s a 5K race for those who’d rather run than walk. WWW.KYHORSEPARK.COM

BLUEGRASS ROCKIN’ RODEO NOVEMBER 22-23 The Kentucky Horse Park kicked up its heels two years ago when, in partnership with Hedrick Rodeo Co., it added the Bluegrass Rockin’ Rodeo. Sanctioned by the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA), the weekend features 100 cowboys and cowgirls competing in bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and team roping. The rodeo is an all-regions final for the IPRA. There’s a family focus on Friday night with children’s activities, a calf scramble, a clown and other entertainers. Saturday’s competition concludes with a concert; in 2018, Kentucky native and country music up-and-comer Dustin Collins sang hits from his No. 1 Billboard Heatseekers chart album “It’s Been Awhile.” Each night features plenty of Kentucky Proud foods, bourbon and other drinks, and shopping.

Depending on the weekend, the arena could be filled with writers and book lovers for the Kentucky Book Fair; artists and craftspeople selling their wares during Kentucky Crafted, a showcase of Kentucky-made products; or antiques and garden enthusiasts for the Bluegrass Antiques and Garden Show. The Central Kentucky Home Expo has found the arena roomy enough for larger exhibits like its Tiny Home Village. The Lexington RV show, Good Guys Car Show and conventions tied to car collecting, like 2018’s American Truck Historical and Society Show, also appreciate the arena’s roomy floor. Highly adaptable, the Alltech Arena also is used for basketball, high school wrestling, cheerleading competitions and other sporting events. An 845-space parking lot and 5,512 permanent seats, including 222 VIP box seats and nine VIP suites, appeal to spectators.

BLUEGRASS ROCKIN’ RODEO

ALLTECH ARENA AT THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

WWW.KYHORSEPARK.COM

©Annan Hepner

Good Footing is Safe Footing! ™

WWW.KYHORSEPARK.COM

as used in

The secret is in the sand

EVENTS AT ALLTECH ARENA The enclosed Alltech Arena has been a game changer for the Horse Park. Built for the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, this indoor facility has attracted concerts, sporting events, trade shows and auto shows in addition to equine events. W W W. K Y H O R S E PA R K . C O M

K ENTUCKY HORSE PARK ! www.ggt-footing.com

www.ggt-footing.com Contact: Cynthia Keating (cell) 864-804-0011 Cynthia.keating@polysols.com

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KENTUCKY HORSE PARK 2019

EVENTS CALENDAR KENTUCKY SPRING HORSE SHOW

JUNIOR LEAGUE HORSE SHOW

MAY 8-12

JULY 8-13

CONTACT: Hugh Kinncannon hakshows@earthlink.net

CONTACT: Kent Moeller kentamoeller@gmail.com

KENTUCKY SPRING CLASSIC

BREYERFEST

MAY 15-19

JULY 12-14

CONTACT: Hugh Kinncannon hakshows@earthlink.net

FESTIVAL OF THE BLUEGRASS JUNE 6-8 CONTACT: Roy Cornet roy@festivalofbluegrass.com

SILVERAMA REGION 14 ARABIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS JUNE 26-30 CONTACT: Cindy Clinton cindy@cindyclinton.com

BILL BRADLEY MEMORIAL REINING JULY 3-7 CONTACT: Cappy Dryden cappydryden@gmail.com

CONTACT: Jamie Potkalesky jpotkalesky@reevesintl.com

AMERICAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIPS AUGUST 28-SEPTEMBER 1 CONTACT: Cindy Clinton cindy@cindyclinton.com

KENTUCKY NATIONAL HUNTER/JUMPER SHOW SEPTEMBER 18-22 CONTACT: Suzanne Mayo wldwoo@aol.com

THOROUGHBRED MAKEOVER OCTOBER 3-6 CONTACT: Kirsten Green kirsten@retiredracehorseproject.org

GOOD GUYS CAR SHOW OCTOBER 11-13 CONTACT: Harry Daviess harryd@good-guys.com

BLUEGRASS CLASSIC DOG SHOW

NATIONAL HORSE SHOW

AUGUST 30-SEPTEMBER 2

OCTOBER 26-NOVEMBER 3

CONTACT: Sue Buxton stbuxton@windstream.net

NEW VOCATIONS CHARITY THOROUGHBRED SHOW SEPTEMBER 6-8 CONTACT: Sarah Coleman sarah@horseadoption.com

CONTACT: Cindy Bozan cindy@nhs.com

KHP RODEO NOVEMBER 15-16 CONTACT: Nicole Rivera nicole.rivera@ky.gov

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.KYHORSEPARK.COM

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Kentucky Horse Park

Horseback Trail Riding Explore Kentucky’s beautiful countryside on horseback! Schedule your trail ride at the Visitors Center on the day of your visit.

Find all of your horse loving needs at the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop! Equine Home Decor Eye Catching Apparel Jewelry & Gifts Breyer Horses & Toys Kentucky Proud Products NEW!

Bourbon Souvenirs

ALSO AVAILABLE – PONY RIDES FOR YOUR YOUNGEST HORSE-LOVING RIDERS! LEARN MORE KYHORSEPARK.COM | 859-233-4303

®

Gift Shop Find all of your horse loving needs at the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop! Equine Home Decor Eye Catching Apparel Jewelry & Gifts Breyer Horses & Toys Kentucky Proud Products NEW!

Bourbon Souvenirs

Shop our store inside the Visitor’s Center or

SHOPKYHORSEPARK.COM


KENTUCKY

S

avor ...

THE SIGHTS & SOUNDS OF GEORGETOWN.

MALL TOWN CHARM. PURE SMALL

SCOTT COUNTY

– Equine Activities & Events –

• Minutes from the Kentucky Horse Park

• Old Friends Thoroughbre d Retirement Farm • Whispering Woods Riding Stables

– Picturesque Downtown – • Specialty Shops • Antiques • Cafes and One-of-a-kind Restaurants • Georgetown & Scott County Museum • Scott County Arts & Cultural Center

– Unbridled Fun – • Toyota Motor Manufacturing KY, Inc. Tour • Country Boy Brewing • Bourbon 30 • Golf • Ward Hall • Scott County Geocaching Trails • Nearby Wineries and Bourbon Distilleries • Close proximity to the Ark Encounter

15 hotels + over 70 Restaurants

Right Off

INTERSTATE

64

INTERSTATE

75

COUNTRY BOY BREWING WALMART CONNECTOR RD

CATTLEMAN’S ROADHOUSE

EXIT 126

(4.8 miles)

P W MAIN ST

DOWNTOWN THAI GARDEN UPBEAT CAFE BROADWAY

SPOTZ GALVIN’S GELATO

RODNEY’S ON BROADWAY

MORE THAN CAKE BOURBON 30

W CLINTON ST

SLAINTE PUBLIC HOUSE SWEET MATRIARCH

DR

A

S RI

RO

AD

FATKATS PIZZERIA

Follow my hooves to Georgetown’s sips, sweets & savories.

TRINDY’S POST OFFICE H WS

OWALTER DR

KROGER

SOUTHSIDE LAUNDRY COLLEGE ST

LOWES IA

FORMAGGIO ITALIANO

AR M

LOCAL FEED

S WATER ST

W MAIN ST

OL

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W JEFFERSON ST

DESSERTS BY REBECCA BROUSSARD’S DELTA KITCHEN MY OLD KENTUCKY FOAM FAVA’S E MAIN ST

GN

EXIT 125

BABES BBQ WILSHIRES

MA

KE

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GEORGETOWN COMMUNITY HOSPITAL BYP

LACE

EXIT 120

CIR

JOSIE’S

KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

(I-75 at EXIT 120 - 5 miles)

(2 miles)

www.GeorgetownKy.com • 888.863.8600

LITTLE SILVER CHARM

Profile for The Group Travel Leader, Inc.

Kentucky Horse Park Magazine 2019  

Owned and operated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky Horse Park is a genuine treasure of the Bluegrass and a facility unlike any...

Kentucky Horse Park Magazine 2019  

Owned and operated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky Horse Park is a genuine treasure of the Bluegrass and a facility unlike any...