KHP Foundation Spring 2023 Newsletter

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Barn Renovation Project

Barns 8 through 12 were demolished earlier this year. Thanks to the quick demolition, additional groundwork was completed, and asphalt was poured in advance of the 2023 show season.



KHP Mustang Troop

The Kentucky Horse Park Mustang Troop Program will return this summer with a new partner, CHI Saint Joseph Health’s Creating Safer Neighborhoods Initiative. This collaboration will allow the program to reach more youth in need from across Fayette County.

Last year the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation awarded a grant of $90,000 to the Kentucky Horse Park towards the purchase and planting of 100 trees, representing a variety of species. This fall the trees were planted in several areas of the Kentucky Horse Park.

A non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing, expanding, and improving the Kentucky Horse Park.
06 Updates 04
KHP Tree Fund
Mark your calendar for KY GIVES DAY May 9, 2023 to support the KHP Foundation.

Dear Kentucky Horse Park Foundation Family,

Here at the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, we are thrilled to celebrate the return of Spring. Spring at the Kentucky Horse Park means enjoying the beauty of budding trees, green paddocks, and warmer temperatures. Spring means welcoming children from across the state for Field Trips and showcasing all of the wonderful attractions the Park has to offer. Spring means hosting the world’s greatest equestrians and providing safe, world class facilities and accommodating spaces for them to compete.

This newsletter celebrates all of those things and more! I hope you will take a few moments to learn about special capital projects such as new barns and our dedication to our trees and environment. We are also so proud to champion educational programs at the Park that are stronger than ever. Truly, there is so much to celebrate!

I am also thrilled to report on all the ways the Foundation has been able to serve the community in recent months. Southern Lights Holiday Celebration welcomed thousands of in need individuals from our community free of charge, in large part, from the support of donors like you. This summer, our commitment to the community will again be evident when we host underserved youth through the Mustang Troop, exposing many of them to horses for the very first time.

I hope you will find time to visit the Kentucky Horse Park this spring. It truly is a beautiful and exciting time of year! But even if your travels don’t allow it, please rest assured that your donations are hard at work, and we are most grateful.

With Regard, Clay Green, Chair

2023 KHP Foundation Board of Directors and Advisory Council Officers

Clay Green, Chair

Andrew Jacobs, Vice Chair

Nicole Pieratt, Secretary

Orson Oliver, Treasurer

Board of Directors

Hanzly M. Albina

W. True Baker, DVM, DACVS

Ann Bakhaus

James C. Baughman, Jr.

Jane Beshear

Demetria N. Blair

W. Buff Bradley

Derek Braun

Stuart E. Brown II, DVM

Elizabeth Caldwell

LuLu Lenihan Davis

Barclay de Wet

Catharine Peterson


Tawana Edwards

Jennie Garlington

Hutton Goodman

Bill Hilliard

Meg Jewett

Bill Justice

Teri Kessler

Deborah H. Long

Lisa Lourie

Deirdre Lyons

Jennifer S. Madden

Zeff Maloney

Judy Miller

Janie Musselman

Maegan F. Nicholson

Mary Jane Nuckols

Katherine O’Brien

Eloise Penn

Tom Riddle, DVM

Walt Robertson, Jr.

Walt Robertson, Sr.

Amy Dix Rock

David B. Rudder

Justin Sautter

Martha Slaughter

Deborah Spike-Pierce, DVM, MBA

Richard Sturgill

Jenny W. Sutton

Donna Ward

Jane Winegardner

Marian Zeitlin

Advisory Council

Nina Bonnie

Alex Boone

Caroline Boone

Luther Deaton, Jr.

Greg Goodman

Linda Green

Mary Guinness

Dell Hancock

Misdee Wrigley Miller

Greg Simon

Howard Simpson



Year after year, the Kentucky Horse Park stands as THE place to celebrate the holidays in Central Kentucky. 2022 was no exception.

Over 100,000 individuals visited the 29th Annual Southern Lights Festival held during the month of December. Featuring a stunning driving route and a Holiday Village with attractions for all ages, Southern Lights has truly become a beloved tradition for families from across the Bluegrass and BEYOND. Last year’s event included guests from 42 states and 4 countries!

The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation hosts this beloved event as a fundraiser for the Kentucky Horse Park, but it also welcomes every opportunity to serve the community. During last year’s event, Southern Lights welcomed a number of very special guests.

• A Kid Again, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving children with life-threatening illnesses,

hosted a private party in our Holiday Village, and Southern Lights was honored to welcome 238 individuals at no charge.

• On two separate evenings, members of the Military and First Responders were invited to attend Southern Lights for free, and Southern Lights was honored to welcome 2,256 individuals.

• Mustang Troop alumni and their families were given complimentary passes to attend Southern Lights, and 424 individuals were able to do so.

• Through a collaboration with LexTran, 300 individuals enjoyed a free ride through the driving route on public transportation.

The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation is grateful to its sponsors and to all of the individuals that chose to make Southern Lights part of their holiday tradition.

SPRING 2023 3

Construction Updates from KHP Executive Director, Lee Carter


Barns 8 through 12 were demolished earlier this year. Thanks to the quick demolition, additional groundwork was completed, and asphalt was poured in advance of the 2023 show season. The Kentucky Horse Park has been working with EOP Architects and GH2 Equine Architects on the design of the future barns. At their March meeting, the Park Commission approved the design. The next steps include the creation of bid documents with the intent of beginning construction this fall.

International Museum of the Horse

Staff at the International Museum of the Horse have held numerous meetings with EOP Architects and the design firm CambridgeSeven. The result is a reimagined museum that better utilizes the existing space, enhances the visitor experience, and provides better services for guests. The projected cost of a complete renovation exceeds the current funds allocated.

Level 1 − Visioned Horseshoe Classroom Level Level
Level 1 − Envisioned Entry Lobby
Approved new design
concept Approved new design


The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation will be hosting their spring trail ride in partnership with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Manager’s Club on June 3, 2023. Proceeds will support the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions. Guests of all levels, breeds and disciplines are invited to explore the Park grounds with their own horse for a $45 entry fee which includes access to the trails from 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Enjoy six miles of scenic trail and a photo opportunity in the world-famous Rolex Arena. Food trucks will be available for guests to purchase lunch and spend the day at the Park. Visit to pre-register.

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The Kentucky Horse Park Mustang Troop Program will return this summer with a new partner, CHI Saint Joseph Health’s Creating Safer Neighborhoods Initiative. This collaboration will allow the program to reach more youth in need from across Fayette County.

The Creating Safer Neighborhoods Initiative, the health care system’s youth violence prevention program in Lexington, encourages youth and community members to establish an intolerance for violence, creating a safer and healthier Lexington community. The program is supported through a grant from the CommonSpirit Health Mission and Ministry Fund. CHI Saint Joseph Health is part of CommonSpirit Health, which has hospitals and care sites in 21 states.

The Creating Safer Neighborhoods Initiative will greatly impact the scope of the program. Founded nearly 30 years ago, the Mustang Troop invites underserved youth from the Central Kentucky community to a two-week summer horse camp experience held at the Kentucky Horse Park. Offered free of charge, the horse camp includes riding lessons, personal development activities, daily transportation, meals, riding apparel, and mementos.

Program participants are each paired with a partner and a horse and given access to quality riding instruction, equine education, and equine care. The Mustang Troop seeks to give campers the opportunity to build lifelong coping skills, develop self-confidence, set boundaries, and

balance teamwork and independence through the channels of horsemanship and riding. Mustang Troop participants are invited to attend holiday events throughout the year with their families, including Hats Off Day, Southern Lights Holiday Festival, and Halloween Campouts.

“The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation is proud to support the Kentucky Horse Park Mustang Troop,” said Clay Green, Chair of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. “Exposing young people to the power of horses is one of the most important things we can do in the equestrian community, and I am continually amazed when I hear about this program’s impact. For nearly thirty years, the Mustang Troop has taught underserved youth invaluable life lessons, provided exposure to horses that would have otherwise not been possible, and created a tangible pipeline to careers in the horse industry. New partnerships, energetic community support, and state-of-the-art educational opportunities are just around the corner. I believe the best is yet to come for this amazing program.”

The Mustang Troop is solely funded through the support of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and relies on private donations.


T he dedicated staff of the Kentucky Horse Park Education Department is essential to the success of the Kentucky Horse Park Mustang Troop, and the KHPF is delighted to introduce this summer’s lead instructors, Angel Antonaccio and Mary Franzoso. Tell us about your equine backgrounds?

Angel: I grew up riding in a program called Horses N Heroes which was a program for kids under the poverty level. I started that when I was 7 years old and haven’t been able to leave the barn since. Once I moved to Kentucky I went from only riding Hunter Jumpers to working at the Kentucky Horse Park Breeds Barn where I have learned to ride a variety of disciplines and breeds. In 2022 I became the Park’s Education Coordinator.

Mary: I’ve had a fascination and love of horses for as long as I can remember. I did not take my first ride on a horse until I turned 50! I have not looked back since. I have just finished my two-year certification program in Equine Acupressure. I am very excited to bring this therapy to the horses at the Park and to teach Troopers some basic centering/acupressure points.

What’s a typical day like in the barn with the Troop?

Angel : A typical day starts off with each Trooper practicing balance exercises on the HomeHorse

donated by the United States Equestrian Federation. We then begin a classroom lesson where the kids learn horse anatomy, colors, breeds, careers and disciplines. We go out to the barn and groom each of the horses and prepare for a morning ride. Once the kids have all ridden, we go inside for lunch. After lunch we start another classroom lesson. We then go back to the barn and groom and prepare for another ride. After riding has been done for the day, the kids will assist in turning out the horses to their fields and then will clean and reset the barn for the next day.

What skills does the Mustang Troop help each child build?

Mary: Confidence in themselves and to be present in the moment knowing that is the moment the horses live in. To be respectful of each other and those around them including the horses they work with.

Angel: The Troopers learn responsibility, teamwork and communication skills that can help them in school and in future careers.

Do you have a favorite teaching memory with one of the Troopers?

Angel: We had one Trooper last year who was incredibly shy and we rarely heard him speak. In one of his riding lessons, we were practicing balance exercises and I had him hold both

of his arms out to the side while we trotted and his arms started going up and down, so I made the joke that he was going to fly away. He immediately started belly laughing which was the first time he opened up to us.

Mary: I teach the troopers acupressure/centering/breathing exercises. One Trooper quickly bonded with a Suffolk Punch named Laura. I taught him how to ground/center himself with her when he was nervous or having a challenging day. From that point on every time Laura was in the barn he would ask if he could ground himself with her, even if he was not assigned to her that day. It made my heart melt every time I would watch them together.

What does the Kentucky Horse Park mean to you?

Angel : I absolutely love watching guests and students alike seeing or touching a horse for the first time. I’m able to show others just how amazing horses are and how therapeutic being around a horse is. Being able to be that link is so rewarding.

Mary: It is so nice to love your work, if you can call being with horses every day work! The Kentucky Horse Park is family, and we all take care of each other, both human and equine. I am honored to be in the presence of such amazing people who all share a passion for the horse.

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KHP Employee Spotlight: Angel & Mary


Since its inception in 2000, the Kentucky Horse Park Volunteer Program has been an invaluable asset to the Kentucky Horse Park. Day-to-day operation of the Park is only made possible through the thousands of hours KHP volunteers give on an annual basis. From helping with horse care, to offering curatorial assistance in the museum, to shepherding students on school visits, KHP volunteers are essential to the life and vibrancy of the Park.


Equine: Get up close and personal with the Park’s horses. Help is needed with general stable duties such as washing, mucking, grooming, tack preparation, harnessing, and more. Opportunities include working with the Breeds Barn, Horse Drawn Tours, Hall of Champions and Mounted Police Barn.

Park Representative: Volunteers advise and direct guests on how to best enjoy their time at the Park. Opportunities include shuttle driving, tour guide, field trip guide, information host, special events help.

Behind the Scenes: Volunteers are needed to help with office duties, cleaning, and general maintenance around the grounds. Opportunities include working with the International Museum of the Horse, the Kentucky Horse Park Garden Club, and clerical duties. For more information about volunteer opportunities and how to get involved contact Sidney Barnett, Volunteer, Outreach & Education Programs Director at


I wanted to volunteer for the Kentucky Horse Park since my first visit! I chose to volunteer in the Mounted Police barn because my father is a retired Chicago Homicide Detective, and I have nothing but respect for what they do. I love feeling useful and It’s so nice to be able to give back to all the wonderful staff who work tirelessly in the Mounted Police barn. And I absolutely love interacting with all the guests and being able to make their visit special and memorable.

- Liz Fronczek, volunteer since 2021

I no longer have horses, but still have horse fever! There are lots of different opportunities for volunteers to work with horses or in many other departments. I love to volunteer at the Hall of Champions and meet people visiting from all over the world. The Kentucky Horse Park is a great place to make new friends, and to become a part of something special in our beloved state of Kentucky.

- David McMillin, volunteer since 2012

I’ve loved horses all my life and had horses all my life. I’m not a competitor but ride for the sheer joy of it. I knew when I retired that The Kentucky Horse Park is where I wanted to spend a lot of my time. Talking with people about horses and sharing about Kentucky is right in my “wheelhouse”. If you like people and horses, want to have a good time and support the Kentucky Horse Park there are so many opportunities to get involved.

- Margie Riggs, volunteer since 2018

Liz Fronczek David McMillin Margie Riggs

O - Oak Tree

M - Maple Tree

Y - Yellow Wood Tree

T - Tulip Poplar Tree

E - Eastern White Pine Tree

B - Blackgum Tree

C - Bald Cypress Tree

E - Elm Tree

Trees Planted

Last year the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation awarded a grant of $90,000 to the Kentucky Horse Park towards the purchase and planting of 100 trees, representing a variety of species. This fall trees were planted in several areas of the Kentucky Horse Park, detailed in the map above.

SPRING 2023 9

KHPF Awards Grants to Kentucky Horse Park

The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation is delighted to support through the Park by awarding grants through a formal application process. Projects funded during the Winter Quarter of 2023 include:

Visitor Information Center ($40,000): Funding to support the purchase of televisions for use in the Visitor Information Center. This purchase will improve the Park’s technology while providing a more dynamic experience for its guests.

Mustang Troop ($32,750): Funding to support the efforts of the 2023 Mustang Troop program which will be held in June and July.

Parade of Breeds ($8,500): Funding to support the purchase of costumes for use by performers in the Parade of Breeds

These grants were awarded through a formal application process, administered by the KHPF Grants Committee, composed of members of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation Board of Directors. The Grants Committee makes recommendations to the full Board of Directors upon their review of all applications. The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation is delighted to report that these awards were approved unanimously by the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation Board of Directors at its 2023 January meeting.

Mary Franzoso and Mustang Trooper Trellie Griffith riding in the Colonial costume

Above: The Kentucky Horse Park is excited to welcome Belgian Draft mare and foal, Rae and Drambuie at the Big Barn this spring. The pair is on loan from Cody & Nicole Woodbury and family of Oak Ridge Stables.

Left: The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation was honored to receive a noteworthy contribution from the 2022 Hats Off to Kentucky’s Horse Industry Day. This generous contribution greatly helps the Foundation’s mission to enrich the Kentucky Horse Park. Mark your calendars for the 2023 Hats Off to Kentucky’s Horse Industry Day and Rood & Riddle Grand Prix which will be held on July 29, 2023.

Kentucky Horse Park Foundation Donation Form

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SPRING 2023 11
form or save a stamp and donate online at
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Kentucky Horse Park Foundation · 4075 Iron Works Parkway · Lexington, KY 40511 SPRING 2023
From left: Kathy Meyer, Dr. Tom Riddle and Karen Guston


Iron Works Parkway
KY 40511
859 255 5727
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