Monday, October 3, 2011

The Kentucky Horse Park

The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY is becoming "the" horse venue for the U.S.  Now home to the "National Horse Show" (originally in Madison Square Garden, then moved to Palm Beach and Syracuse, NY), this Lexington landmark has become the locale for the most prestiguous equine events in every discipline.  The list is long: Pony Finals, World Equestrian Games, numerous AA hunter-jumper shows, the Hunter Derby Finals and Rolex, just to name a few of the prestiguous events that now call the KHP home.  The Show Jumping Hall of Fame is located in the park as is the U.S. Equestrian Federation and the U.S. Hunter-Jumper Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, etc.  Clearly it is the "center of the universe" for the horse world in the U.S.  It just seems to get better and better. 

Opened in 1978, it was and is dedicated to man's relationship to horses. The park is owned by the state and boasts 1200 acres of pristine Kentucky bluegrass.  Over 50 breeds of horses can be found here.  Millions of tourists visit the park each year. Once you get there, go to the Visitors Information Center for information. It is large enough that you will need a map to find your way around.

A bronze statue of Man O'War is situated at the entrance to the park. (See my earlier post on this legendary horse).  And the Park is also a retirement home to many horses.

A parade of horse breeds is exhibited twice daily. The International Museum of the Horse is the largest horse museum in the world. The American Saddlebred Museum is another great spot.  There is a theatre where visitors can watch the film Thou Shalt Fly Without Wings.   There are also craft fairs and horse shows at the park, polo matches, carriage driving competitions.  Take the kids on a pony ride while you are there! And at Christmas, check out their Festival of Lights.

The facilities are just state of the art.  There are none better in the U.S.  The best footing, lighting, a great maintenance staff.  They just have this down.  This is why the most prestiguous events are flocking to the KHP. 

If you get a chance, stop by the park or event better, attend an event here.  It is an awesome place!

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