June 1, 2009

Kentucky Horse Park

As we drove along the highway towards the Kentucky Horse Park, we saw many fine examples of what Kentucky is famous for. Some were a bit on the ostentatious side to say the least! We knew we were in for a nice place to stay before we ever entered the park's beautiful campground. Set just to the east of the horse park proper, we opted to set up camp in the primitive area which we had virtually to ourselves. So, how's this for a scenic backyard!
The next morning, we entered the park where we enjoyed looking at numerous detailed bronze pieces of art, all horses of course!

The park boast a spacious museum filled with horse lore and history. Many examples of scenes from the past depicted by full sized preservations of the animals. The taxidermy work must have taken years!

Among the activities here, we highly recommend the wagon ride. It didn't take long for the Belgians, Jake and John to get hitched up. They seemed anxious to get going in the cool morning air.

As the boys pulled us slowly along, we marveled at the endless miles of pristine grounds and brilliant white fencing.
The oldest building on the property is the "Big Barn", constructed in 1909, was once the largest standing wooden barn in the United States.

Shortly after the wagon ride, we were led to a small show arena and given a sampling of what this "sport" is all about. Both english and western examples were shown. My favorite was the Paint with those marbled blue "catahoula" eyes!

The park is the ultimate retirement place for past champions. We were treated to a showing of several of these champions. I just had to get a closer look at him. I also enjoyed talking to the volunteer handler about the horse's temperament and daily routine.

Later in the day, we learned that the 'Egyptian Event' was beginning in the indoor arena, so off we went. There were many fine examples of the Arabian breed and the judges seemed very interested in giving each contestant their full attention. One of the prominent things the judges look for is the typy head profile that is a characteristic of this breed.

The whole affair reminded me of dog shows, the handlers running around the arena much like those showing hounds, jerking the lead and waving their hands to make the horses pose.

We also had a chance to view the show grounds for the World Cup, an olympic qualifying even that will be held at the park next year.
For those of you that know Kim and her love of horses - for me to say that she was in heaven today, would be a huge understatement.

But I must admit I too enjoyed this wonderful experience here in the home of the horse. KENTUCKY!