Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky Horse Park

The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm and an educational theme park opened in 1978 in Lexington, Kentucky. It is located off of KY 1973 (Iron Works Pike) and Interstate 75 in northern Fayette County in the United States. The equestrian facility is a convert|1200|acre|km2|sing=on park dedicated to "man's relationship with the horse." Open to the public, the Park has a twice daily Parade of Breeds, showcasing both common and rare horses from across the globe. The horses are ridden in authentic costume. Each year the Park is host to a number of special events and horse shows.

Beginning with the 1985 arrival of John Henry, Horse of the Decade for the 1980s and the top money-winning thoroughbred gelding in racing history, the Kentucky Horse Park has been a retirement home for some of the world's greatest competition horses. With the exception of a few months in 1986, John Henry lived at the park until his death in 2007, alongside other racing greats such as 1970s champions Forego and Bold Forbes, and current residents Cigar, voted Horse of the Decade for the 1990s, and Da Hoss, the first of only two thoroughbreds to win Breeders' Cup races in non-consecutive years.

Besides thoroughbred horses, standardbred greats such as Western Dreamer, Cam Fella and Rambling Willie have made the Kentucky Horse Park their home, as well as 5-gaited Saddlebred gelding CH Gypsy Supreme and late champions CH Imperator and CH Sky Watch.

National Horse Center

The Kentucky Horse Park also contains the National Horse Center, headquarters for several organizations including:
*American Association of Equine Practitioners
*American Farrier's Association
*American Hackney Horse Society
*American Hanoverian Society
*American Saddlebred Horse Association
*Carriage Association of America
*Kentucky Horse Racing Authority
*Equestrian Events, Inc.
*United States Hunter/Jumper Association
*United States Dressage Federation
*United States Equestrian Federation
*United States Pony Clubs, Inc.

Rolex Kentucky 3 Day EventApril 23 - April 27This is where olympic level Riders compete in 5 days. On the first day there is a horse inspection. On the second in third day there is dressage. on the fourth day is cross-country. And wrapping up the competition on the fifth day is show jumping.

2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

On December 6, 2005, it was announced the Lexington and Kentucky Horse Park will host the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in September and October. The 2010 games will mark the first time the games have been held outside of Europe. The games will include eight Olympic-level world championships that have never been held outside of Europe, and is expected to attract an estimated 500,000 visitors and $100 million into the state's economy.

As part of the games, several improvements are slated.
* A new $36 million indoor arena that was approved in 2006 by the legislature.Jordan, Jim. "$38 million urged for Horse Park." Herald-Leader [Lexington] 2 Feb. 2007. 2 Feb. 2007 [] .]
* Enhancements to the arena's sound system.
* A resort hotel that would be constructed near the park. Bids from private developers have been received and are currently under review.

On February 1, 2007, Governor Ernie Fletcher announced that he will seek an additional $38.3 million in improvements to the park in preparation for the games and other major horse events. Included in his address to the 2007 General Assembly will include,
* $24 million for a new outdoor stadium that would feature 10,075 permanent seats but could be expanded to 30,325 temporarily for major events.
* $4 million for an additional convert|21000|sqft|m2|abbr=on. of exhibition space for vendors.
* $10.3 million for roadway improvements inside the park that would give the facility a second entrance via the campground. A wide loop road would be constructed so that events could be held on both sides of the horse park.

Construction on the segments of the expanded park, in preparation for the equestrian games, could start in April. A contract for the resort hotel could be awarded in the spring.


The new outdoor stadium and additional exhibition space, costing $28 million, would be financed with 20-year bonds. The roadway improvements, at $10.3 million within the park would come from the state highway fund. The resort hotel would be constructed and financed without state funds.


Although the park is owned by the state government, it is administered separately from the the state park system.


External links

* [ Official site of the Kentucky Horse Park]
* [ Kentucky Horse Park full history and large collection of photos]

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