Kentucky Horse Park

by Bonnie and Bill Neely

Kentucky Horse Park in its 40th Anniversary year is amazing and huge! The paddocks and pastures and show rings are always busy and are lush in Kentucky Blue Grass and so picturesque. We enjoyed especially the introduction to the different horse breeds, which takes place several times a day. The meet and greet for the Clydesdale horses and the detailed explanation of the breed was fascinating, with some 19 hands high to their withers. The young handler, who explained it all and showed us how the harnessing for pulling the wagon is done, was a terrific demonstrator and horse-woman.

We loved International Museum of the Horse, which demonstrated so much information about the history of horses, many famous ones, and the many uses for them as man’s helper and friend for thousands of years around the world. The exhibits and videos and special effects are well done. There are also valuable relics, trophies, statues dioramas.  The section devoted to Al-Marah-Arabian-Horse- Galleries history and breeds was fascinating.

The exhibits are exotic showing Middle Eastern attire for riding. Videos explain about Arabian hooves being perfect for sands of the desert.  The Saddlebred Museum was also interesting with explanations of the origin and development of the horses as man’s friend and helper.

However, our lunchtime was quite vexing. We were there during the three-day weekend when thousands of eager children who collect the valuable Breyer Horses were there with their families from far and nearby. The small, main restaurant was not well managed for such a HUGE crowd on that weekend with the Breyerfest clientele.

We ordered and waited over an hour for our food. Many had waited even longer and finally got refunds. Workers had forgotten to tell the late crowd we had the option of going through the buffet line and promptly getting our own, but instead took orders which could not be filled for hours. But people were waiting fairly patiently because we were all glad to be seated and in air conditioning on the blistering hot day.

If you find a day at Kentucky Horse Park enjoyable you must set your next equestrian venture a bit farther east and spend time at the newest and largest Equestrian Center in the world at Tryon (Mill Spring) North Carolina, where the 2018 World Equestrian Olympics was hosted.