Today we went next door to the campground and visited the Kentucky Horse Park. It encompasses approximately 1,200 acres. It is state run and all the employees are state employees. The largest industry in Kentucky is horses, ahead of bourbon and tobacco.
It takes a full day to see everything at the Horse Park without viewing any special events.
We started out at the Draft Horse barn where they were grooming the horses in preparation of using them for the horse –drawn tour. They had Percherons, Clydesdales, and Belgium breeds. We then took a 15-minute narrated tour of the property in the horse drawn trolley shown below, which was drawn by the pair of Percherons
Next it was on to the Hall of Champions. Here they do a show and tell of past champions housed at the Horse Park. Most of these champions were hard to control in their youth and were not expected to amount to much due to leg and hoof problems. Two of the most famous horses were among those shown. First was Cigar.
Cigar is 59 years old in human years and ranks 18th among the all time top 100 racehorses.
The old man of Champions and almost a twin to Cigar with respect to winnings in today’s dollars is John Henry.
John Henry is 104 years old in human years and ranks 23rd among the all time top 100 racehorses. Just amazing animals, which over came difficult physical problems in their first couple of years to become champions.
Next it was on to the parade of breeds. Several different breeds were featured along with its rider clad in clothing representing the country of origin of the particular breed. Opening ceremonies included playing of the Star Spangled Banner.
And last but certainly not least was the mare and foal show. We were shown these horses in the Big Barn viewing area. The viewing area was the spot where the first auction of thoroughbreds took place in Kentucky.
We learned a lot about horses.
1. They only sleep 2 to 3 hours per day, either standing or lying down.
2. A hand as in how many hands tall is a measurement of the width of the human hand and is equal to 4 inches.
3. A pregnant mare can postpone giving birth for up to two weeks if she feels there is a danger present.
4. Did not know there are so many different breeds.
5. Did not know the emphasis on the care of retired horses.
6. Did not know there are so many horse lovers!
A visit to the Horse Park would not be complete without a race. I think it turned out to a photo finish, judge for yourself.
I would highly recommend this campground and a visit to the Horse Park.
That’s it for today, very hot again. They claim it is 15 degrees above normal for this time of year. It should begin to cool early next week. Also very dry, no rain.
Tomorrow the ladies shop while Ray and I visit Toyota’s largest plant outside Japan. It is located just 6 miles up the road in Georgetown, KY. It produces 2,000 cars a day.