A Travellerspoint blog

Kentucky Horse Park Thursday May 31, 2007

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.

Posted by popding 13:48 Comments (0)

Lexington horse farm and Keeneland Racetrack tour

We arrived here ok after a grueling day on the road Tuesday. We had to drive 47 miles north on I-75 to arrive at the Kentucky Horse Park with adjacent Horse Park Campground.

The campground is very nice, with large sites, etc. Set up, and then arranged a tour for Wednesday of the surrounding area including a horse farm and Keeneland Racetrack.

The tour was informative including a history lesson of Lexington and the horse industry. We started by touring the old downtown area and drove past the houses where Mary Todd Lincoln was born and where she lived when Abe was courting her. The historical area has houses protected due to their historical nature and are identified with a BGT sign on the house. This stands for Blue Grass Trust. Transylvania College is located here and dates back to the times of the settlement of Lexington. Enrollment in the Liberal Arts college is about 1,100. The name Transylvania comes from Latin and means "across the woods"—a good description of the vast region settled by a pioneering land company whose chief scout was Daniel Boone. Kentucky still marked the nation's western frontier in 1780 when Transylvania became the sixteenth college in the U.S. and the first college west of the Allegheny Mountains. Transylvania is linked with many famous names in American history. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Aaron Burr were early supporters. Henry Clay was a law professor and a member of Transylvania's board of trustees. Among other distinguished alumni are Stephen Austin, Cassius M. Clay, two U.S. vice presidents, a Supreme Court justice, 50 U.S. senators, 101 U.S. representatives, 36 governors, and 34 ambassadors.

The Lexington area was chosen as a settlement for farming and raising of livestock, including horses due to it being on a high limestone plateau as opposed to the dense forests that surround the area.

Then we went to Keeneland to tour the racetrack.
Here is a photo looking across the tracks.



The above is a photo showing the turf or grass track and the polyturf or dirt track.

This racetrack was built out from the city of Lexington in 1935. It is a rich looking stone structure and a non-profit organization. All profits go back into upkeep, expansion and anything left over is given to local charities. It is a beautiful facility. At this time of year there is no racing (only in April and October) and no horse auctions. Many of the high priced and prized horses are auctioned here to THE PEOPLE in the racing industry, including Sheiks, actors, and wealthy horse racing farms. They sell for as little as $25,000 to several million.

Kathy in the paddock area.


The above is the group less Ray down at the track and close to the winner’s circle.

Next we went to Donamire farm. It was 650 acres of rolling hills and many, many paddocks and barns. The barns were made of limestone with big heavy oak doors and brass hardware. It is rumored that the barn doors cost $25,000. This farm has its own racetracks for practice, both turf and dirt. The main house is a large limestone structure.

This is a photo of the back porch of the house


Next, it was off to the Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm. This is a facility that cares for retired Thoroughbred Champions. Many owners simply get rid of stallions after they are no longer profitable. This facility cares for the horses much like an assisted living center for aged senior citizens. Some were rescued from the chopping block or put there by their former owners. Some of the former owners actually pay for the services.

One of the horses is Popcorn Deelites who was one of the horses who played Seabiscuit in the movie. This particular horse is in the scene that shows Seabiscuit winning the race.


That’s a recap of today’s activities. Tomorrow it is on to visit either Georgetown a couple miles up the road where Kathy’s sister, Linda, went to college for a year or on to visit the Horse Park and Horse Museum etc.

Weather update, HOT, HOT and DRY! Cools down at night. The best part is no humidity.

Posted by popding 13:58 Comments (1)

In search of Anglin Falls, Berea, KY

Memorial Day 2007

We decided to find the real falls today and went searching for Anglin Falls. It is a 75 foot waterfall in the John B Stevenson Forrest. The forest was named after the first president of Berea College.

Did a google search and found directions as follows:

Directions - Rockcastle County. From Exit 76 on I-75, go east 3.5 miles on KY 21 to the center of Berea. Turn right at the light (staying on KY 21), past the Boone Tavern, and travel another 5 miles. Turn right (south) on to US 421 and travel 2.6 miles. Turn right on Burnt Ridge Road and travel .2 miles, then left on Himanns Fork Road and travel 3.4 miles. Look for a red brick house on the right (box 530); approximately one-tenth of a mile past the house make a sharp left turn down a steep hill on to Anglin Falls Road. Travel .9 miles on Anglin Falls Road to a sign that says "Anglin Falls" next to a mailbox marked "542 R2". Turn left and travel .2 miles to the parking area/trail head.

My navigator had no problems following these diredtions and guiding us.

We were in search of falls that look like this:



The scenery on the way was eye-catching. Here is a look at the hard road on the way to Anglin Falls.


The walk was not too steep until you get near the end. It was about a 1 mile hike. Met a man coming down who lives 10 miles from the falls. He enjoys the hike and inquired where we were from. When we replied Florida, he said he was a Gator and had lived in Gainesville and Tampa etc. GO GATORS!

The hike was deep in the forest. When we got to the falls area this is what we saw:

Ray pointing out where the falls should be.

Actual view of the falls.


Unfortunately, they are having a drought and there was no water flowing, but the hike was nice.

We headed back to the RVs for lunch, but got diverted along the way to Blondies, an ice cream shop.


So much for lunch.

Thought I would catch you up on a few photos from yesterday. First you never see much of the editor in chief so here he is:


As always, hard at work while the others carried on other activities.

Here are a couple of photos of normal activity on the trip:



You will remember our trip to the other falls and the house we saw for sale. h
Here is a photo of that house. The first one to guess the correct price wins the prize!


After it cools off a bit we plan on cooking out tonight. Tomorrrow we head to Lexington, KY. We will be staying at the Kentucky Horse Park north of Lex for 5 days. May or may not have internet access so if you don't get updates you'll understand. After Lex we are skipping Cincinatti and going on to Columbus. While in Columbus we'll stay at the Alum State Park and ocassionally venture into town to harrass the natives and Ohio State University.

Posted by popding 10:28 Comments (1)

Berea, KY Sunday May 27, 2007

Another day on the road with Dennis and Kathy and Ray and Linda

Another great day in and around Berea. We departed the RV park around 10 am and headed up the road to Richmond, KY in search of a waterfall.

Ray was the designated driver today and I was the navigator. We headed north on 1-75 about 10 miles to the Richmond exit. We then headed west per instructions from our park host. We were told to take a small vehicle since the road does not allow trucks and soon turns into a country road. Take this to mean hilly, winding and narrow. After about three miles past some really nice large estate homes we came to the falls.

The remarks from the driver and backseat were not kind. Something like we drove 775 miles from home to see THIS!!! Nonetheless, we did pull over and take some photos of the dam.



Not the largest falls in the world, certainly not Niagara Falls (that's later in the trip)

We headed back in search of the city of Richmond. Stopped along the way to check on one of the nice houses we saw, Neat house only $430,000 on about 2 acres. This house would have been $1 million at home.

During our tour of the city of Richmond discovered that the driver does not listen to the navigator and as a result there were several times we had to turn around and retrace our steps.

We stopped for lunch to kill time since the ladies wanted to shop in a shoe store we had passed but did not open until 1:30. Our waitress was cute but not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Richmond is the home of the Eastern Kentucky University. The Gators have played them in the past. This coming season the Gators open against Western Kentucky.

We chatted with our waitress about Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky and she wanted to know if we were Gator fans. Well it was tough to answer since Ray was wearing an orange and blue shirt that said Florida Gators etc. Then she asked if the Gators were playing Western KY at home or at Western. How do you answer a question like that with a straight face?

Ray said in spite of this that they are "good people" :(

Returned to the RV park via the back roads to view some of the rolling hill countryside. Thus ended another adventure.

Posted by popding 13:19 Comments (0)

Berea, KY Saturday May 26, 2007

Well, as promised yesterday, we decided to explore some of the natural resources around Berea. This area is not flat like Florida but has some pretty steep trails to climb.

We started out at Indian Fort Theater. Nice park area if you can find it. I think in the past two days we have driven past it 5 times. I blame all of this on the Site Transportation and Safety Director, Ray!

It is a 1.1 mile hike to the top. The trail starts out as a paved walkway, fairly level, but soon turns into a steep, root tripping, narrow dirt path. The group made it to the first rest area as shown in the photo below.


On the way back we stopped at the outdoor ampitheater of Indian Fort. When we started our walk the resident tour guide, "Scout" led us up the path and stayed with us the whole time until we returned to the parking area. Here I am with our tour guide Scout on the stage of the Indian Fort Theater.


From this lonesome spot we travelled several miles up the road to the Owsley Fork Reservoir. This reservoir supplies the water needs of the city of Berea. It is a beautiful spot, very serene. The photo below will attest to the beauty.


This turned out to be my lucky day. Ray has a goal to find money in parking lots, etc. as he travels. The goal is at least an equivalent of a penney a day. Upon exiting the car at the reservoir I hit the jackpot! A 2007 Montana quarter was mine for the picking. Looks like I am good towards the goal for several more days!


The afternoon turned hot and we retreated to the AC in the RV.

Tomorrow we may venture out again. This time in search of a waterfall.

Posted by popding 13:34 Comments (0)

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