Saturday October 7, 2017- Travel Day 64
The main reason for traveling to Kentucky is to visit the famed Kentucky Horse Park. This 1200 acre park lies just to the north of Lexington on green rolling hills. The entire complex is canine friendly except for the museum building and the restaurant. Every other area, barn, arena or venue is dog friendly.
Megan did well and was not bothered at all by the equines- and they didn’t give a rats about her either. The Park includes a Visitor Center, Dressage Complex, the Big Barn where one finds draft horses. The Breed’s Barn houses multiple breeds of horses with some being quite rare. There are Event Stables, the Covered Arena, and the Stadium Jumping Complex.
Man-O-War is honored and buried here under a monument of his likeness. His stride was 8′ longer than the average thoroughbred at 28′. He only lost one race in 21 when he was boxed in by two riders. His reputation was so great that when he ran the Preakness only one other horse was entered. He and his handler, who love and respected one another, died the same year, 1947.
The Hall of Champions is where several champion horses are kept. A Champion trotter, a pacer and a thoroughbred are brought out of their stables to show them off to the audience. One of the handlers is 91 years old and that gent actually rode Man-O-War before that great racehorse died in 1947!
Gent in Upper Left Photo Rode Man-O-War!
We spent quite a bit of time watching the dressage horses prance around, moseyed through much of the complex of buildings before watching horse and rider, more like horses and riders going through their paces at the Stadium Jumping Complex. We sauntered through the Mounted Police Barn and stopped in the Covered Arena to watch a couple of kids perform tricks on the back of a trotting horse. I spent some time in the International Museum of the Horse as Jil watched our muttzo Megan and I stayed with Megan while Jil spent time in the gift shop.
The Big Barn was the must see place of all places in this complex for Jil. She wanted so to see the big draft horses. She got her wish. Four of them were being readied to pull the horse drawn trolleys as we entered the barn. Other hay burners were in their stalls. These animals are so big yet look so gentle. They just look you right in the eye as if to say “Hey, where’s my carrot, or how ’bout a little scratch behind my ear?”
I must tell you that we were amazed at the amount of horsemen here at the Park. Horses were being led or ridden everywhere going to or coming from on event or another. There had to be hundred of them that we saw and probably that many more not in sight in this big park. The Kentucky Horse Park is a must see if you are ever in the Lexington KY area for sure!
Lexington- A contrast in architecture
Hey, let’s go into downtown Lexington (318,000 souls) while we are this far! Okie Dokey. Lexington is known as the Horse Capitol Of The World and is located in the heart of Bluegrass Country. She is home to the University of Kentucky, two horse race tracks, and the Rupp Arena, the world’s largest basketball-specific arena. We take I-75 several miles south and exit at the “Downtown Lexington” sign………. and immediately run into heavy traffic! Gads! So after just a few miles and many minutes of waiting for a green light only to travel to the very next red light……. repeat that several times if you will…….. we arrive in downtown Lexington. I’ve since read that Lexington traffic is the worst in the state. The old town is just beautiful but way too much traffic to easily slide over and take a few photos. As if someone drew a line in the road the old brick multistory buildings end and the modern glass and steel buildings begin. It’s quite a contrast. We exit stage left……..
We needed to do a little grocery shopping. A Walmart Super Center is close by so that’s where we went. After we took a little cruise into nearby Georgetown (34,000 souls) and are at awe of the beauty of it’s downtown historic district…… and those houses are magnificent! We love old style architecture.
A big storm is coming in that will affect this area. Hurricane Nate is making landfall in the Gulf and a lot of it’s moisture is heading our way………. inches of the wet stuff will fall over the next day or two. Get out the life preservers!