Head to Kentucky Horse Park for Equine Fun
By Bonnie and Bill Neely
Before COVID-19 stopped many events and much of travel worldwide we were fortunate to be at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Throughout the year paddocks, pastures and show rings here are lush with Kentucky bluegrass and always busy. We enjoyed especially the introduction to the different horse breeds, which takes place several times a day. The meet-and-greet activity with the Clydesdale horses and the detailed explanation of the breed was fascinating. Some of them were 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.
We loved the International Museum of the Horse, which provided so much information about the history of horses, featuring many famous ones. The exhibits, videos and special effects are well done. There are also valuable relics, trophies, statues and dioramas.
The exhibits in the Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries are exotic, showing Middle Eastern attire for riding. Videos explain about Arabian hooves being perfect for the sands of the desert. The Saddlebred Museum is another interesting feature, with explanations of the origin and development of horses as friends and helpers.
BreyerFest, where collectors come to collect the popular horse figures, continues to be one of the most popular and fun times each year, especially for children and their parents. For the safety of all the equestrians and their fans, the park ceased the event during the height of the pandemic, but plans are already in play for 2022. BreyerFest will be held Friday, July 15, to Sunday, July 17. Fans are already ordering their tickets.
Another event returning this holiday season is the Southern Lights Holiday Festival, the most spectacular one yet with millions of lights and displays along a drive-through route.
If you find a day at Kentucky Horse Park enjoyable, consider setting your next equestrian venture a bit farther east and spending time at Tryon International Equestrian Center, the newest and largest equestrian center in the world at Mill Spring, North Carolina, where the 2018 World Equestrian Games was hosted. Many of the events there are free and offer so much family fun, with carnival kinds of attractions out front for children. Along with the many horse shows, riding events and competitions are also a Santa's Village and Winter Wonderland.
WHEN YOU GO
Bonnie and Bill Neely are freelance writers and photographers. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate, Inc.