Kentucky Loves Horses

10 10 2010

Well, I’m back in California now, but that doesn’t mean I’m not running around town wearing my riding boots proudly anyway. I was able to be in Lexington, Horse Capital of the World, during the 2010 Federation Equestre Internationale World Equestrian Games. I was able to meet people from all across the country, and the world, that had come to our own South to witness these events that included some of the best equine sports has to offer in vaulting, reining, dressage, and so many other events.  Held every four years, similar to the Olympics, the FEI World Equestrian Games was held this year, for the first time in its history, in the United States. In 2006, they were held in Germany, and I have on good authority that they will be back in Europe in 2014. So this has been America, and the South’s time to shine! Everyone I spoke too was having a wonderful time, and commented on that famous Southern hospitality.

Y’all know I’m partial, but Lexington did a great job of showcasing the city. They’ve been planning and preparing for years, but the city was well organized, clean, and there was plenty to do to entertain when you took a break from horses for the day. From Spotlight Lexington events that included entertainment, parades, and plenty of food to the Fortnight Festival that featured some of the biggest names in music and comedy. Every restaurant shone, the locals were friendly, I’ve never been prouder of my hometown.

While today marks the closing ceremonies of the World Equestrian Games, there’s still plenty to do for those still in Kentucky for the games, or planning to visit soon. Kentucky loves horses, so one of my favorite activities on a long Sunday afternoon is the Kentucky Horse Driving Tour. This tour will take you around some of the most magnificent horse farms you’ll ever see. Call the Visitor’s Center for a free map. And don’t be fooled — those beautiful houses are probably stables. Those million dollar horses get the nice accommodations; the families are in the “smaller” barns back behind. No fooling. Many of the horse farms offer guided tours if you call in advance. Children may be interested in the “Dreamer” Tour which features locations shown in the feature film Dreamer staring Dakota Fanning.

Lady Godiva's Horse

And if you want to stay close into town, you can still see plenty of horses. Well, not live ones, but local artists were commissioned to paint their versions of fiberglass thoroughbreds, and I couldn’t believe the creativity. Some of my favorites included a delicious looking Godiva Chocolate Horse, Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Brick House Horse, one covered in Sharpie-sketched illustrations of Alice in Wonderland, and of course, you’ve got to stop by to spot Big Lex.

Big Lex

But if you can’t make it out to Lexington in the near future, you can see Secretariat this weekend in theaters, based on one of Kentucky’s most storied thoroughbreds. Yes, Kentucky loves horses. And I love Kentucky (can’t you tell?)… so I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from my visit to the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington, Kentucky.

Le Coeur de Cheval

 

Teacup with Lady

 

Urban Legend

LewHorse Carroll

 

Kentucky Theater Horse

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One response

13 10 2010
Larry Thompson

Great post, and of all the fillies for which Lexington is proud, none outshines you, Ginger! Thanks for coming to visit and help!

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