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Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

Kentucky Horse Park
Lexington, Kentucky

I’ve been to Kentucky Horse Park several times. Lexington is really not that far from where home used to be in Michigan, not for a weekend trip anyway. It’s also the first actual “South” stop when you’re going anywhere “Down South” from Michigan and the I-75. It’s a neat park.

There is royalty in that park! Retired race horses, known ones that were in triple crown circuit races make their retired homes there. There are also working horses, the ones who shuttle guests on the carriage rides. Then there are the show horses. They have a “Parade of Breeds” show a couple times a day, where multiple varieties of horses are shown and the riders and commentators tell about the breed, where it’s from, what distinguishes it from other breeds. And, it’s the final resting place of Man O’ War.

Man O’ War is the most celebrated racehorse I can think of. He is buried at The Kentucky Horse Park, his remains were brought there in 1977, 30 years after his death. He is buried beneath a statue of himself surrounded by a circular walk and memorial garden. The heart and hooves of his sons, War Admiral and War Relic are buried there too. When thoroughbred horses are buried, the heart and hooves are what is laid to rest, symbolic of the essence of the horse. Man O’ War’s entire body was laid to rest intact. There is also a statue and memorial for Secretariat, but not the whole garden!

At Kentucky Horse Park, there is also The International Museum of The Horse, tracing man’s relationship with horses throughout the ages, the theater, where you can see “Thou Shall Fly Without Wings,” a fantastic film to see before you tour the park. It’s a fabulous place for the whole family, educational with a lot geared towards kids, but plenty of really interesting stuff for adults too! Of course, there’s also the gift shop, which has great horse memorabilia and jewelry, standard souvenir fare and mugs!

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