Campendium was once again the perfect place to find our home for the night. Kentucky Horse Park Campground Lexington, Ky was the next stop on the way home to Ontario. The Park was easy to find off I-75 but a little confusing to find the registration office :).
When we pulled into the driveway, we found primitive camping right off to our right which was a surprise. Unfortunately we didn’t have any water in our tank so we needed to find water. Deciding to drive in further, we looked for the registration office. That’s when we noticed primitive camping with electric? Okay, that was new to us.
Finally we found the office after a short drive and Bill went in to see what our options were. 20 mins later he came out with paper work meaning we had a paid for site :). Apparently it cost $24 to use the primitive camping (which, up to now has always been free or just a few dollars) and 29$ to have a site with water and electricity. Well that wasn’t a hard decision lol.
Bill also found out that the pricing was pretty complicated. All the prices varied with the 4 seasons of the year and with age. At the ripe old age of 62, you are eligible for a discount. Alrighty then, discounts are good!!! He was also told, the closer he was to the Main building, the better internet he would have. We were then given site #99. With the sites radiating in a circle around the main registration building, #99 was great, our internet was awesome!
Once we were settled in and took a look at the map and information about the campground, Bill asked if we could stay another night. He wanted to go check out the horses on the other side tomorrow. Joy said sure, she loved horses so we walked back over to the office and extended our stay for 2 nights instead of 1.
The next day Bill went back and bought tickets to go over to the other side. The cost was $32.00 for the both of us to park and get into the Kentucky Horse Park. This was actually good for 2 days as long as we kept our receipt.
What we saw!
We were given free tickets to view the Museum The Show place for Saddle breds . This was really quite interesting. One of the displays had two molded horses, a large one and a small one, with a brief video explaining to you the proper technique of mounting a horse :). Before we entered the museum we asked the lady at the front desk what were the things to see at the Park. She showed us on the map, the highlights and what times the shows were. Now we were on a mission.
After leaving the museum, we followed the map to the next show, which was at 1:15. On the way, we had to make a stop to visit the Kentucky Mounted Police Horses. Wow were they ever beautiful. All different breeds of horses but all very large. Well over 1300 lbs. Each horse had a sign out front with their name, which officer rode them, how old they were, weight, bred where they came from and a brief history of their bred. Each horse would look right at you when you called them by name. We did read somewhere in the information we were given not to try and pet the horses faces as to them, fingers looked a lot like carrots and we may get bitten. Fair enough, Joy was attached to her fingers, so she kept her hands behind her back just to be on the safe side lol.
After bidding the gorgeous horses good-bye we headed to the 1:15 show which was in the Hall of Champions. There we presented with 3 champions all of various ages but all who had very distinguished careers. Two of the horses were geldings and 1 was a famous stud.
They brought the horses into the ring in a smallest open air stadium with seats all around it. Before the horses entered one by one, the Lady announcer gave a colourful accounting of the career of each horse and then showed a few clips on over head screens of their famous wins. She even explained what geldings were, why they were gelded, what trotters, pacers and sprinters were. The whole short presentation was really quite interesting and educational.
Then we got to meet the horses. As they were presented one at a time, after their personal bio was presented, the trainer would bring them out and walk them around stopping at each group of seats. Criss Crossing the floor so you had many different angles to take the perfect photo of these magnificent animals.
The first two horses were older and must more mature, used to being in the lime light. They were well behaved and stood perfectly still. The last horse was absolutely stunning but he was younger. This particular horse was at this park and retired due to an injury. He was the stud of the group. This handsome fellow had a little trouble standing still and being admired. :). He had the most incredible colour coat Joy had ever seen. Almost a bronze brown?
The final show we saw
The final show we saw was at the Breed Barn and was called the Parade of the Breeds. This was a classic production with music and the announcer introducing each horse and rider before they came out. There were 5 horses in all and 3 came out in costumes on riders and horses.
All 5 horses were different breeds and were all outstanding. They began small and became bigger and bigger. The rider and horse circled the arena which was open air with seats in the shade on 3 sides. The announcer would give the history of the particular horse and then the breed and the origin of the breed.
For the finally , all 5 horses came out to stand in a line side by side, so we could see the various sizes of the animals, then they moved over to different areas of the fence of the arena so that the audience could greet the rider and horse personally.
These shows were really well done and great fun to watch. If you are a horse lover, this is certainly the place to be, for the history and connection you may make with these impressive breeds of horses.