Lexington, KY

Sign at the entry to the Horse Park.

The Kentucky Horse Park is a unique place in our experience. While most Americans know of Kentucky as a center for the breeding of thoroughbred horses, the fact is that of 155 recognized breeds of horse in the US, 96 of them are bred in Kentucky and most of them are centered in or near Lexington. And the center of all of this activity is the horse park. If you have any interest in horses at all, you would probably enjoy a visit there.

Fountins near one of the show rings. The visitor center and main museum of the park. The main pastures with horses out to graze.

This park is the location of many breeding programs, training programs, competitions and also the retirement center for many past champions. There are shows of the different breeds at times each day. One to be sure and see is the parade of champions which shows a series of retired horse racing greats.

Thoroughbred champion, Sargent Pepper Feature. The greatest money winner of all time, and American Saddlebred. From the draft horse parade, a pair of Clydsdales.

Every afternoon there is also a parade of draft horses with a narrative of the history and features of each breed.

A pair of Belgian draft horses, the heaviest known breed. The English Shire, tallest known breed of horse. The Suffolk Punch is a breed developed in the US for farm use.

There are many different shows going on at any time as well as competitions of all types. If you are like we were, you will see both breeds that you have never heard of as well as competitions that we did not know existed.

Champion of the carriage competition. The all breeds champion of the English breeds show, an English Shire. Another carriage competition entry.

The horse park also is home to several horse organizations as well as museums dedicated to a particular breed.

The National Horse Center. Museum of the American Saddlebred. Headquarters for the US Equestrian team.

It is very easy to spend a full day in the horse park and many people will spend more. The park does have a very nice RV park and also has room for several hundred RVs to dry camp as well. The RV park has about 200 spaces and a swimming pool and other amenities, but reservations are advised if you are not willing to dry camp as it was full with quite a few dry camped as well, when we visited.

Lessons for competition in English riding. Headquarters of the American Pony Club. Show competition for English breds of ponies.