At the park entrance, visitors are welcomed by the majestic Man o' War Memorial. One of the greatest race horses to ever live, Man o' War symbolizes the courage, strength, and magnificence of all horses. The Visitor Information Center provides material detailing the park's attractions and special events. The theater offers the short film The Rein of Nobility. Filmed at locations throughout the world, the film focuses on man's relationship with the horse, providing an educational and exciting introduction to the park.
In the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate, visitors learn about what some believe to be the 55-million year history of the horse. Exhibits include a collection of 19th century horse-drawn carriages and racing vehicles. Within the museum, the "Horse in Sport" gallery displays contemporary uses of the horse in competition. "Calumet Farm: Five Decades of Champions" includes 560 gold, silver and crystal trophies, and 35 paintings that trace the racing legacy of Lexington's most famous farm. Changing exhibits of equine art are proudly displayed in the museum's Special Exhibitions Galleries. The museum also houses the W. Paul Little Cultural and Learning Center - a permanent exhibit which honors this prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder.
Kentucky means horses, especially the American Saddlebred, Kentucky's first native breed. The American Saddlebred Museum offers a panorama of the exhilarating sights and sounds of the American Saddlebred world from the Saddlebred's role in American history to its modern uses in the "Showplace for Saddlebreds." Located off the main parking lot, the American Saddlebred Museum and Gift Shop is included with park admission.
In the Farrier Shop, the blacksmith exhibits his iron-pounding craft and provides visitors the opportunity to watch the age-old art of horse shoeing.
An outstanding display of some of the park's horses is located in the Horses of the World Stables. From March 15 through October 31, the color, sound and excitement of the show ring is captured twice daily in the Horses of the World Show. The half-hour presentation highlights the unique characteristics of selected breeds, while authentically-costumed riders put the horses through their paces. After the show, visitors have the opportunity to meet, photograph and pet their favorite horses and talk with riders.
The excitement of the racetrack and show ring is brought to life by the elite group of champion horses that reside at the park's Hall of Champions. Here, Thoroughbred legend Cigar, Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide, and Standardbred Pacers Western Dreamer and Staying Together are shown in daily presentations from March 15 through October 31.
The Draft Horses and Carriage Horses are an ever-popular stop on the tour in their new home at the historic Big Barn. Draft Horses - lovingly known as "Gentle Giants" - pull the park's horse drawn tour trolleys, including teams of Belgians, Clydesdales, Percherons, English Shires, and Suffolks. Carriage Horses used to pull the park's lighter carriages and display vehicles include Friesians, Haflingers and other lighter breeds. Feel free to visit the true "work" horses of the park throughout the morning as they are groomed and harnessed for their work day in the Big Barn.
With all the park attractions that let visitors see other people on horses, we weren't about to leave out our guests. The park offers horseback riding and pony rides for visitors who have never experienced a view from a saddle, or who simply want to explore a part of the park most visitors don't get a chance to see. Trail rides provide a chance for visitors to ride through the countryside around the park, and pony rides give the smallest visitors the chance to join in on the fun.