LEXINGTON, KY (September 29, 2011) The Kentucky Horse Park will welcome four rare Marwari horses on permanent loan from Francesca Kelly, who imports this breed from India. Three of the horses arrived Tuesday, September 27.The horses came from Kelly's farm on Chappaquiddick Island off the coast of Massachusetts. Francesca Kelly is a writer who is dedicated to preserving the breed and has increased the number of these horses outside their native India. She is moving her herd to England and is allowing the park to keep three mares and a yearling. The Kentucky Horse Park is the only known location in North America where Marwari can be seen by the public. John Nicholson, executive director of the park, stated, "We are delighted and honored that Francesca Kelly has chosen the Kentucky Horse Park as the keeper of the last, precious band of these rare equines on this continent. They will be treasured by our staff and enjoyed by the literally millions of park visitors who will see them in the upcoming years." He continued, "We applaud the efforts of people like Ms. Kelly who dedicate their lives to preserving rare and endangered breeds." The Marwari horse was used hundreds of years ago as warhorses known for their extreme endurance. The Marwari are considered very brave and athletic horses. They are attentive and pick things up quickly through their senses. Visitors at the park during last year's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games watched "tent pegging" demonstrations using some of Ms. Kelly's Marwari. The most noted fact about this breed is their extremely distinct ears. The ears curve inward and sometimes touch or overlap when in front position. The ears are the main characteristic that the registry uses to judge this breed.
The breed is available in all colors but the albino is held in highest regard. The albino Marwari is often used for religious purposes and ceremonies in its native home of India. They often become very attached to their handler and can become protective of them.
The three Marwari mares are on view to the public during park hours. The fourth, a yearling colt, will arrive later this fall.
Photos by James Shambhu.
Adoptable Horses from the Kentucky Horse ParkWe’re looking for good homes for two of our former Parade of Breeds stars. If you are interested in either of the horses below, please contact Ashlea Gullett-Beeson in our Equine Department for more information, 859-259-4256 or
ORIGINAL ZIN, “Legend”16.2 h. Thoroughbred, 2001
Legend is quite a character. He retired from the racetrack and spent two years in our Breeds Barn representing the Thoroughbred and the sport of racing. He enjoys entertaining the staff with his inquisitive, sometimes goofy personality.
Legend is suitable for an intermediate-advanced adult rider doing low-level dressage and trail riding. He also wouldn’t object to being a pasture ornament. He’s quite the looker – chestnut with chrome and a big blaze. He plays well with others, trailers, stands for the vet and farrier, clips, bathes and ties. He is currently barefoot.
BHF Wind Dancer, “Dancer” (Winds of Warr x Khemos Love Song)15.1 h. Arabian, foaled 1992
If you’re looking for a sweet, cuddly horse, Dancer is your man. He retired from a show career and spent a year in our Breeds Barn representing the Arabian breed. He loves people and attention, and would be the perfect back-yard pony for a family.
Dancer is suitable for very light riding or as a pasture companion. He is bay with a black mane and tail. He gets along great with other horses, and is happy to live in the pasture 24/7. He trailers, stands for vet and farrier, clips, bathes and ties. He is currently barefoot. Easy keeper.
Billy O'Brien, a Gypsy Vanner horse, arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park on the morning of August 11, 2011. He will be the newest staff member in the Breeds Barn, where he will be shown in the daily Parade of Breeds for park visitors. He will represent his breed under saddle and driving a carriage.
Watch a video taken minutes after Billie O'Brien arrived.