Of all the equestrian sports out there, none of them are as FUN as mounted games. The US Mounted Games Association Finale Championship will be held at the park, October 26-27, sure to delight participants and spectators alike with teams competing in relays named Bang-A-Balloon, Hi Lo, Hula Hoop, Socks and Buckets, Windsor Castle and others. Riders will pick up rings from poles with wooden swords, burst balloons from horseback and put flags into cones on the ground. There are more than 25 different races and some involve dismounting and vaulting-on at speed. The games are taught at clinics and in beginner divisions at competitions, which are held throughout the year. Some experienced games riders may go on to represent the United States in competitions in other countries.
The competition is open to adult and youth divisions and is known as a niche equestrian sport that is relatively inexpensive and has a wide variety of classes suited to the skill level of the rider. Bring out the family to watch the fun, and get caught up in the action! For more information about the USMGA Finale Championship, visit www.usmga.us.
Date & Time:October 26 – 27, 2013 – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Admission:Included in Kentucky Horse Park general admission, horse show-only rate available
Location & Parking:Rolex Stadium Parking available in the Main Lot
The 2013 United States Dressage Festival of Champions, presented by the Dutta Corp., starts on Tuesday, October 8, with the jog and ends on Saturday, October 12, with the freestyle competition.
Previously in Gladstone, New Jersey, this will be the first time the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park, the site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The Festival of Champions is an excellent opportunity to watch Olympic riders and rising stars in the sport of dressage. Saturday evening’s grand prix musical freestyles will be the highlight of the weekend.
This event will again hold six National Championship divisions—USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Championship, USEF National Intermediaire I Dressage Championship, USEF National “Brentina Cup” Young Adult Championship, USEF National Young Rider Dressage Championship, USEF National Junior Dressage Championship and USEF National Pony Rider Dressage Championship.
All classes will take place in the Rolex Stadium. Live streaming USEF Network U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions coverage will be broadcast throughout the show at this link - www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2013FestivalOfChampions
An annual pilgrimage to this prestigious competition is a goal for dressage riders at every level, making this a good week to be a fan of equestrian sports in Kentucky! For further information regarding the 2013 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, please contact the Kentucky Dressage Association at (859) 351-4137 or visit www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/alldressage/dressageFestival.aspx.
Date & Time:October 8-12, 2013 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location & Parking:Rolex StadiumParking available in the Main Lot
The National Carriage Drive, a 6-day event devoted to recreational equine driving, will be hosted by the Kentucky Horse Park, October 8-13.
The National Drive has come to be viewed as the largest single gathering of recreational equine drivers on the continent. Highlighting the event will be a series of clinics, demonstrations and private driving lessons featuring some of the nation’s most prominent clinicians and driving experts. Participants will be driving at will from dawn to dusk.
Spectators may witness the excitement of the carriage driving while being introduced to yesterday’s world, learning the history and art of this equine sport. Carriage driving focuses on the welfare of the horse, attention to safety and building confidence.
Guests of the Kentucky Horse Park will have access to view the events and watch the carriages meander throughout park grounds with the purchase of a general admission ticket.
The Kentucky Horse Park has been the home of the National Drive since 2005, offering hundreds of acres for riding and driving. So, come and take pleasure in a week of recreational riding and driving fun, where the friendships that are made at the National Drive are second to none!
For further information about the National Carriage Drive, contact Mike Lyon at (931) 686-8727 or visit www.nationaldrive.net.
Date & Time:October 8-13, 2013 - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location & Parking:Park wide, parking available in the Main Lot
The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association (KMSHA) and the Spotted Mountain Horse Association (SMHA) present their 9th annual International Grand Championship, October 9-12!
The International Grand Championship will feature the $50,000 one-day KBIF Futurity on Friday October 11, held in the Alltech Arena, which has a heated indoor arena and barns.
For more than 200 years, the saddle horse has lived in the hills and valleys of many parts of Kentucky. Originally bred by the mountain people for the demanding needs of farm life, this horse, which had been secluded for many years, became noticed and domesticated in the late 1980’s. Since then, over the last 20 some years, these horses have become a highly sought after “pleasure horse” around Kentucky and the world, due to their easy going temperament, intelligence, versatility, willingness, and most notably, a smooth, natural 4-beat gait.
The SMHA was formed in 2002 as a subsidiary of the KMSHA, so that mountain horses that had “spots” of white that were considered too much coverage for any of the existing mountain horse breeds, could be registered.
The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse and the Spotted Mountain Horse breeds, each with their own distinctive characteristics and genetic DNA markers, are recognized by the University of Kentucky, Equine Parentage Testing and Genetic Research Center as their own unique breed of Horse. There are now more than 18,000 registered Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses and 2,900 individuals and families are members of the Association. The KMSHA is indisputably the largest and fastest growing Mountain Horse breed in existence today.
The International Grand Championship is sure to be a show to see this fall! For more information regarding the KMSHA International Grand Championship, call (859)225-5674 or visit www.kmsha.com.
Date & Time:October 9-12, 2013
Location & Parking:Alltech Arena
The Kentucky Classic Combined Drive Event (CDE), modeled after the ridden three-day eventing, but with the extra challenge generated by the addition of the carriage and the more limited communication with the horses, will be October 3 – 6, at the Kentucky Horse Park.
First, horses or ponies are presented in the dressage arena to demonstrate obedience, suppleness and the skill of the handler. Judges take into consideration standards expected at each level and score accordingly. The dressage test, while it is the most nerve-wracking for the competitor, is the foundation for the rest of the sport.
The marathon, equivalent to ridden cross-country, is the phase that draws many participants to the sport and provides the most excitement for competitors and spectators. It is on the marathon that the driver must be able to gauge speed and pace in order to finish each section within the time allowed. In the last section, drivers must complete a series of hazards negotiating up to six gates in each. Competitors approach the hazards, often at a gallop, threading their way through gates with inches to spare. The hazards are what give the sport its thrill factor.
The final phase, the cones, tests the ability of the driver to clear a course of up to 20 gates at the required pace without incurring penalties. Combined driving cones are wedge-shaped, with hollow tops, on which are placed balls. The merest touch is enough to cause a knock-down and a five-point penalty and the clearance between cones becomes narrower and narrower, testing the mettle of even top professionals. Like three-day eventing, combined driving is scored by a system of penalty points with the winner earning the lowest score.
Combined driving has its roots in England. In 1970, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, established the first set of international rules that were implemented at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. A great competitor, first with a four-in-hand of horses and later with Fell ponies, Prince Philip remains a strong supporter of the sport.
The CDE runs Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced Level competition here at the Kentucky Horse Park, the site of the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Since 2012, the Kentucky Classic CDE has been allocated the 2012 USEF National Championships for Single, Pair, and Four-in-Hand Ponies, as well as the USEF National Championships for Pair Horses. As a result, the CDE attracts the nation’s top competitors.
Whether you plan to attend as a competitor, spectator or volunteer, we hope you enjoy the show! For more information about the Kentucky Classic CDE, visit www.KentuckyClassicCDE.com.
Date & Time:October 3-6, 2013 – 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
Schedule:Thursday AM - Vet Check for Advanced entriesThursday PM - Advanced DressageFriday (all day) - Preliminary and Intermediate DressageSaturday (all day) - Marathon (all levels)Sunday (all day) - Cones (all levels)
Location & Parking:Carriage Driving CourseParking available in the Main Lot.
The 26th annual Kentucky Fall Classic Horse Show, an event showcasing Kentucky’s native American Saddlebred horse and host of the Bluegrass Futurity and the Equine Services Roadster Cup, will be in the park’s Alltech Arena, October 3-5.
The show will include 400 horses from across the state, a vendor trade show, and this event is included in the price of park admission. The show will feature the Bluegrass Futurity for Two-Year-Old Fine Harness and Weanling horses, and will also include the Bluegrass Futurity Hunter Classic to promote the versatility of the American Saddlebred. This class is open to registered American Saddlebreds that are competing in their first or second year of showing as a Hunter Country Pleasure horse.
The Kentucky Fall Classic Horse Show is sponsored by the United Professional Horseman's Association Chapter 9 as the annual fundraiser for the chapter. The show annually benefits the Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington, a jewel in the Kentucky Healthcare System that the Kentucky Fall Classic Horse Show is proud to have donated more than $110,000 to over the years.
Don’t miss the exciting Saddlebreds, Hackneys and Roadsters at the Kentucky Fall Classic, with some of the best horses in the country, and enjoy the scenery of the Kentucky Horse Park. For more information about the Kentucky Fall Classic Horse Show, contact Chuck Walker at (85)333-1406 or visit www.KentuckyFallClassic.com.
Date & Time:October 3-5, 2013 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
The 2013 Special Olympics Kentucky Equestrian Competition, September 28, will play host to 64 Special Olympics riders from around the state, many from therapeutic riding centers including Central Kentucky Riding for Hope at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The riders will compete in a variety of events including dressage, equitation, trails, and Western riding. Riders compete in English and Western classes at their own ability level. There are classes for beginner riders or those of lower skill levels such as: CS=walk/supported or BS=walk & trot/supported. There are also classes offered for the more skilled or accomplished rider: BI=Walk & Trot/Independent or A Class = Walk, Trot & Canter. The first class begins at 9am and awards will be given to riders throughout the day.
Founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports, the Special Olympics has adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those with special mental and physical limitations.
The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities by giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy. Each participant experiences in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families as well as other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Through sports training and competition, people with intellectual disabilities benefit physically, mentally, socially and spiritually; families are strengthened; and the community at large, both through participation and observation, is united with people with intellectual disabilities in an environment of equality, respect and acceptance.
Whether you know a competitor or just want to support these hard working athletes, come on out for the Special Olympics Kentucky State Equestrian Competition and enjoy the show! For more information, contact Camille Allen at (502) 695-8222 or visit www.soky.org.
Date & Time:September 28, 2013 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Franklin County Cross Country Invitational, for Kentucky high school and middle school students competing in the 3000 and 5000 meters, will be September 21, and kick off starting at 9:00 am.
Runners will make use of the Walt Robertson Boulevard Paddocks, the land on the northwest side of Kentucky Horse Park property in Fayette and Scott Counties, entertaining our horses for a change.
Many of the top ranked runners and teams from across the state will be in attendance. Teams attending include the Augusta Panthers, DeSales, Dunn Elementary, Elkhorn Middle School, Fern Creek, Franklin County, Henry Clay, Henry County, Louisville Ballard, Mason County, North Oldham, Providence Christian Academy, Pulaski County, and Trimble County. There will be a $5.00 admission fee charged to spectators.
For more information, contact Robin Lawhorn at (502) 330-1933, or visit http://ky.milesplit.com/meets/146186-franklin-county-invitational.
Date:September 21, 2013
Event Schedule:9:00 am Girls Varsity 5000 meters9:40 am Boys Varsity 5000 meters10:10 am Girls JR Varsity 5000 meters10:45 am Boys JR Varsity 5000 meters11:20 am Girls Middle School 3000 meters11:50 am Boys Middle School 3000 meters12:20 pm Girls 6th and under 3000 meters12:40 pm Boys 6th and under 3000 meters
Admission:$5.00 per person
Location & Parking:Walt Robertson Boulevard PaddocksParking available in the grassy area in front of the Alltech Arena
Park Honored in Top 25 United States Amusement Parks and Water Parks Category for 2013
The Kentucky Horse Park has been chosen as an overall winner in the Top 25 Amusement Parks and Water Parks in the United States category by TripAdvisor in its 2013 Travelers’ Choice® awards for attractions. One of the world’s largest travel sites, TripAdvisor has established itself as one of the most important for travel information among consumers due to its platform of posting unbiased reviews of real travelers.
This is the first year that Travelers’ Choice honors have been presented to attractions. The TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Attractions awards recognize the world’s best landmarks, parks, museums, and amusement and water parks, based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travelers around the world on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm that determines rankings based on the quantity, quality and frequency of reviews for any given property.
“We are thrilled to be honored by TripAdvisor as one of the Top 25 Amusement Parks in the United States, and are fully cognizant of the excellent company we are in,” said John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “We understand and appreciate that it is not only TripAdvisor but also the reviews of our visitors that have afforded us this honor, and we will strive to continue to be worthy of their esteem and recognition.”
“To inspire travelers setting out on summer trips, TripAdvisor has named the top attractions across the globe based on the valuable feedback from millions worldwide,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Honoring more than 1,200 winners, these remarkable sights offer enriching and entertaining experiences for travelers of all ages.”
The Kentucky Horse Park is unique in the Top 25 Amusement Parks and Water Parks category, being the only attraction devoted entirely to the horse. Known as “THE place to get close to horses,” there are plenty of opportunities to do so throughout the park. From meeting retired racing greats at the Hall of Champions, to seeing horses of all types and sizes in the Horses of the World Show, taking a ride with draft horses on the Horse Drawn Tour, or petting mares and foals in the Kids Barn, visitors get a personal experience with horses when visiting the park.
Admission to the park includes three different equine museums. The International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate, explores man’s relationship with the horse throughout history. The American Saddlebred Museum & Gift Shop, the “Showplace for Saddlebreds,” is the home of Kentucky’s first native breed of horse and is exhibiting “The Art of Selling with Saddlebreds: The Show Horse in Vintage Advertising” through January. The Wheeler Museum in the United States Hunter Jumper Association headquarters, exhibits memorabilia from the hunter jumper sport and the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.
In addition, the Kentucky Horse Park hosts equine competitions and breed shows, special breeds weekends and community events throughout the many competition and show facilities located on park grounds, most of which are included with park admission. Events are scheduled nearly every weekend at the park throughout the year, and a full listing of these events and their dates is available at www.KyHorsePark.com.
General admission, including the next day free, is $16 for adults and $8 for children 7-12. Children six and under are always admitted free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult. Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate, and the American Saddlebred Museum & Gift Shop. Additional activities such as horseback riding, pony rides and tours to area horse farms are available through the park and are offered at an additional fee.
For reviews on the Kentucky Horse Park, go to http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g39588-d103526-Reviews-Kentucky_Horse_Park-Lexington_Kentucky.html. To see 2013 Travelers’ Choice winners, go to www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice.
The Fall Classic Hunter Jumper Shows return to the Kentucky Horse Park with the Fall Classic I Hunter Jumper Show, September 7-8, and the Fall Classic II Hunter Jumper Show, September 14-15!
These horses and riders demonstrate athleticism, agility and communication. Spectators will enjoy this challenging competition during the Fall Classic I Hunter Jumper Show in the Covered Arena, Walnut Ring and the Annex Ring. The show will continue with the Fall Classic II Hunter Jumper Show in the Hunter Jumper Complex, Stonelea Ring, Claiborne Ring, and the Murphy Ring.
Sponsored by the Robert Murphy Stables of Lexington, these shows will feature hunter/jumper classes for all ages. Riders from Kentucky and the surrounding region will compete in more than 180 classes ranging from beginner to advance. The shows will feature hunter classes that test the rider’s equitation and ability to communicate with their horse.
The jumper competitions will keep the spectators on the edge of their seats, as the horse and rider teams are asked to negotiate a series of high fences as fast as they can. Teams will try to jump the highest jumps with the least amount of errors in the fastest time to be determined the winner.
For more information about the Fall Classic Hunter Jumper Shows, contact Robert Murphy Stables at (859) 421-7323 or visit www.robertmurphystables.com.
Date & Time:September 7 - 8, 2013 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location & Parking:Fall Classic I Hunter Jumper Show - Covered Arena, Walnut Ring, Annex RingFall Classic II Hunter Jumper Show - Hunter Jumper Complex, Stonelea Ring, Claiborne Ring, Murphy RingParking Available in the Main Parking Lot