The first day of the schoolyear for Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) on Wednesday, August 15, marks the start a unique program called The STABLES, which incorporates horses in the curriculum. Located at Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, which offers equine-assisted activities and therapies at the Kentucky Horse Park, The STABLES is for students in grades 7-12 who struggle with academics or vocational skills and need additional support in a more individualized setting. The STABLES allows students to participate in a work program, recover credits and take ownership of their education.“The goal is to help the students successfully transition to employment, post-secondary education or back into their home high school,” CKRH Executive Director Pat Kline said. “This program represents an exciting challenge for us, and we are confident these students will benefit from an environment that will enable them to work with horses.” “The STABLES will provide an amazing learning opportunity for our students, and we could not be more excited to launch this new venture with Central Kentucky Riding for Hope,” said Fayette County Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton. “This is an example of the kind of partnerships our school district hopes to build as we seek to meet the individual needs of every single student we serve.”The STABLES, which will use classrooms and designated common areas at CKRH, will offer an academic setting while addressing students’ mental health and behavioral barriers to learning. The academic focus will remain social studies, math, English and science; however, the application aspect at CKRH will involve job responsibilities, mentorships, job shadowing and exposing students to real work. Students will have a daily equine component that includes learning about the care and management of CKRH's herd of therapy horses, the CKRH facility and the equine industry. Opportunities for students will include animal care, showmanship, construction, culinary programming, administrative assistance, service industry, filming and task analysis of problems. The STABLES replaces the FCPS' Rebound and AIM programs. CKRH, which has accommodated small groups of AIM and Rebound Students for the past two years, has written the curriculum and syllabus for all daily equine-related programming in The STABLES. The FCPS staff from those programs will relocate to CKRH, and CKRH will provide necessary staff support. “Fayette County Board of Education has embraced forward thinking in encouraging our partnership,” said Rachel Baker, Director of The STABLES program. “My staff is so excited to be able to encourage and educate students with such a fresh new perspective. We know we are part of a true community partnership which allows our students, and in the future many schools in Fayette County, the opportunity to really experience education beyond the classroom while investing in the heart of their community.”About CKRHCentral Kentucky Riding for Hope, founded in 1981, is dedicated to enriching the community by improving the quality of life and the health of people of all ages with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse. A PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center, CKRH offers year-round activities, including a program for military veterans called Horses for Heroes. To learn more, visit www.CKRH.org and find CKRH on Facebook.# # #ContactPat Kline, Executive DirectorCentral Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH)(859) 231-7066
Photo by Brian Roberts
WHO: Kentucky Horse Park and several national and regional equine organizations
WHAT: Private opening of the park’s new interactive Kids Barn which will open to the public the following day
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2012) The Kentucky Horse Park will open something akin to a school in a barn, to engage school-age children in discovering the wonder of horses. The new attraction is a joint project between the public and private sectors and it will be the first attraction at the park that is dedicated solely to children. The Kids’ Barn will feature interactive exhibits, while the park’s education department staff will host daily hands-on activities with the park’s resident horses.
“Children have a tremendous curiosity and natural affinity for horses, and since one of the most important missions of the Kentucky Horse Park is to raise awareness of - and interest in – horses, our new Kids’ Barn will be a wonderful expression of our dedication to that goal,” said John Nicholson, executive director of the park. “It will expand their knowledge and appreciation of horses and the horse industry in a fun and memorable way, through lots of hands-on interactions and other learning experiences.”
LEXINGTON, KY (September, 2011) The Kentucky Horse Park will host the first History Heritage Days, Nov 9-12, which will include eight teams of special oxen shipping in from Maine.
The four-day schedule will include demonstrations of various uses of oxen such as plowing, log hauling, use of a stone boat, maneuvering an ox cart through an obstacle course, driving a single ox, driving a team from behind with reins and yoking-up a team.
John Nicholson, executive director of the park observed, “Teams of horses and oxen have worked side-by-side throughout history, and certainly both have played a huge role in the development of our country. So we are pleased to welcome these fine animals to the Kentucky Horse Park to demonstrate their skills and remind us of the invaluable contributions that oxen have made to opening up the west, farming, the successful outcome of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and so much more.”
One of the highlights of the exhibit will be the eight teams representing different breeds, all hitched together maneuvering a Big Wheel Log Hauler around the spacious Dressage Complex (Big Wheels were used in the early 1900s by loggers working in the Midwest and west coast woods). The oxen will also be hitched to the park’s three trolleys for visitors to ride around the park.
The coordinator of the event, Dan Midkiff, purchased his first team of oxen in 2007 and has found them to be very special and interesting animals. He wanted to share this fascination and appreciation with the public, and particularly children. He has been working with the Kentucky Horse Park to make this oxen exhibition a wonderful, educational experience, so schools, 4-H and FFA groups are encouraged to attend.
Dottie Bell, who will participate with her flashy team of Ayrshire cattle, stated, “History shows oxen have been used in agriculture all over the world for centuries. Maine oxen in particular are still hauling from the pine woods of Maine to the Midwest. They helped build New England and move us west, so now we’ll enjoy showing Kentucky Horse Park visitors what our Maine oxen can do.”
Demonstrations will take place daily beginning at 9am and ending at 4pm.
The History Heritage Days are included with park admission. Through November 6, the park is open seven days a week, 9am to 5pm. Regular admission is $16/adults, $9/children ages 7-12. From November 7 to March 14, the park is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is then $9/adults, $6/children ages 7-12. Children ages 6 and under are always admitted free of charge. Special group rates are available for schools and other groups by contacting the Group Sales Department, 859-259-4225 or
Editor’s Note: Photos of oxen are available for use with this press release by emailing
Enrollment applications are now available for the Fall 2011 Semester of the Kentucky Horse Park Professional Horseman’s Course. The course will be held from August 15 to December 16, 2011. The deadline is July 15.
The Kentucky Horse Park’s Education Department offers a unique and hands-on educational opportunity unequalled by other equine schools. Students will have the opportunity to study and work with more than 30 breeds of horses residing at the Kentucky Horse Park while acquiring the knowledge and skills to launch a productive career in the equine industry. This program challenges students with daily hands-on practical interaction with horses in a variety of different environments, health issues and training levels, as well as broadens their overall level of equine understanding.
Classes and practicum work in stable management, anatomy and physiology, reproduction, marketing and career development all compliment the hands on side of the program to ensure a well-rounded education. Students will also receive an introduction to - and be able to interact with - breeding practices, and disciplines of carriage driving, racing, and World Equestrian Games disciplines. Former student Heidi Bruner from Indiana commented, “My expectations for this course exceeded everything I could ever imagine” and former student Amelia Clyatt from California stated, “The opportunities that have arisen and the knowledge that I’ve gained has literally changed my life.”
Through a comprehensive curriculum and small class size, which ensures adequate hands-on and individualized learning experiences, students will be prepared to seek entry level work or advance their current position in the industry upon graduation. Eighty-percent of the Spring Semester graduates achieved full time employment in the equine industry within two weeks of completing the course.
Applications must be received by the Kentucky Horse Park no later than July 15, 2011, for fall enrollment consideration. To apply please contact Sheila Forbes at 859-509-1441 or Sheila.forbes@ky for more information or to receive an application by email or mail.
Photos (c) www.jennifermunson.com
MEDIA ADVISORYCindy Rullman859-259-4209
The Black Stallion Show Media Opportunity WHO: The Kentucky Horse Park, Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, The Little Foundation, UKHealthcare Children’s Hospital, Kentucky Bank and Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.
WHAT: Four thousand fourth graders from the Lexington and surrounding counties are currently reading Walter Farley’s book, “The Black Stallion,” through a partnership between the Kentucky Horse Park, The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and the Black Stallion Literacy Program. Next, during a trip to the Kentucky Horse Park, the fourth graders will experience the book in a new way. Notable scenes from the book will come to life as professional performers and horses from Arabian Nights (Orlando, Florida) will perform scenes from the childhood favorite and dazzle the audience with daredevil stunts in the Black Stallion Literacy Show. WHEN: Wednesdy. May 11, Noon
WHERE: Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park WHY: The purpose is to inspire children to discover the joys of reading and the excitement of learning through the wonders of live horses and Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books. HOW: Members of the media, while there will not be an official press conference for this, please park in the designated Press Conference area at the Alltech Arena. Inside the main doors to the arena, look for a volunteer with a "Media" sign.
There will be a press conference at 11am at The Farmhouse regarding the Alltech National Horse Show, so please plan to attend both.