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