Hats Off Day
Hats Off to Kentucky's Horse Industry Day is a celebration of the horse and its impact on the state of Kentucky. The day offers fun family activities including arts and crafts for children, pony rides, interactive educational booths, thrilling equestrian competition, and it's all free! Hats Off Day is the only day of the year an entire family can enjoy the Kentucky Horse Park and all it has to offer, at no cost!
This year's event promises to be very exciting! There’s something for everyone -- competition, great amenities and fantastic entertainment for the whole family!
Presented by Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Hats Off Day on Saturday, July 27 celebrates a day of free admission to the Lexington-based Kentucky Horse Park. Now in its 17th year, Hats Off Day family-friendly activities will occur from 4 to 10 p.m. including horse and pony rides, face painting, inflatables, interactive educational booths, and a Grand Prix show jumping competition. Free hats, provided by area horse farms and businesses will be distributed at the entrance, while supplies last.
Sponsored by Central Bank, Boehringer Ingelheim and other industry leaders, this year’s theme celebrates the role service horses play within the industry. Service horses include police horses, therapy horses that provide emotional support, and horses used for therapeutic riding and hippotherapy for physically and cognitively challenged children and adults. Several types of these service horses, including miniature therapy horses will be at the event.
Hats Off Day is the only day of the year that admission to the Kentucky Horse Park is free, and serves as a fundraiser for the Kentucky Equine Adoption Center and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. More than $1,076,000 has been raised for worthy organizations in Kentucky since the inaugural event in 2003.
“The Kentucky Horse Park provides our state with a beautiful backdrop to learn about Kentucky’s signature industry,” said Dr. Tom Riddle, founder of Hats Off Day and co-founder of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. “Hats Off Day allows families to get up-close-and-personal with these majestic animals.”
Stadium activities begin at 6:45 p.m. with a demonstration by mounted police horses, miniature support horses, and therapy horses in the Rolex Stadium. Additionally, this year there will be two recipients of the Rood & Riddle Comeback Award, an honor given annually to an outstanding horse that has undergone veterinary care for a medical condition by Rood & Riddle veterinarians and then returned to greatness.
Beginning at 7:30 p.m., the featured entertainment of the event is the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix show jumping competition, a 25-year-old tradition that draws internationally known horses and riders.
Hats Off Day is one of the many ways Rood & Riddle supports Kentucky’s equine industry. Through veterinary service, educational opportunities, seminars, and community support, Rood & Riddle impacts the entire state with initiatives that strengthen the equine industry.
For more information on Hats Off Day, including the event schedule, visit the Facebook page.