The North American Riders Group (NARG) has released its report of the Top 25 Horse Shows of 2012, its third annual report, and three of those shows are held at the Kentucky Horse Park each year - the Alltech National Horse Show, the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, and the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. The Kentucky Horse Park, once again, hosted more Top 25 shows on the list than any other facility in North America.
“We are proud that the Kentucky Horse Park facilities lend to the success of the three horse shows selected on the NARG Top 25 list,” said John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “To be counted among the best facilities on the continent, hosting the best shows in North America, truly validates the hard work of the many people who have served in leadership and support positions at the park over the past 35 years of our development.”
The North American Riders Group is an advocacy group, representing the riders, owners and trainers in North America that was formed with the goal of improving the sport of show jumping, and is composed of top horsemen from the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the report of the NARG Top 25 Horse Shows of 2012, the group stated, “This effort, albeit evolving, has created a mirror in which top equestrian events can reflect on what is important to us, how to improve and whether they truly seek to be a Top 25 event. And this year is proof that those who aspire to be great are willing to look, listen and improve.”
The Alltech National Horse Show, which showed at the Kentucky Horse Park in October 2012 in just its second year in Kentucky, is second for any American horse show, and achieved an overall rating of fourth among all horse shows in North America on the NARG list. Known as America’s oldest indoor horse show, the National Horse Show originally started in Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1883 and eventually moved to Lexington in 2011.
According to the NARG report, “With all the ingredients of a fabulous equestrian event, a perfect score is within reach for The Alltech National Horse Show. First and foremost, the show has one of the sport’s top sponsors in its title.” The report indicated that the location in the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena gave the event “the ability to host a tremendous indoor affair within its walls – from show jumping to shopping to fine dining and fabulous parties.”The report continued, “The prize money offered is the best of any indoor show in North America. Excellent footing and top course design mixed with a solid turnout of international competitors resulted in great sport.”
The Alltech National Horse Show awarded more than $600,000 in prize money in 2012. The third edition of the Alltech Nationals will take place Oct. 29-Nov. 3, 2013, in the Alltech Arena.
Earning an overall ranking of eight on the NARG report, up five spots from 2011, the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows is a series of hunter jumper shows held back-to-back for two weeks in May. The Kentucky Spring Horse Show and the Kentucky Spring Classic have been held at the park for more than 20 years, and utilize the park’s Rolex Stadium, Covered Arena, Hunter Jumper Complex and other facilities.
According to the NARG report, “The Kentucky Spring Shows continue to climb up in the ranks. Scoring just below 70 two years ago, improvements made last year earned a 74. Raising the bar in 2012 resulted in an 83 and the eighth spot.” The report explained that the show took on the responsibility of becoming an Olympic Observation Event and secured a higher competition rating, a CSI3*, which increased the show’s importance and expenses.
The report continued, “The effort to entertain as well as produce great sport did not go unnoticed. The evenings began with exhibitions and the course was beautifully designed with recognizable WEG (World Equestrian Games) jumps and also new custom-built jumps for this event. Other noticeable improvements included a conveniently located food facility by the Rolex Stadium in-gate and improved FEI (International Equestrian Federation) stabling with a large grazing area.”
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will be held May 8-12, 2013 and the Kentucky Spring Classic will be held May 15-19, 2013. Produced by the same management group, the Kentucky Summer Horse Show will be held July 24-28, 2013 and the Kentucky Summer Classic will be held July 31-Aug. 4, 2013.
With an overall ranking of 18 on the NARG report, the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) is a relatively new event the park was able to attract and accommodate because of the Alltech Arena and Rolex Stadium. Held at the park since 2009, NAJYRC is the highest level competition for qualified young riders in North America to compete in the FEI disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing and Reining in a challenging Nations Cup format.
According to the NARG report, “The Kentucky Horse Park sits on 1,200 acres, with multiple arenas, a world-class cross country course and fantastic footing. The best attribute of this championship event, and the main reason it earns a good score, is the world-class venue, specifically the Rolex Arena. The courses are challenging and the jumps beautiful. Aside from some hot summer weather, it is a magnificent setting.”
The next Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships will be held July 17-21, 2013, and will utilize the Alltech Arena, Rolex Stadium, Covered Arena, Hunter Jumper Complex, Walnut Ring and other facilities.
The North American Riders Group developed the Top 25 ranking system to establish a clear measure of excellence among North America’s horse shows so as to evaluate them fairly so that they could be considered world class. According to the report, “From the sport perspective, NARG aims to have Global Champions, Olympic Gold Medalists, Nations Cup victories and more winners of FEI World Cup Finals. Our continent needs to support these goals by offering world class events where riders from the United States, Canada and Mexico can achieve results through top notch competition, course design and prize money in well-groomed arenas and fields.”
A copy of the full Top 25 Horse Shows of 2012 report is available at www.NARG.org.
Make plans to visit the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop Holiday Open House on December 7 and 8, from 9 am to 5 pm, and enjoy a leisurely shopping experience with free parking, refreshments and samples, door prizes, store-wide discounts and park admission discounts both days to customers who show their gift shop receipts.
The gift shop carries a unique selection of equine gifts and Kentucky-made products from crafts to Kentucky Proud, equine-themed jewelry, home decor, books, videos, toys, Breyer, clothing, artwork and much more!
You can also shop at the KHP Gift Shop any time in-store Wednesday through Sunday this holiday season and enjoy free parking; shop at nights during the Southern Lights holiday event; or, shop on-line from this link: http://kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_rokecwid&view=ecwid&Itemid=495
For more information, call the KHP Gift Shop at 859/259-4234.
Location and Parking-
Visitor Information Center, park in the Main Visitor Parking Lot
Directions to the Kentucky Horse Park: http://kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=610&Itemid=336
Dates and Times –
December 7 & 8, 2012
9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day
Also from the Kentucky Horse Park –
The Kentucky Horse Park Visitor Center is offering discounts on 2013 park admission tickets and Unique Horse Farm Tour certificates for stocking stuffers.
Call 859-259-4200 for more information.
Avoid the malls and do your holiday shopping at the KHP Gift Shop on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday!
As an incentive to our shoppers, all fine jewelry will be 20% off both days, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Original equine-themed creations by Jane Heart, Bow River, Cindy Wolf and others won’t be found at the mall.
You can shop in-store and enjoy free parking, or shop on-line from this link: http://kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_rokecwid&view=ecwid&Itemid=495#!/~/category/id=2505945&offset=0&sort=normal.
November 23 and 24, 2012
Watch For Upcoming Event –
The KHP Gift Shop Open House –
December 7 and 8, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
The Southern Lights, presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc., has returned to the Kentucky Horse Park! The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation presents Southern Lights annually as a fundraiser in support of the Kentucky Horse Park for the enjoyment of the public.
From 5:30 until 10:00 pm each evening, visitors will be awed by the dazzling display of majestic lights. The drive will begin at the Kentucky Horse Park Campground, and will proceed through an enhanced dreamland of dazzling lighted and often animated figures. While many displays represent the holiday season, favorites are customized to represent the Bluegrass state.
Inside the park, visitors will be able to leave their cars behind to see a multitude of holiday happenings including seasonal entertainment, the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop and holiday craft vendors, Santa Claus and Frosty, an exotic petting zoo, pony rides, camel rides, the Mini-Train Express and model trains, dollhouses, the International Museum of the Horse, and the Bit & Bridle Restaurant serving dinner and seasonal goodies.
The lights are on each night through December 31, and the additional attractions inside the park will be open each night, with the exception of November 22 (Thanksgiving) and December 24 to 31.
Special weekends or events will add to the holiday excitement throughout Southern Lights and include Breyer Weekend, November 30 – December 1, Frosty’s Family Fun Weekend, December 7 – 8, Kentucky Proud Weekend, December 14 – 15, and Military Night, December 18.
For more info -
www.SouthernLightsKy.org or www.KHPFoundation.org or call 859/255-5727
Personal Vehicle - Sunday – Thursday - $15.00
Friday and Saturday - $20.00
Extended Van - $30.00
Limousine - $30.00
Mini-Bus - $50.00
School Bus - $75.00
Motorcoach - $125.00
NOTE: Complimentary Passes will be accepted Sunday – Thursday ONLY
Additional Attractions -
Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop
Holiday Craft Fair
Pony Rides and Camel Rides ($)
Exotic Petting Zoo
Santa Claus with visits from Frosty, pictures with Santa by Rotary Club ($)
Live Entertainment and Children’s Activities
Bluegrass Railroad Club Model Trains
The Bluegrass Miniature Society Dollhouses
International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate
Bit & Bridle Restaurant, home of Santa’s Workshop
Enter at KHP Campground entrance, drive through lights,
Park in Main Visitor Parking to go to additional attractions inside park
Directions to the Kentucky Horse Park*: http://kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=610&Itemid=336
*Travel Tip: Avoid Interstate-75, exit 120, and Georgetown Road as traffic can get really backed up the last weeks before Christmas. Instead, approach the Southern Lights gate (KHP Campground entrance) on Iron Works Pike from the east, from I-75, exit 115, and Newtown Pike.
November 16 through December 31, 2012
5:30 to 10:00 pm each evening
Driving tour only on Thanksgiving night, November 22, and December 24-31*
Breyer Weekend, November 30-December 1
Frosty’s Family Fun Weekend, December 7-8
Kentucky Proud Weekend, December 14-15
Military Night, December 18 - Free Admission per personal vehicle with military ID
*(The additional Southern Lights attractions such as the KHP Gift Shop, craft vendors, Santa Claus, Mini-Train Express and model trains, Bit & Bridle Restaurant, International Museum of the Horse, dollhouses, pony rides, camel rides, and exotic petting zoo are open nightly through December 23, with the exception of Thanksgiving night, November 22.)
Prices and dates are subject to change without notice.
The much-anticipated, annual Holly Day Market presented by the Junior League of Lexington is this weekend at the KHP’s Alltech Arena, November 9-11, with a preview party on November 8.
Merchants, most not normally seen in our area, will be set along the arena concourse selling everything from jewelry, clothing, toys, books, art, food, and, of course, holiday decorations. There is also a packed schedule of special events each day, prize drawings, and visits by Santa. Get all the details at www.hollydaymarket.com.
Download a schedule of events at http://www.hollydaymarket.com/schedule-of-events/
Thursday, November 8, Preview Party $35.00
Friday – Sunday, November 9 – 11, $8.00 per day
Location and Parking -
Thursday, November 8, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Friday, November 9, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, November 10, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 11, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
With the return of the Southern Lights holiday festival, presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc., the Southern Lights Stroll once again debuts as its opening night on Thursday, November 15. The only evening of the entire event when the public is allowed to experience a major portion of the lighted route on foot, visitors may choose to run, walk or stroll their way through thousands of dazzling holiday lights in the heart of horse country, on the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park.
Now in its’ eleventh season, the Southern Lights Stroll has proven popular with casual walkers and families who bring out their children and pets to get photos and see the lights outside of a car, and with serious runners who come to compete in the 5K portion of the “stroll.”
John’s Run/Walk Shop has donated their services to the competitive 5K race, and awards will be given to winners. Additional activities include complimentary Mini Train Express rides, refreshments, prize drawings and more. A food drive for God’s Pantry and local animal shelters will be held in conjunction with this event. All participants are asked to bring non-perishable items to help the needy families of Central Kentucky and local animal shelters.
Pre-registration through November 10 is $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for kids 7-12. Registration after November 10 is $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for kids 7-12. Walk-up registration on November 15 begins at 5:00 pm, and the stroll begins at 6:45 pm. Check-in is at the park’s Visitor Information Center. The first 500 registered adults receive a free souvenir t-shirt and the first 200 registered kids receive a free holiday ornament compliments of Breyer.
All proceeds of Southern Lights and Southern Lights Stroll support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. The 2012 Shining Star Presenting Sponsor is Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc. and the Holly and Ivy Sponsors are Kerr Brothers Funeral Home and Café Press Inc. Additional sponsors are Pepsi, Breyer, Kentucky Utilities, SafetyTec, John’s Run/Walk Shop and the Mini Train Express Company. In September, the American Bus Association (ABA) selected Southern Lights a Top 100 event for 2013, which is an annual compendium of the best events for group travel in the United States and Canada.
Southern Lights is open from 5:30 pm to 10 pm nightly from November 16 to December 31, 2012. Indoor attractions will be open every night except November 22 and December 24 - 31. The cost is $15.00 per car Sunday through Thursday and $20.00 per car on Friday and Saturday. Contact the KHP Foundation for more information at (859) 255-5727,
, or www.khpfoundation.org.
The registration form is downloadable here: http://khpfoundation.org/southern-lights-stroll.html.
The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, fulfills its mission to enhance, expand and improve the Kentucky Horse Park by fundraising within the private sector. This partnership between private donors and the support of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is what has enabled the incredible success of the Kentucky Horse Park. Since its inception in 1985, the KHP Foundation has raised more than $25 million, which has funded critical improvements such as new facilities, research projects, new horses, landscaping ventures, and much more.
Standardbred pacer Won The West will be welcomed to the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions on Saturday, October 6. This Two-Time Divisional and Breeders Crown Champion was retired in September as a leader in Standardbred racing with lifetime earnings of $3,939,836.
In honor of the horse’s arrival at the park, Mayor Jim Gray has declared October 6 “Won The West Day” in Lexington, KY, and his office has prepared a certificate that will be presented to the owners on Saturday.
Won The West made 109 lifetime starts in his career with 36 firsts, 24 seconds and 15 thirds. In 2009, he won the Breeders Crown in a stakes-record time of 1:47, and he won the same race again in 2010. This 8-year-old gelding was voted Older Pacer of the Year in 2009 and 2010 by the U.S. Harness Writers, and was twice awarded the Dan Patch trophy as top older pacing horse.
“The Kentucky Horse Park is honored to have Won The West join our Hall of Champions,” said John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “This exceptional horse is a star for the Standardbred industry, and we look forward to sharing him and his story with the throngs of visitors who enjoy the park each year. He will be a welcome addition to our champion line-up, and we thank his connections for entrusting his care to our team.”
Won The West was bred in New Jersey by Fair Winds Farm by Western Hanover out of Gabrielle by Dragon’s Lair, he was foaled in 2004. Won The West was purchased for $35,000 by trainer Brian Brown at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Brown purchased the colt for James Koehler’s Country Club Acres, Inc. of Findlay, Ohio; the Kantzer family’s Strollin Stable of Marion, Ohio; and, William Robinson of Findlay, Ohio.
With trainer Ron Burke added to the team in 2007, Won The West went on to be one of the highest-earning horses on the Standardbred racing circuit, beating some of the biggest names in racing such as Mister Big and winning the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Indiana Pacing Derby, the Bobby Quillin Memorial and the Dan Patch Invitational, as well as three American national stakes titles.
Won The West joins fellow Standardbred pacing champions Staying Together and Western Dreamer, and Standardbred trotting champion Mr. Muscleman, at the Hall of Champions.
The public is invited to welcome him to Kentucky at the Hall of Champions at the Won The West Welcome Ceremony at 10:00 am on Saturday, October 6. The welcome ceremony is open to the public, or guests may choose to stay and visit the rest of the park with regular visitor admission ($16 for adults, $8 for children 7-12, no charge for children 6 and under in the party).
The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man's relationship with the horse. The park is an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and hosted more than 825,000 visitors and campers, as well as 15,000 competition horses in more than 200 special events and horse shows in 2011. The park is home to the National Horse Center which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations. Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is The place to get close to horses. Open daily March 15 to Nov. 4, and Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 5 to March 15.
Today, March 21, is Worldwide Equine Rescuers Recognition Day, so we're asking all of our friends to do something nice for an organization that assists horses, donkeys, mules, burros or ponies.
Cigar, who was named "Horse of the Decade," is a resident of our Hall of Champions. He earned nearly $10 million on the racetrack and is ranked as the 18th greatest racehorse of the 20th century.
WHO: Richard and Jeannette McGrath of Hearts Up Ranch
WHAT: Press conference with Public Safety Administrative Officer Rick Curtis, representing Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, Kentucky Horse Park executive director John Nicholson, and the McGraths.
WHEN: Wednesday, Sept 7, 4pm
WHERE: Kentucky Horse Park's Alltech Arena
WHY: Richard and Jeannette McGrath are 3,000 miles into a 4,000-mile coast-to-coast horseback journey to raise awareness and funds for Hearts Up Ranch, a serene, working ranch established in Jackson, Wyoming where "emotionally broken people can find peace with both God and themselves once again." Their ride began on March 4, 2010. They have traversed the deserts and mountains of the west, winter on the plains, and the flooding and storms of the spring on the same 4 horses (who will be resting and recuperating at the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center, located at the Kentucky Horse Park before finishing the last segment of the ride in Virginia Beach). www.HeartsUpRanch.com. HOW: Members of the media should go to the Alltech Arena. Past the parking booth, take the roundabout to Cigar Lane, then turn left on Alltech Way. The press conference will be held outside the main entrance (signs will be posted for alternate rain location). For more information please contact Equestrian Influence Media Department, www.equestrianinfluence.com, 615-830-1001, or
Watch an interview with the McGraths from the Kentucky Horse Park: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfElmeNDETk
Watch a video from WTVQ-ABC36 from the press conference: http://www.wtvq.com/news/9551-4000-miles-on-horseback-to-heal
Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader from the press conference:http://www.kentucky.com/2011/09/07/1873207/couple-rides-x-country-on-horses.html