WHO: Eight teams of working oxen from MaineWHAT: Demonstrations using oxen for a variety of activities for the public and RFD-TVWHEN: History Heritage Days, Nov 9-12WHERE: Kentucky Horse ParkWHY: The oxen are expected to arrive from Maine on Monday. On Tuesday, Nov 8 at 1pm, there will be good photo/video/media ops as the oxen will be hitched and going through some practice exercises in preparation for the History Heritage Days events. During History Heritage Days, the oxen will be showcased pulling trolleys, plowing, pulling carts and log haulers. It's a unique opportunity to see the oxen up close, speak to the handlers and learn how farming and logging was accomplished before the days of mechanization. The highlight of the event will be the hitching of all eight teams to the antique log hauler from the early 1900s. There will activities to interest every age group and plenty of time to visit with the oxen as they perform and as they are stabled in the Big Barn alongside the horses. HOW: Media should park in the main Visitor Parking Lot and come through the Visitor Center to the Dressage Complex in back. For more information, see the press release. Questions from the media should be directed to Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209.
Watch a video of their arrival at the park Nov 7: http://youtu.be/KacgGAXg5mU
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
The oxen are coming!
November 9-12, several teams of oxen will be at the park showing off their skills.
These impressive animals will conduct demonstrations on how they pull carts, plow, pull weighted sleds, manage an obstacle course, and more. Visitors can watch yoking demonstrations, washing, grooming, and visit with these beautiful, gentle animals and their teamsters.
Mark your calendar for something a little different at the park! More information to come.