2017 marks the 100th anniversary of history's most famous racehorse, the one and only Man o' War.
He is an American icon, born in Kentucky who would go on to capture the country's imagination as well as 20 of 21 starts in his racing career. To celebrate his 100th anniversary, the Kentucky Horse Park is creating a year-long Man o' War celebration. There will be events both at the park and throughout Lexington with various themes built around Man o' War and his amazing life as a race horse and sire here in Kentucky.
Man o' War Calendar of Events (3/29-11/1)
MARCH 29TH — NOVEMBER 1ST
“THE MOSTEST HORSE THAT EVER WAS” EXHIBIT
Opening to the public on March 29th at the International Museum of the Horse, this one-of-a-kind tribute to the legendary racehorse will give visitors a chance to learn more about his amazing career and experience never before seen items on display. Included in the price of admission to the park, the exhibit will run through the summer and fall, closing on November 1st, the day of Man o’ War’s passing.
JUNE 9TH & TBA
MAN O’ WAR DINNERS
Two celebratory dinners will be held in honor of the legend. The first, held the night before the 100TH anniversary of his Belmont victory will be held at Mt. Brilliant Farm in conjunction with The Race Education. The June 9th event will be limited to 100 guests and feature a collector’s edition Maker’s Mark bottle as part of the dinner.
The second dinner will feature a unique setting around the recently renovated Man o’ War statue at the Kentucky Horse Park. A true farm-to-table event will feature local chefs creating a Kentucky “racing” themed dinner and cocktails befitting a champion.
MAN O’ WAR COMMEMORATIVE MURAL
Dominating the drive through downtown’s busy Short Street, a large form-commissioned mural will be unveiled on Saturday, June 10th to commemorate his win in the 1920 Belmont Stakes. Painted on the side of the Village Idiot Pub building, the mural will feature a racing moment in the great horse’s life. A street party around the mural will be held to commemorate the unveiling.
MAN O’ WAR MOVIE NIGHT
Families will be able to enjoy special evening hours for “The Mostest Horse That Ever Was” exhibit as well as take in two Thoroughbred racing themed movies in the park’s theatres. Special events and activities will go on throughout the night for kids and families.
JULY 14TH, 15TH & 16TH
COLLECTOR’S EDITION MAN O’ WAR AT BREYERFEST
As part of the annual Breyerfest event at KHP, a collector’s edition Man o’ War horse has been commissioned. This replica of the greatest Thoroughbred of all time will prove to be a popular addition to the heavily attended model horse festival for fans from around the country.
MAN O’ WAR WALK AND RUN
Presented by UK HealthCare. Winding through the park’s grounds and including a tour of the exhibit, walkers and runners of all ages will enjoy a special race held in conjunction with the Man o’ War 100th Celebration. A competitive and casual 5k event will have a Man o’ War themed unique T-shirt in the racing silks that he competed in during his years on the track.
HORSE COUNTRY MAN O’ WAR TOURS
Building on the successful tours of Central Kentucky farms, Horse Country will offer limited tours that include a visit to not only the Kentucky Horse Park, but also to Mt. Brilliant Farm where guests can see the fully-renovated barn where he stood his entire stallion career. Dates of the tour are built around his biggest racing days and can be booked at Horse Country tour’s website.
ED AND ERCEL TALK MAN O’ WAR
Two of the Thoroughbred industry’s leading historians will offer fans of racing, an intimate evening of stories around the legend that is — Man o’ War. Ed Bowen, author of the definitive history of Man o’ War and beloved racing historian Ercel Ellis will weave the tales of the great horse and also answer questions from those in attendance. Fans will be able to attend the exhibit before and after Ed and Ercel’s program.
MAN O’ WAR – THE FUNERAL
The actual funeral of Man o’ War was followed closely on radio not just in America, but also several countries around the world. A special airing of his funeral broadcast will be made available on local radio for fans to hear the special eulogy and listen to the funeral where literally thousands showed up to pay their respects to the great horse.