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Kentucky Equestrian Escapes

These experiences will give your group a sampling of all things equestrian.


Kentucky Horse Park


Groups can look straight into the eyes of a Derby winner at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions show. Visitors watch a film about one of the park’s elite horse before seeing the same horse face to face in the arena.

Visitors will find Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby, and can see him up close at the park. Even those who have never watched the Derby will learn of the event’s significance, as well as other details of horseracing.

The 1,220-acre Kentucky Horse Park features a scenic on-site horse farm, museums and a rich equestrian history. In 2010, many of the park’s traditional exhibits were renovated, and the International Museum of the Horse and the Big Barn, which houses mammoth draft horses and a historic carriage exhibit, were expanded.

The 60,000-square-foot museum displays permanent exhibits chronicling the history of the horse’s relationship with humans from ancient to modern times. In 2010, the museum opened the Al-Marah Arabian Horse Gallery to feature the Arabian horse’s heritage.

Groups can also learn about another illustrious horse breed at the park’s American Saddlebred Museum.



Anticipation hangs in the air every time horses round the last turn on the Keeneland track. Founded in 1936, the National Historic Landmark draws crowds each April and October during its popular live race meets.

A racetrack steeped in tradition, Keeneland has retained its historic and beautiful manicured appearance. Stone fences, blooming trees and an elegant paddock make the experience often more about spectacle than gambling.

Keeneland invites groups to tour its beautiful grounds throughout the year. Guided tours relate the history and inner workings of the track. Morning visits allow guests to watch horse training sessions on the track for an intimate racehorse experience.

Training takes place from about 6 to 10 most mornings. After watching a training session, groups can dine alongside racing pros at the Track Kitchen. Jockeys, trainers, owners and visitors alike frequent the breakfast and lunch establishment.

For groups visiting on a Saturday during a race meet, Keeneland offers a Sunrise Trackside package, which includes breakfast in the Equestrian Dining Room, tours, an educational equine demonstration and a jockey question-and-answer session.

Horse Farm Tours

Green rolling pastureland, painted wooden fences and frolicking foals form an iconic picture of Kentucky. Groups can spend time soaking in this Bluegrass scene on a horse farm tour of Central Kentucky.

A number of providers, such as Blue Grass Horse Farm Tours, Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farm Tours and Horse Farm Tours Inc., offer tours of area horse farms. Most include a stop at one of the region’s most beloved establishments: Calumet.

Steeped in horseracing tradition, Calumet’s white and red painted fences and barns welcome guests to the farm that dominated horseracing during the 1940s, 1950s and beyond. Tours tell stories about the farm’s former champions, including the eight Kentucky Derby winners, more than any other operation in U.S. racing history.

Other popular stops on the tour are WinStar Farm, Magdalena Farm and filming sites for numerous horse-related movies, such as “Seabiscuit.” Groups learn about the horseracing pasts of these sites, as well as the ins and outs of the modern horseracing operation.