Lexington, KY - The Kentucky Horse Park has established its Calendar of Events for the 2011 season that is set to begin April 1. As the park returns to its regular hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through October 31, the calendar reveals a season jam-packed with horse shows every weekend, special events and art exhibitions, most of which are included with park admission.
The season kicks off with the Bluegrass Classic Arabian Horse Show, Apr 1-3. The same month, the park's most highly attended horse show will take place, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Apr 28-May 1, which will be bigger and better than ever with the inclusion of the Kentucky Reining Cup, Apr 29-30. College students from across the nation will arrive at the park to compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championship, May 5-8, and after a year's hiatus, one of Kentucky's most popular social events will resume, the High Hope Steeplechase, May 22 .
Other season highlights will include the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championship, May 5-8; Pyramid Society Egyptian Arabian Event, Jun 6-11; Festival of the Bluegrass, Jun 8-12; Silverama Region 14 Arabian Championship, Jun 28-Jul 3; Miniature Horse Julep Cup Show, Jul 8-10; BreyerFest, Jul 15-17; United States Pony Club Festival, Jul 18-26; Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, Jul 27-31; Kentucky Summer Classic Hunter Jumper Show, Aug 3-7; United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals, Aug 9-4; Bluegrass Classic Cluster Dog Show Sept 1-5; and many more events throughout the season.
In addition to shows and live equine presentations, the park's museums will host three special exhibitions this season:
Vavra's Vision: The Equine Images of Robert Vavra, Now-May 30 in the International Museum of the Horse - a Smithsonian Affiliate. This 60-year retrospective exhibition of the world's premiere photographer of horses will delve into the world that Vavra has created through his lens while circling the globe. In photographs, in film and in print, his images capture the strength, beauty and wisdom of the horse.
Ancient Bronzes of the Asian Grasslands, Jun 24-Oct 9 in the International Museum of the Horse. Eighty-five works illustrate the personal decorations and equipment of the horse-riding steppe dwellers of the late 2nd and 1st millennia BCE. Ornate, technically sophisticated, and richly patterned, the bronze belt buckles, plaques, and weapons of these ancient horsemen are striking examples of the nomad culture that flourished across the Asian grasslands from Central Asia to Mongolia and northern China.
Celebrities: Saddlebreds and Personalities from the Silver Screen, Cinema and History, Now-Jan 31, 2012 in the American Saddlebred Museum - The Showplace for Saddlebreds. This exhibition features many of the horses from television and movies, such as My Friend Flicka and Fury, which were American Saddlebreds. It also features popular celebrities who own Saddlebreds.
For more information visit the park's Web site, www.KyHorsePark.com or call 859-233-4303.
The Kentucky Horse Park is currently open Wed to Sun, 9am to 5pm, through Mar 31. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children ages seven to twelve. Beginning Apr 1 to Oct 31, the park will be open seven days a week, 9am to 5pm. The full range of live equine presentations will resume at this time. Admission will be $16 for adults, $8 for children ages seven to twelve. Children six and under are always admitted free of charge. Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse - a Smithsonian Affiliate, and the American Saddlebred Museum and Gift Shop.
Photo: The main stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park. Photo by Sportfot.