The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington is now home to a horse of a different color. A rare white Thoroughbred has become a member of the park herd.
His name is “White Prince” and he is one of only a few registered white Thoroughbreds in the world. “He’s not an albino,” a park employee explained from atop Prince. “He does not have pink eyes. He is a true white Thoroughbred. Most are in the U.S.” Prince is a member of the Breeds Barn, and will take part in shows for the public, such as the Parade of Breeds.
Prince has a wonderful demeanor; adults and children step up with huge smiles to stroke his soft nose and have their photos taken next to him. His rider wears pink and white jockey silks with the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon emblazoned boldly on the crest. His breeding stable, Patchen Wilkes Farm of Lexington, donated White Prince to the barn. “White Thoroughbreds do not make good racers,” a volunteer explained, “they are just not built for it.” Which brings Prince to the Kentucky Horse Park, where no one seems to mind he is not on the track; everyone is drawn to him.
The Breeds Barn is just one of the things to do at Kentucky Horse Park. There is a wonderful Children’s Barn that makes education and care for horses fun and exciting. Kids can learn care and feeding to history and fun facts. The International Museum of the Horse takes you on a journey from the very first horse to today’s work of the ASPCA. There are so many excellent exhibits you will want to plan several hours for the museum alone. Currently, The Arabian Horse Gallery features stunning exhibits in multiple mediums about the history and diversity of this beautiful breed. The Hall of Champions features “Funny Cide” and “Cigar,” two legendary racing winners. “Funny” started 38 times with 11 wins, for an earnings total $3,529,412. In the middle of Cigar’s career this gorgeous equine won an astonishing 16 straight races, boasted an undefeated 5-year-old campaign, and won a total of $9,999,813 (But ask any volunteer at the barn and they’ll tell you, the horses prefer peppermints to dollars).
The Horse Park is home to the American Saddlebred Museum, a farrier shop, a wagon barn, Mounted Police barn, pony and horse rides, and of course, horses everywhere you look. The staff is wonderful: friendly, accommodating, willing to answer questions and assist you with learning about breeds, care, and history. Grab one of the huge cheeseburgers (they are fantastic!) at the Bit and Bridle restaurant and watch horse racing on the television. Take a horse-drawn park tour. Check out the life sized statues of many famous horses that are so detailed you will think you see them move. And of course, visit with “White Prince” and have your picture made.
For park hours, admission, and camping information, click HERE. Military and seniors receive discounts; look for discount coupons at gas station and motel kiosks. Lexington is only a few hours from Nashville and makes for a wonderful weekend getaway. A trip planner can be obtained HERE. As Churchill said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
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Photo of J. Yates courtesy R. Stephens