There is much to be discovered in the scenic hills of Horse Country, which have been lauded by visitors and explorers since the early 19th century. From famous farms and nurseries to racetracks and feed mills, a visit to Horse Country will leave you reenergized, alive with Bluegrass traditions and one with nature. Anne Hardy at Visit Horse Country takes us through her comprehensive guide to the beautiful horse-related attractions in and around Lexington. For ticket information and to book a tour please go to VisitHorseCountry.com.
Ranked among the nation’s leading consignors, Denali Stud bred Derby Winner Animal Kingdom and has sold more than $475 million worth of horses since 1990.
See broodmares, foals and yearlings grazing on this fertile site where Kentucky Derby, Oaks, Breeders’ Cup and stakes winners have resided for nearly two centuries.
Located in the heart of beautiful Midway, Hurstland has belonged to Lexington’s Nukols family for more than 100 years, and is known world-wide for breeding, raising and selling outstanding Thoroughbreds.
Situated on a hill overlooking the historic Keeneland Race Course, Keene Ridge covers 170 acres of Bluegrass pastureland and is the home of Breeders’ Cup Turf Winners and Eclipse Winners.
Racing enthusiast Alice Chandler started the Mill Ridge operation in 1962, and shortly thereafter became the first woman to breed an Epsom Derby Winner. She continues to live by her motto “Take care of the horse, and it will take care of you” in all the farm’s endeavors.
A 365-acre nursery in Bourbon County that has produced winners for centuries, Runnymede’s history dates back to 1867 and has bred historic Hall of Fame horses like Derby Winners Ben Brush and Miss Woodford.
Placing emphasis on the needs of each individual horse, the owners of Saxony offer a hands-on approach to raising and nurturing each horse that comes through their facility.
A “boutique” breeding farm where “tradition embraces innovation,” Siena Farm dedicates itself to raising healthy, happy horses on their 225 acres of rich Bluegrass pastureland.
Fourth-generation horseman Arthur B. Hancock has produced Four Eclipse Champions, three Kentucky Derby Winners, two Breeders’ Cup Classic winners, two Preakness Stakes winners and a Belmont Stakes winner since beginning the farm in 1970.
Founded by wine entrepreneur Jess Stonestreet Jackson, the farm has managed the careers of Rachel Alexandra and Curlin.
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute
With more than 140 years of dedication to the well-being of the horse, Hagyard has more than 50 veterinarians and a knowledgeable staff to assist in the health of some of the most famous racehorses throughout history.
Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital
Full-service equine hospital Road & Riddle focuses on the advanced treatment of horses with specialized medical care needs, and also offers preventative care, surgery, a specialized Reproductive Center and more.
Adena Springs Stallions
Featuring 36-stall barns and a one-mile main track situated on nearly 3,800 acres in Paris, Kentucky, Adena Springs has produced award-winning Thoroughbred racehorses, as well as broodmares, two-year olds and yearlings. Top Stallions: Ghostzapper, Silent Name, Point of Entry
Take a drive out beautiful Old Frankfort Pike and visit this historic 2,500-acre stud farm, part of the famed Woodburn Stud, the home of five 19th century Kentucky Derby winners. Top Stallions: Upstart, MajesticPerfection, Summer Front
A leader in the Thoroughbred farm industry for generations, Claiborne is famously home to the grave of Secretariat, widely believed to be one of the best racehorses of all time. Top Stallions: Runhappy, Orb, War Front
With a history dating back to the early 20th century, Darby Dan is found on 1,000 acres of white-fenced pastureland and home to a modest number of champion stallions. Top Stallions: Shackleford, Dialed In, Tapiture
Darley at Jonabell
You’ll find 2011 Derby Winner Animal Kingdom at this modern stallion farm, one of HH Sheikh Mohammad’s international breeding and racing operations in America. Top Stallions: Animal Kingdom, Frosted, Nyquist, Bernadini, Street Sense
Encompassing the former Greentree Stud and Whitney Farm, this legendary breeding operation is home to award-winning racehorses and is a staple of the Lexington Thoroughbred breeding industry. Top Stallions: Afleet Alex, Tapit, Hat Trick
Frequently compared to a national park due to its impeccably kept grounds and beautiful pastures, Lane’s End sits on 2,200 acres in Woodford County and is the seller of more than 365 stakes winners to date. Top Stallions: Candy Ride, Honor Code, Lemon Drop Kid
Pin Oak Stud
With a past of Eclipse award-winning champions such as Laugh and Be Merry and Sky Classic, Pin Oak has been nurtured by Josephine Abercrombie and her passion for Thoroughbred breeding. Top Stallions: Broken Vow, Alternation
A state-of-the-art breeding farm founded by the colorful Leslie Combs, Spendthrift offers a breeding shed that sees more than 2,800 mares during any given breeding season. Top Stallions: Malibu Moon, Into Mischief
Taylor Made Farm
Situated on more than 1,600 acres, Taylor Made is one of the leading sales agencies in the world and home to 2014 Kentucky Derby Winner, California Chrome. Top Stallions: California Chrome, Astrology, Graydar
Spanning across both sides of scenic Old Frankfort Pike, Three Chimneys is the former home to champions such as Triple Crown Winner, Seattle Slew, and 1997 & 2004 Derby Winners, Silver Charm and Smarty Jones. Top Stallions: Will Take Charge, Palace Malice, Sky Mesa
Encompassing a racing stable as well as divisions for stallions, broodmares, foals and yearlings, WinStar is the breeder of the 2010 Derby Winner, Super Saver, who still resides at the farm. Top Stallions: Super Saver, Distorted Humor
Go behind the scenes at this family-owned feed mill, Hallway Feeds, which ships feed all over the world to nourish horses with the highest quality, custom-manufactured products.
A national historic landmark, Keeneland is considered one of the most beautiful racecourses in the world and an iconic part of Lexington’s history. The track is most alive during their Spring and Fall Meets in April and October, but you can tour the grounds or catch Thoroughbreds during their morning workouts throughout the year.
Kentucky Horse Park
Visit the 1,200-acre Kentucky Horse Park dedicated to all breeds of horse. The world-renowned park offers a variety of museums, galleries, theaters and working farm exhibits to explore, including the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian affiliate dedicated to the man's unique relationship with the horse through time. Check the KHP website for seasonal events and equestrian shows to see what's going on during your visit.
If you’re in the mood for a lazy afternoon drive through the rolling hills of Horse Country, Lexington has no shortage of scenic byways for you to hit the road and explore. Paris Pike, the road that leads from Lexington to Paris, is lined with some of the most beautiful real estate and horse farms in the region. Old Frankfort Pike, the State Scenic Byway, passes through six historic districts and four National Historic Register properties. And you can take Ironworks Pike out to the Kentucky Horse Park, where you can learn about famous Thoroughbreds and visit the grave of famous race horse Man O’ War.