Monday, April 14, 2008

Horse Country

There are Redbud trees everywhere!! They are beautiful!!

There are barns and, there are BARNS. The owner of this farm is a "white fence" guy!!!

In the barns at Keenland

The "twin spires" at Churchill Downs.

The path to "Man-of-War's" grave. He had a stride of 28 feet, 2-3 feet longer than most thoroughbreds. Secretariat had a 21 pound heart versus 8 pounds for your average race horse. The "winner's edge".

The drive from Oklahoma to mid-Kentucky passed miles of blooming Redbud trees, in some areas forming an almost continuous scarlet edge to the roadways. There are many other blooming trees lining the highways but none more prolific than the Redbuds.

Touring the region around Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky is to tour the middle of Bluegrass Country as well as the centre of the Kentucky horse business. The horse farms are magnificent, surrounded by miles of either black or white wooden fences. The black fences are creosoted and, require little maintenance. The white fences are latex painted and very labour intensive. One facility we visited has 28 miles of white wooden fences. The fences require $40,000 of paint each year. Are you a “black fence” person” or a “white fence” person? I am firmly in the black fence camp!!!!

We visited Churchill Downs in Louisville, Keenland Track and the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, and drove through the rolling countryside. There are horses everywhere and horse trailers parked in every parking lot. It is said that historically Kentucky horses were revered due to calcium rich Kentucky spring water, filtered through the native limestone, contributing to strong-boned animals. That same water apparently makes great bourbon!!!! Kentucky-bred horses have won the majority of Kentucky Derbies. There must be something in that water!!!!!!

We were advised to have lunch at Sam’s Truck Stop outside Lexington and, what a find it was!! The clientele included truck drivers, stable-hands, business-men, farm owners and, the “ladies who lunch” resplendent in their riding gear. The food was great home cooking. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch complete with a “to-go box” full of another BIG meal for the two of us.

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