Lexington, KY – (July 29, 2013) – On Friday, August 2, horses that serve the community will be honored at the unveiling of 16 2’X8’ banners that decorate the Versailles Road Viaduct near downtown Lexington. The banners will feature four horses that are based at the Kentucky Horse Park, where they are members of Central Kentucky Riding for Hope or the Kentucky Horse Park Mounted Police.
The event, which begins at 10 a.m., will take place in the empty lot at the corner of Versailles Road/West High Street at Robertson Street adjacent to Bob Mickler’s. Miniature horses from CKRH and police horses will be in attendance, along with these speakers:
- Paula Singer, President, Friends of Versailles Road, and a CKRH volunteer.
- Council Member Bill Farmer Jr. (5th District), Chair, Corridors Commission.
- John Nicholson, Executive Director, Kentucky Horse Park.
- Pat Kline, Executive Director, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope.
- Captain Lisa Rakes, Kentucky Horse Park Mounted Police.
- Letha Drury, Owner (with husband Michael Drury) of South Hill Gallery on 1401 Versailles Road.
- Council Member Peggy Henson (11th District).
Regarded as “The Horsemen’s Corridor,” Versailles Road is the gateway to downtown Lexington for travelers from points west, including Blue Grass Airport, Woodford County, Frankfort, Louisville and the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway. The route includes iconic horse farms and historic Keeneland and Red Mile racetracks. Oliver Lewis Way, which was named after the black jockey who won the inaugural Kentucky Derby in 1875, connects Versailles Road with Newtown Pike, which is the way to the Kentucky Horse Park.
“The installation of these colorful banners is intended to encourage other organizations to promote civic, cultural, national and international events with their own banners,” said Singer.
Welcome banners were first placed on the Versailles Road Viaduct in 2010 for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, an event attended by more than a half-million people from around the world. In 2011, Keeneland placed banners along the viaduct to recognize its 75th anniversary.
The Corridors Commission considers matters of aesthetic qualities, landscaping, signage and other elements of the major roads of Lexington and Fayette County. In fall of 2012, the commission voted to fund the project to recognize service horses when it was proposed by Singer.
About the featured horses
The CKRH horses are:
- Hoss, a 14-year-old Mustang/draft gelding who participates in Horse Summer Camps; Therapeutic Riding; Hippotherapy; Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship for military service members; and equine-facilitated learning for students in The STABLES, a program at CKRH for students of Fayette County Public Schools. He has been at CKRH since September 2009.
- John R., a 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding who has been involved in Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship for military service members; equine-facilitated learning for students in The STABLES; and equine-facilitated mental health programs. Racing as Impressive John R., the Kentucky-bred won two races in 26 starts and earned $34,077. He was retired from racing to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, and joined CKRH in September 2011.
- Woody, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding who has been used to teach students in The STABLES about horsemanship and horse training. Racing as Sylvan Approval, the Kentucky-bred won three races in 11 starts and earned $19,095. He spent 10 years as an eventing horse named “Brushfire” before joining CKRH in February.
Representing the Kentucky Horse Park Mounted Police is Dinero, a 6-year-old Percheron-Thoroughbred gelding. Trained in basic equitation, jumping, obstacle work and crowd control, Dinero is regularly ridden by trooper Roy Foster on daily patrols at the Horse Park. He was donated to the Horse Park by Asbury University in 2011.
The banners are scheduled to be displayed until December. The four horses are slated to be featured on the city’s website (www.lexingtonky.gov) with links to CKRH (www.CKRH.org) and the Kentucky Horse Park Mounted Police (http://kyhorsepark.com/).
About CKRH: Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, founded in 1981, is dedicated to enriching the community by improving the quality of life and the health of people of all ages with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse. A PATH Int'l Premier Accredited Center, CKRH offers year-round activities, including Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, and a program for military veterans called Horses for Heroes. CKRH also hosts The STABLES, an innovative program for students in Fayette County Public Schools. To learn more, visit www.CKRH.org and find CKRH on Facebook.
# # #
Pat Kline, Executive Director
Central Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH)
President, Friends of Versailles Road/CKRH volunteer