Kentucky Horse Park

Press Release Date:  Monday, November 07, 2005  
Contact Information:  Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209,  

          LEXINGTON, KY (Nov 7, 2005) What the heck is a tolt?  It’s defined by experts as “a very smooth four-beat gait which, while reaching speeds similar to fast trotting is much less jolting to the rider.”  The tolt is unique to Icelandic Horses which will be competing at the Kentucky Horse Park in the Kentucky Icelandic Horse Show, November 19-20.

          With plush toy looks and Viking spirit, the Icelandics will strut their cuddly stuff for the public beginning at 9 am in the Indoor Arena at the park both days.  Saturday evening will feature a pace race show and stallion showcase beginning at 5 pm.

          About the time of year when most of us want to burrow-in for the winter, these dependable little Icelandics start feeling their oats and get ready to go to work.  They are bred to carry adults at fast pace over long distances, along the stunning, temperate coastlines and frigid mountains of Iceland.

          The hardy Icelandic Horses first arrived on the shores of Iceland in the 9th century (that’s 9 th century, not 19th century! ) with Viking settlers from Norway and the British Isles.  For the past 1,000 years, importing horses to Iceland has been forbidden by law, so the Icelandic breed has remained pure since that time. 

          Currently there are approximately 70,000 Icelandic Horses outside of Iceland, and about 30 of those will be competing in the Kentucky Icelandic Horse Show, in 12 classes which are set to show off their natural abilities. 

          According to the United States Iceland Horse Congress (USIHC), the breed is “renowned for being hardy, athletic, independent, spirited, friendly, adaptable and sure-footed, with five natural gaits.”  They average 13-14 hands tall and it is distinctive for its thick and often double-sided mane and long tail, and remarkable for its wide range of colors.
          For more information on the Kentucky Icelandic Horse Show, contact Gudmar Petursson at (502) 608-5804 or email  For more information on the Icelandic breed, go to

          New seasonal hours and rates:  November 1-March 14 admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children 7-12.  Children six and under are always admitted free of charge.  Open from 9 am until 5 pm Wednesday through Sunday. Admission includes the Kentucky Icelandic Horse Show and the American Saddlebred Museum. 


          The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse.  The park is an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet that hosted more than 900,000 visitors and 15,000 competition horses in 80 special events and horse shows in 2004.  The park is located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington.  The place to get close to horses, the park is open daily March 15 to October 31, and Wednesday through Sunday, November 1 to March 14.