Kentucky Horse Park
HELPING THOSE WHO HELP THE HORSES

Press Release Date:  Monday, November 28, 2005  
Contact Information:  Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209, crullman@kyhorsepark.com  


          LEXINGTON, KY  (November 28, 2005) Seven days a week, 365 days a year they devote themselves to the care of Kentucky’s horses.  On weekends, holidays and cold winter nights they groom, feed, water, medicate and live with the animals who give this state its identity and an economic impact of $4-billion annually.  They are the unsung heroes – the workers on Kentucky’s horse farms. 

          Many farm workers are attempting to support their families on minimum wage, without the benefit of life’s necessities, so the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation wants to help make Christmas a little nicer for the children of farm workers by collecting toys and clothing during its Southern Lights: Spectacular Sights on Holiday Nights festival through December 31 at the Kentucky Horse Park.  The items will be distributed by the Blue Grass Farms Chaplaincy.

          The public is asked to bring new toys and clothing to the park’s Visitor Information Center to drop in the toy bin located in the lobby before Christmas.  These items can also be purchased in the Gift Shop of the Kentucky Horse Park. 

          Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director, John Nicholson, observed, “We see this as a small but important way for the park and the public to give something back to the farm workers of Central Kentucky who contribute so much to our state.”  He continued, “Some farm workers hale from Kentucky and other states, while many are originally from Central America and trying to celebrate the holidays a very long way from home.  We are happy to be working with the Blue Grass Farms Chaplaincy to make the holidays brighter for some of these folks and their children.”

          Southern Lights, which is presented by the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, includes a self-guided 4-mile drive through the fabulous, new Western-themed light displays as well as traditional favorites in the park.  Festivities also include a petting zoo, mini train and trolley, model railway, various live musical performances, Creative Camera Club exhibit, and visits with Santa Claus (photos with Santa are sponsored by the Lexington Rotary Club, which uses the event to raise money for winter coats for the needy).  Pony rides and a lovely Victorian carrousel are also available. The park’s award-winning gift shop will be open, as will numerous holiday craft vendors and the world-famous International Museum of the Horse.

          Southern Lights: Spectacular Sights on Holiday Nights will run through December 31 from 5:30pm to 10pm at the Kentucky Horse Park.  (Indoor attractions are closed December 24-31).  Admission is $15 per car, $30 per extended van, $50 for mini busses, $75 for school busses and $125 per motor coach. Proceeds benefit the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. 

          For more information on Southern Lights, call the foundation at 859-255-5727.  For information on the toy drive, contact the Blue Grass Farms Chaplaincy at 859-231-0054.

          New Daytime Seasonal Hours and Rates: The Kentucky Horse Park is open November 1- March 14, admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children 7-12.  Children six and under are always admitted free of charge.  Winter hours are 9 am until 5 pm Wednesday through Sunday. Admission includes the American Saddlebred Museum.

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          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.