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State Seal Kentucky Horse Park
Press Release Date:  April 12, 2005
Contact:  Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209,

         LEXINGTON, KY (April 9, 2005)  Spanky thinks it’s all kind of silly, but he goes along with it anyway because he is devoted to Denny, and besides that, the audience seems to enjoy it.  Spanky is an American Quarter Horse who is the star of the new Best of the West show at the Kentucky Horse Park and Denny is his friend and trainer.  Trick and fancy riding, whip cracking, trick roping and fancy gun handling are all part of the entertainment on hand for audiences in the new show. 

         Denny Chapman is the choreographer of Best of the West which takes place Thursdays through Saturdays at 12:30 pm.  Along with his super talented, trusty equine partners Spanky, Dusty and Charlie, Chapman thrills park audiences with professional horseback stunts.  He and his horses fly together through hoops of fire, perform cowboy mounted shooting exhibitions, Roman riding and fancy ranch horse maneuvers.


         “These horses are like family members to me,” said Chapman. “Their training is based on a relationship of trust between them and me.  I use positive reinforcement to encourage their natural behaviors and treat them with utmost respect.  In return, they are willing to perform some pretty wild stunts that are a lot of fun for the audience.  I admit they’re a bit spoiled, but they earn it.”


         A member of the famed Old Timers Rodeo and Wild West Performers Club and the prestigious Wild West Arts Club in Las Vegas, Chapman produces and performs in the Kentucky Horse Park’s renowned Parade of Breeds show.  He is an active competitor in the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, the World Foundation Quarter Horse Association and the United States Team Roping Championships.


         John Nicholson, Executive Director for the park observed, “Denny can get his horses to joyfully carry out his directions in a way that most of us wish our kids and dogs would respond to us.  These horses are obedient, well trained, professional, willing athletes, who enjoy their jobs and look for Denny’s direction and the audiences’ appreciative applause.  This show is going to be a big hit with our park visitors.”  He continued, “Thanks to a lot of patience and hard work, the horses have jobs that they love and the audience loves them.”


         For more information, contact Denny Chapman at 859-259-4256 or


         The Best of the West show is included with park admission. Admission is $14 for adults and $7 for children ages 7-12.  Children six and under are always admitted free of charge. Admission also includes the Kentucky Bloodlines exhibition and the American Saddlebred Museum.


         Editor’s Note:  Photos of the Best of the West show are available by emailing


          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 913,000 visitors and 80 special events and horse shows in 2003.  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.



Last updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2005