Kentucky Horse Park

Press Release Date:  Thursday, March 11, 2010  
Contact Information:  Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209 ext 209,  

          LEXINGTON, Ky (March 11, 2010)  Three years ago, in response to the plight of abused and neglected horses across the state, the Kentucky Horse Park created the John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair to provide assistance to organizations involved in rescuing them. 


The John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair is named in memory of the park’s beloved former resident, the legendary racehorse John Henry, and will be held in partnership with the Kentucky Horse Council.  The adoption fair will feature adoptable horses from several Kentucky-based equine rescue organizations, in an effort to assist these organizations in finding good homes for their rescued horses. 


“Horses are the sole reason the Kentucky Horse Park exists and they have provided a living for thousands of park employees for 32 years,” stated John Nicholson, executive director of the park.  “We try to return the favor by improving the lives of some horses who haven’t been as fortunate as the ones who live and compete at our park.


“We believe that it is very important to make a statement to the world about the priority Kentucky gives to equine welfare.  This summer the nations will come to Kentucky for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.  When they look at how we treat our horses, we want them to see a model that will inspire an increased level of equine care in other countries.  Our adoption fair is one piece of that inspiring story.”


The John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair, Saturday, April 17, 11:15am to 5:00pm is open to the public.  Horses may be inspected by potential adopters beginning at 10:30am and throughout the day.   There will also be a few dogs and cats available for adoption. 


Nicholson continued, “Our adoption fair may be a rather humble event, but it makes a difference in the lives of the unwanted horses who are adopted as a result.  Our goal is to assist an even larger number of horses this year.”


In conjunction with the adoption fair, a Happy Hour for Horses will take place in participating restaurants and bars in Central Kentucky on April 16 and 17.  Proceeds will benefit the Save Our Horses fund (SOHO), administered by the Kentucky Horse Council.  The SOHO fund provides financial support for food and veterinary care when an agency or county cares for a horse that has been confiscated due to its poor condition.  In addition, the fund provides an Equine Abuse Investigation Class to train local officials on how to successfully identify horses that need help, and how to ensure prosecution when it is warranted.


As an added attraction, a celebrity pony named Molly, famous as one of the country’s few successful equine amputees, will make appearances throughout the day.  Molly was rescued during Hurricane Katrina and adopted by Kaye Harris, who operates an equine shelter in Louisiana.  Molly’s story has inspired people around the world, and she will be at the adoption fair to demonstrate the importance of equine rescue and adoption.


Nicholson concluded, “The Kentucky Horse Council and these equine adoption organizations are out there on the front lines every day, battling to save the animals who have made Kentucky the Horse Capital of the World.  We want to come alongside them in their life-saving mission and make it a little easier for them to continue their work on behalf of horses.


For more information on the John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair, go to or contact Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209 or   To learn about the life-saving work being done by the Kentucky Horse Council through their SOHO fund, click on





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 Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet that hosted nearly 870,000 visitors and campers, as well as 15,000 competition horses in more than 100 special events and horse shows in 2009.  The park is home to the National Horse Center which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations.   Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is the place to get close to horses.   Open daily March 15 to Oct 31, and Wednesday through Sunday, Nov 1 to March 14.