LEXINGTON, KY (February 9, 2005) Joe and Sally Jackson and the Kentucky Horse Park announced arrangements for the reburial of the world champion Saddlebred Wild Eyed And Wicked near the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park.
“Wicked” was one of five Saddlebred horses injected with an unknown substance in June 2003. He and two other horses were destroyed, and two horses recovered. Wicked’s remains were exhumed last week from Double D Ranch near Versailles, where he had been trained, boarded and buried. Jackson and her husband have hired private forensic experts who are working with State Police to determine who and what killed the horse.
On November 12, 2004, the Kentucky Horse Park Commission unanimously approved burial of Wild Eyed And Wicked’s remains at the park, and the accompanying erection of a suitable memorial to the champion.
Walt Robertson, Chairman of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission, stated “We had hoped that Wicked would someday live at the Kentucky Horse Park when he was alive. That not being possible, we are proud to give him a final resting place of honor at the park's Hall of Champions."
The Commission and the Jacksons have agreed on a location for the horse’s grave, adjacent to the Hall of Champions Pavilion and across the path from a large silver maple which is located close to the Pavilion. A tombstone specially designed by Sally Jackson, who is a bronze sculptor, will mark the grave and will be donated by the Jacksons. In addition, a pole-mounted plaque recognizing Wild Eyed And Wicked’s competitive achievements, owners and trainers will be placed at the grave site.
The Kentucky Horse Park and the Jacksons also announced an intention to host a public memorial service to coincide with the reburial of the horse’s remains. It is hoped that this memorial service can be held in conjunction with the 2005 Lexington Junior League Horse Show, in order to allow as many Saddlebred fans as possible to participate.
A champion in every sense of the word, Wicked was a two-time winner of the five-gaited Triple Crown.
Sally Jackson stated “Joe and I sincerely appreciate the Commission’s enthusiastic support of the efforts to accord Wild Eyed And Wicked’s memory the recognition and dignity it deserves.”
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.