Kentucky Horse | High Stakes in the Bluegrass, National Geographic

The Kentucky Derby is the most famous two minutes in horse racing. Generations of hot-blooded thoroughbreds from a few elite bloodlines have been bred for speed.

Thoroughbred racing is celebrated as the “sport of kings.” Behind the glamorous scene, however, is a billion dollar business that supports not only wealthy horse owners, but also a huge industry dependant on horse racing. Breeders, veterinarians, and jockeys are just a few of the people whose lives revolve around thoroughbred horses.

Central Kentucky is the picturesque backdrop. Stone barns, white fences, and lush Bluegrass pastures look designed to movie set perfection.

What makes Kentucky special, however, is the geology favored for horses. Millions of years ago when Kentucky’s climate was like Bermuda’s is today, tons of …

Kentucky Horse | High Stakes in the Bluegrass, National Geographic

The Kentucky Derby is the most famous two minutes in horse racing. Generations of hot-blooded thoroughbreds from a few elite bloodlines have been bred for speed.

Thoroughbred racing is celebrated as the “sport of kings.” Behind the glamorous scene, however, is a billion dollar business that supports not only wealthy horse owners, but also a huge industry dependant on horse racing. Breeders, veterinarians, and jockeys are just a few of the people whose lives revolve around thoroughbred horses.

Central Kentucky is the picturesque backdrop. Stone barns, white fences, and lush Bluegrass pastures look designed to movie set perfection.

What makes Kentucky special, however, is the geology favored for horses. Millions of years ago when Kentucky’s climate was like Bermuda’s is today, tons of shells were buried and crushed into limestone, making the grass there now rich in calcium. As the land sank, hills and valleys formed, creating the perfect terrain for running horses and muscle-building exercise.

The region is rich with lore and tradition, including the lawn jockey—the small statue prominently positioned on every farm wearing symbolic colors, with a lantern or hitching ring in one outstretched hand. Local legend says it memorializes Jocko Graves, the “faithful guardsman” who froze to death, lantern in hand, while watching over horses for George Washington.

Today’s guardsmen are the farm owners and managers who dutifully go out to the barn in the middle of the night to watch over a mare giving birth a foal. Each new life brings hope of the best genes and the greatest chance to be the next Derby winner.

[ … ] Read The Full Story
Kentucky Derby Horse Race Traditon of Stylish Derby Hats Horse Jockey Pat Day With Trainer’s Sons Muddy Faced Jockey Portrait Lawn Jockey Wear Silks Representing Farm Stone Cathedral Horse Barns Horse Surgery Pregnant Mares Wear Buckets For Protection Waiting In The Midnight Hours For Horse Birth Newborn Thoroughbred Foals With Mares Rare White Thoroughbred Horses White Fences On Bluegrass Farm Spring Arrives To Bluegrass Horse Farm Horse Racing Fans At Keeneland Private Horse-Training Track In Paris, Kentucky Spirited Mare And Foal Gallop On Kentucky Farm
« | »