Thousands of horses and the folks who love them were at Mine Made Adventure Park Thursday for the annual Knott County Horseback Fall Trail Ride.
“Kentucky Unbridled Spirit” is the official brand for the commonwealth, and while many interpretations of this are possible, at its core, it is a clear connection to the mighty horse. It is therefore no surprise that given a chance to indulge that connection, folks turn out by the thousands.
“We've been out here since Monday, and there is really a lot more this year than there was last year,” said Nick Dehart.
There’s another reason folks travel from across the country to be a part of this thing, and it isn't just the trail rides, food and music.
“We do this twice a year. This is a place you call freedom. I don't know how to express it, it is just awesome,” said Robin Alley.
“They love the mountains, they love these trails. They come from Florida, California, Vermont,” said Sylvia Combs.
Organizers say they usually break-even in terms of finances after the event is over. But their numbers also indicate that around one million dollars is infused into the local economy along the way.
“By the time that million dollars is turned over several times before it leaves the county, yeah, it's a big boost. You know local people can come up here and pay a vendors fee if they've got stuff they think they can sell and make some money on and that is wonderful,” said Danny Laferty.
So what's your interpretation of “Kentucky Unbridled Spirit”? Perhaps it’s something words fail to capture, but images just might, and here, at Mine Made Adventure Park, folks say it's everywhere, for all eyes to see.