On Friday, August 2, horses that serve the community will be honored at the unveiling of 16 2’X8’ banners that decorate the Versailles Road Viaduct near downtown Lexington. The banners will feature four horses that are based at the Kentucky Horse Park, where they are members of Central Kentucky Riding for Hope or the Kentucky Horse Park Mounted Police.
The event, which begins at 10 a.m., will take place in the empty lot at the corner of Versailles Road/West High Street at Robertson Street adjacent to Bob Mickler’s. Miniature horses from CKRH and police horses will be in attendance, along with these speakers:
Paula Singer, President, Friends of Versailles Road, and a CKRH volunteer.
Council Member Bill Farmer Jr. (5th District), Chair, Corridors Commission.
John Nicholson, Executive Director, Kentucky Horse Park.
Pat Kline, Executive Director, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope.
Captain Lisa Rakes, Kentucky Horse Park Mounted Police.
Letha Drury, Owner (with husband Michael Drury) of South Hill Gallery on 1401 Versailles Road.
Council Member Peggy Henson (11th District).
Regarded as “The Horsemen’s Corridor,” Versailles Road is the gateway to downtown Lexington for travelers from points west, including Blue Grass Airport, Woodford County, Frankfort, Louisville and the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway. The route includes iconic horse farms and historic Keeneland and Red Mile racetracks. Oliver Lewis Way, which was named after the black jockey who won the inaugural Kentucky Derby in 1875, connects Versailles Road with Newtown Pike, which is the way to the Kentucky Horse Park.
“The installation of these colorful banners is intended to encourage other organizations to promote civic, cultural, national and international events with their own banners,” said Singer.
Welcome banners were first placed on the Versailles Road Viaduct in 2010 for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, an event attended by more than a half-million people from around the world. In 2011, Keeneland placed banners along the viaduct to recognize its 75th anniversary.
The Corridors Commission considers matters of aesthetic qualities, landscaping, signage and other elements of the major roads of Lexington and Fayette County. In fall of 2012, the commission voted to fund the project to recognize service horses when it was proposed by Singer.
About the featured horses
The CKRH horses are Hoss, a 14-year-old Mustang/draft gelding; John R., a 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding; and Woody, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. These horses participate in the wide range of activities that CKRH offers to people of all ages.
Representing the Kentucky Horse Park Mounted Police is Dinero, a 6-year-old Percheron-Thoroughbred gelding. Trained in basic equitation, jumping, obstacle work and crowd control, Dinero is regularly ridden by trooper Roy Foster on daily patrols at the Horse Park. He was donated to the Horse Park by Asbury University in 2011.
The banners are scheduled to be displayed until December. The four horses are slated to be featured on the city’s website (www.lexingtonky.gov) with links to CKRH (www.CKRH.org) and the Kentucky Horse Park Mounted Police (http://kyhorsepark.com/).
Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, founded in 1981, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the community by improving the quality of life and the health of people of all ages with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse. A PATH Int'l Premier Accredited Center, CKRH offers year-round activities, including Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, and a a program for military service members, veterans and their families. CKRH also hosts The STABLES, an innovative program for students in Fayette County Public Schools. To learn more, visit www.CKRH.org, “Like” CKRH on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@CKyRH).