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Kentucky Horse Park

December 17, 2012

Kentucky – Friday, December 14

I knew my animal-related donation in Kentucky would have something to do with horses, since horses and Kentucky seem like they’ll be forever joined! I had given some thought about whether to make a donation to a horse-rescue facility, or the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation which would be used for educational and outreach purposes – and the KHP Foundation won out. So I went back to the Kentucky Horse Park and found the Foundation office, and made my donation. They were happy to get it, and even gave me a Breyer horse ornament – which I will have to wait until next Christmas to use! The Kentucky Horse Park is a dog-friendly place (except for the museum areas), which kind of surprises me with the horses around – and there’s a lot of land. Tula and I ended up walking through a lot of the property, including the attached campground area and went through the 2 mile lightshow area and back, and saw all the displays by the light of day. All the displays have metal frameworks to hold them up and lots of wires and cables to get them in place even in the wind. I can’t imagine setting all that up – none of that is visible during the light show and it was interesting to see some of the work that went into it. We then walked through all the stable areas and visited the big memorial where Man O’ War is buried – possibly the best racehorse of all time. We watched a display of horses – and Tula just laid down and took a nap til it was over. I’m glad she’s used to horses! They had a miniature horse who was interested in Tula during the “meet and greet” after the show, but Tula wasn’t too sure about that – she’s used to big horses, not something just a little bigger than her! They also had a Marwari horse – an unusual breed from India that nearly died out, and there are only 10 of them in the U.S. and KHP has 3 of them. They have very unusual curved-in ears, which is one of their identifying characteristics. It wasn’t crowded at all, and altogether Tula and I covered 6 1/2 miles, then we were ready to move on.

Before I left though, I made a phone call to the Eastern Kentucky Veteran’s Center about my second donation-of-the-day (to make up for last Sunday). I had learned that they are lucky enough to have a therapy dog named Graham, who is apparently very popular with both the residents and the staff. Graham usually is at the Veteran’s Center during the week, but the recreation director (who Graham stays with) was not in today, so neither was he. The receptionist told me that Graham is very helpful, and can deliver mail to the residents, turn lights on and off, and he also is able to help with some of the physical therapy exercises. There is actually a “Graham Fund” as one of the items on the Veteran’s Center wish list for donations, and that was what I was calling about. The money they receive for the Graham Fund goes toward food and vet bills and the rest of his upkeep, so they can keep him in the program. Since Graham was not in today, and I woulds no longer be in Kentucky on Monday, they just gave me the address of the Veteran’s Center, and I mailed in a donation. That takes care of my military-based donation for the week.

Then I started to drive east, and soon came to Winchester which looked like a good walking town, and we enjoyed walking through a big downtown area, which had a lot of interesting old buildings, and way out into some residential areas, and just kept going! It was a very pleasant afternoon/evening. We covered another 4 1/2 miles and by the time the sun went down, we had covered 11.1 miles – making up most of what I needed to! We didn’t have to drive far to the motel, and I was hoping for an early start in the morning before the forecasted rains were due to begin.
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