Kentucky Horse Park Hosting Equine Adoption Fair

A number of factors have converged to make this a difficult year for some of Kentucky's horses. Equine overpopulation, a challenging economy, and last summer's drought are among the causes of distress that have put Kentucky's horses in the national media spotlight.

"We've all been disturbed by the sight of neglected and starving horses in the news, and we are determined to do something about it. We're going to put our actions where our hearts are," said John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park.

To that end, on Saturday, June 28, at 6 p.m., the Kentucky Horse Park will host the John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair, named for the  resident racehorse who passed away last fall. John Henry could have been considered unwanted for the first several years of his life, until he came into the hands of a trainer who recognized the talent in a horse that the rest of the world saw as small, plain, ill-tempered, and poorly conformed. John Henry rewarded those who saw his value him by earning more than $6 million on the track.

The John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair will help other horses find homes by bringing together a number of equine adoption organizations to showcase their rescued, adoptable horses. It will also raise funds through a silent auction for the Kentucky Horse Council's Save Our Horses fund, which has already saved the lives of horses and ponies across the state of Kentucky though its emergency horse hotline. The fund provides financial support for feed and veterinarian care when a good Samaritan or a county cares for a horse that has been confiscated due to its poor condition. In addition, the fund is providing an equine abuse investigation class to train local officials how to successfully identify horses that need help, and how to ensure prosecution when it is warranted.

The event will take place during the MidSouth Pony Club Mega Rally at the park, and in partnership with the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC). The public is invited, free of charge.

"We believe the responsibility for the welfare of horses falls squarely on the shoulders of every Kentuckian, because every Kentuckian benefits from the horse industry," Nicholson said. "It is clearly within our power to fix this. It should be within our hearts as well."

For general information on the John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair call 859/233-4303.

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