Kentucky Horse Park Honored for Contributions to Thoroughbred Racing

The Kentucky Horse Park, an educational theme park, equine competition facility, and home of the great racehorse John Henry for 23 years, has been honored with the 2007 Special Eclipse Award.

The Special Eclipse Award, which is presented by the National Turf Writers Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), honors outstanding individual achievements in, or contributions to, the sport of Thoroughbred racing.

"We are exhilarated to be honored with the Special Eclipse Award," said John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park, which is based in Lexington, Ky. "This is the culmination of enormous efforts by many people over the past three decades who played a central role in the celebration of that special bond between man and the horse."

Nicholson will accept the honor on behalf of the park at the Eclipse Awards ceremony on Monday, January 21, at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Founded in 1978 as the nation's first horse park, the Kentucky Horse Park has expanded over the years to feature 53 different breeds of horses at work and at play. The park showcases the horse in daily equine presentations, horse drawn tours, horseback riding and pony rides, and cultural exhibits. The park hosts nearly 900,000 visitors and 15,000 competition horses in 75 special events and horse shows each year. It is also the home of the National Horse Center, a collection of 34 national, state, and regional equine organizations.

The park is perhaps best known for its Hall of Champions, a home for retired champions of the racetrack and show ring. John Henry, who lived there until his death in October 2007, was the Hall's most popular attraction.

"John Henry's indomitable will and spirit symbolized the love and dedication that the Kentucky Horse Park has given to the Thoroughbred industry over the years," said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the NTRA. "On behalf of the presenting organizations of the Eclipse Awards, we are proud to bestow this most deserving honor to the men and women of the Kentucky Horse Park."

The Eclipse Awards are presented by the NTRA, National Turf Writers Association and Daily Racing Form. Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.

The 37th Annual Eclipse Awards will be held on Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

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