Horse Adoption Event at Kentucky Horse Park in April

Three years ago, in response to the plight of abused and neglected horses across the state, the Kentucky Horse Park created the John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair to provide assistance to organizations involved in rescuing them.

The John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair is named in memory of the park's beloved former resident, the legendary racehorse John Henry. It will be held in partnership with the Kentucky Horse Council. The adoption fair will feature adoptable horses from several Kentucky-based equine rescue organizations.

"Horses are the sole reason the Kentucky Horse Park exists and they have provided a living for thousands of park employees for 32 years," stated John Nicholson, executive director of the park. "We try to return the favor by improving the lives of some horses who haven't been as fortunate as the ones who live and compete at our park.

"We believe that it is very important to make a statement to the world about the priority Kentucky gives to equine welfare. This summer the nations will come to Kentucky for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. When they look at how we treat our horses, we want them to see a model that will inspire an increased level of equine care in other countries. Our adoption fair is one piece of that inspiring story," Nicholson said.

The John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair, Saturday, April 17, 11:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., is open to the public. Horses can be inspected by potential adopters beginning at 10:30 a.m. and throughout the day. There will also be a few dogs and cats available for adoption from local shelters.

In conjunction with the adoption fair, a Happy Hour for Horses will take place in participating restaurants and bars in Central Kentucky on April 16 and 17. Proceeds will benefit the Save Our Horses fund (SOHO), administered by the Kentucky Horse Council. The SOHO fund provides financial support for food and veterinary care when an agency or county cares for a horse that has been confiscated due to its poor condition. In addition, the fund provides an Equine Abuse Investigation Class to train local officials on how to successfully identify horses that need help, and how to ensure prosecution when it is warranted.

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