The International Museum of the Horse is dedicated to educating the general public, as well as the equestrian and academic communities, about the relationship between man and the horse throughout history. The best way to enjoy the museum is to visit the Kentucky Horse Park, of course, but you can also experience some great features online, such as the outstanding videos on The Horse in Sports and Recreation and Horse Breeds of the World.
Horse Breeds of the World
There are hundreds of different breeds of “Equus Caballus.” The ability to adapt has allowed horses to survive many ordeals throughout time and to develop distinctive characteristics among breeds.
Preparation for a 1995 temporary exhibit led to the compilation of the most comprehensive bibliography on the subject in existence, the creation of a documentary film on the subject, and a permanent exhibit commemorating the important contributions of African Americans on the American frontier.
Calumet Farm: Five Decades of Champions
Calumet Farm has stood at the apex of Thoroughbred racing and breeding in America since 1932. The Museum’s collection of trophies won by Calumet’s horses over five decades is the most extensive in American racing history.
Legacy of the Horse
The Museum traces the history of the horse from prehistoric Eohippus to the present-day industry in which more than six million horses and seven million people are involved–and countless more impacted.
The Draft Horse in America
This exhibit is housed in the Francis W. Eustis Gallery of the Draft Horse. Eustis, a renowned sculptor and painter, was one of the Museum’s staunchest supporters, and donated most of the artifacts and art used in the exhibit.
Horse in Sport & Recreation
From rodeo to racing, reining to eventing and driving to dressage, the Museum chronicles all of the ways humans and horses team up in sporting pursuits.
Affirmed–Making of a Champion
In 2007 the Museum unveiled a major new exhibition on Triple Crown winner Affirmed, made possible through loans of memorabilia by his owners, Louis and Patrice Wolfson. In 1978, Affirmed became the third “horse of the decade,” and the last horse to win the elusive Triple Crown.
Past Exhibitions (now online)
This groundbreaking exhibit explored the role of the horse in more than 3,000 years of Chinese history and culture. Not just an equestrian history, it illuminated the horse’s significance in art, warfare, leisure activities and sport–and showed how this interaction affected the overall culture.
All the Queen’s Horses
All the Queen’s Horses was the most comprehensive exhibition ever to explore the rich equestrian heritage of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. It featured 450 artifacts and 58 paintings, most of which have never been exhibited outside of Britain.
Robert Vavra is universally recognized as the world’s premier photographer of equines. This exhibit is showcased the vivid, fresh, and very personal way that he photographed the horse.
In addition to permanent and special exhibitions, the Museum contains contemporary art exhibitions showcasing the talents of equine artists from around the globe and the Mary Jane Gallaher Memorial Library, an equine-focused research center.