Lexington, Ky., April 8, 2010 -- The new $10 million addition to the Kentucky Horse Park's International Museum of the Horse will be hosting its grand opening on June 12, 2010, after nearly 2 1/2 years of design and construction. The Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries will be the first major addition to the 52,000 square foot International Museum of the Horse since its opening in 1978, and will expand its permanent exhibition space by nearly 30 percent.
Spearheaded by the Purebred Arabian Trust (PAT), the Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries will showcase the journey of the world's oldest breed of horse through pages of history utilizing art and artifacts from around the world and technologically enhanced interactive exhibits geared toward youth visitors ages 8-14.
The Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries have been completely funded by the PAT and generous support from Arabian enthusiasts and interest groups. Among many ceremonious activities on June 12, the galleries will be gifted to the Commonwealth of Kentucky under the stewardship of the Kentucky Horse Park.
The Arabian Horse Galleries recently donned the name Al-Marah in honor of Al-Marah Arabians--the vision, lifelong love and work of Mrs. Bazy Tankersly, a luminary in the Arabian horse industry worldwide, and a dedicated shepherd of the breed since the 1950s. Mrs. Tankersly has shown generous support for the Arabian Horse Galleries out of her passion for promotion and education of the Arabian horse.
Basic facts of the Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries include:
- 8,000 square foot, two-story permanent attachment to the Kentucky Horse Park's International Museum of the Horse
- Centrally located near the Park's entrance for prime positioning
- Exhibits are being designed by nationally acclaimed Hilferty & Associates (London, OH)
- Its architecture displays a modern interpretation of the Bluegrass architectural style found throughout the Kentucky Horse Park
Among the many unique experiences found in the Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries, a few include:
- A media-enhanced desert cave entrance experience with whispers in Arabic, blowing sand sounds and fleeting images of Arabian horse cave drawings
- Discovery Oasis interactive kids kiosks that evoke a personal interaction and learning experience by a magnetic card they insert at each kiosk and turn in at the Galleries' exit
- An "Arabians of the Stars Theater" that shows clips of movie stars and famous Arabian horses
- The Black Stallion Experience, an area dedicated completely to the literary and cinematic magic of the most famous fictional horse ever created--Walter Farley's The Black Stallion
The opening ceremonies will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park on June 12 from 5-7 p.m. in the lobby of the International Museum of the Horse. Activities include the ribbon cutting, presentation of the museum to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, organized first tours of the Arabian Horse Galleries and a cocktail reception. Exclusive Sunday Celebration Tours are also available on June 13. The Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries will open to the public on June 14 and is included in regular admission to the Kentucky Horse Park.
Visit target="_blank">www.ArabianHorseGalleries.com for more information.