After living in Lexington for 25 years, I finally got around to taking an official tour of the area. My mother-in-law was in town for a few days, and we thought it would be fun to do. Ironically, I have ridden my bicycle on every road of the tour, but it was nice to get the added bonus of a tour guide telling me exactly what I was seeing.
The company we used is the oldest tour company in the area, and they did an excellent job. The price was very reasonable, and each tour is about three hours long.
We started out in downtown Lexington. This restored log cabin is one of the oldest structures in the city. It’s a shame there is a light pole beside it.
This is the Hunt Morgan house. I am president of the Town and Country Garden Club, and the historic garden at this home is our annual project. I was taking photos as the bus was moving so some of the angles are less than desirable.
This was the law office of local statesman Henry Clay. He ran for president three times but never won. He is considered one of the top U.S. senators ever and was called The Great Compromiser. His beautiful estate, known as Ashland, is also open for tours to the public, but they are not affiliated with this company.
After riding through the historic areas, our van headed to Keeneland, which is a beautiful and historic race track known throughout the world. This paddock area is where the horses are walked before the races and where the jockeys mount their rides. During race season which is the month of April and the month of October, it is packed with people.
These historic jockeys are dressed in the farm colors of the horses that won major races so far this year. That is my mother-in-law who was recovering from hip surgery.
It was odd seeing the track and stands without people. Keeneland has artificial soil to help protect the horses from injuries. It has been quite successful. And by the way, Keeneland has a beautiful little shop full of great clothing, shoes, and decor. It is open even during the off-season.
Keeneland has been used to film movies that involved horse racing because it is the most beautiful, and traditional track in the country. Parts of Secretariat and Sea Biscuit were both filmed here.
After Keeneland we visited two horse farms where we could get out of the van and get up close and personal with some horses. This home is a typical horse farm home.
This house, which you can barely see, was the inspiration for Margaret Mitchell’s Tara in Gone With The Wind. She came to Keeneland for the races, saw this home, and patterned Tara after it. Isn’t that cool!!!
The colts are almost as big as their moms and will be weaned soon. I mentioned that in this post.
Our final stop before returning to Lexington was Old Friends, the retirement home for horses. I gave you a tour of it here. This is Popcorn Delight, the resident actor, still hamming it up for the camera. He is showing us his tattoo which all thoroughbreds have as a means of identification. If you are new here, than let me tell you a cute story about Popcorn. His mom is Afternoon Delight who was owned by Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson. Afternoon Delight also lives at Old Friends. Anyway, Popcorn played one of the Sea Biscuits in the movie of the same name. He has a Screen Actor Guid card and earned $10,000. for playing his role. He donated it to the farm. Isn’t that cute.
Old Friends also has a bunch of cats running around in case horses aren’t your thing. Hearing some interesting facts about where I live made me love it even more. So, if any of you are planning to visit Lexington, or if any of you locals haven’t been on the tour, I highly recommend it.