Saddlebred, quarter horses, other equine divisions, breeding, and competitions are a prominent part of the history and life of Louisville, Kentucky.
Kentucky has been Horse Country since before Louisville's founding in the late 1770s. Horses, farms and plantations were a way of life.
Landowners eventually began developing huge tracts of land into horse farms and training grounds for the world-famous Kentucky Derby, a main draw to Churchill Downs every May. All of this contributes to the readers' decision in 2009 to vote Louisville's Churchill Downs to the Number 11 spot among the Greatest Places to Stand in America (for photos) at the website StoodThere.com.
Canadian actor and forever-Captain Kirk, William Shatner, has owned and bred horses at for decades in near Louisville and Lexington. Kentucky.
One of the Shatner ranch's Indian Spirit Garden is one of several that has been opened to group tours and widely photographed professionally.
Poser Farm in Lexington (since 2009) has one of Shatner's many horses: Belle Reve's Voo Doo Magic. The Saddlebred is a stud descendant from Sultan's Great Day (dam The Magic Moment), who sired over 100 championship-winning horses. Some of his best-known saddlebreds are WCC Call Me Ringo and Boston Legal.
Horse Legends and Derby Tours
- Best Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farm Tours
- Kentucky Derby Museum
The Kentucky Derby Experience includes exhibits, but also offers tours of Churchill Downs that include the Jockey's Quarters and more behind the scenes.
- Kentucky's Churchill Downs Official Website of the Derby
- Secretariat, Kentucky's Thoroughbred racing legend. Penny Tweedy Chenery's dream come to life.
Secretariat a racing legend that won the Triple Crown. Winner of the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths. America's hero and racing legend.
Churchill Downs racetrack complex is located between the neighborhoods of Algonquin and Wyandotte (named after Native American Nations) in Louisville.
The University of Louisville, the Kentucky Exposition Center, and the International Airport are all within close range. A visit to Churchill Downs is a great starting point for a week's vacation in Kentucky. It's in the middle of a lot of travel and sightseeing activities, with historic districts that offer entertainment, dining, shopping, museums, and shows as well.
One work colleague moved the Kentucky Derby so much, that she scheduled vacation days every year in order to go and work in the paramuteul area. After the Derby on the first Saturday in May, she had not only extra money, but several days to enjoy the sights. She also made new friends. On the other hand, some people go to the Derby in order to see the array of women's hats worn that day!
The Sidewalk Derby
Most major cities in the US have undertaken sidewalk art projects in recent decades. Columbus OH lined their streets with artistic ears of corn, while Cincinnati provided a legion of colorful pigs - including flying pigs. many types of animals appropriate to the cities themselves have been seen and in Louisville, the streets have been home to wildly patterned horses.
Placed in 2004, an auction of the horses raised $800,000 for charity and city improvements. The fiberglass horses were painted in remembrance of Kentucky Derby winners. Few, if any, of the horses remain on the streets, but sponsor businesses may have photos. This sidewalk horse show has been called the Gallopalooza Sidewalk Derby and a gallery of horses can be seen at this site.
Additional sidewalk art is visible around the city today, including a sculpture remembering a tornado in 1890.
The Louisville Loop
In 2010, Bicycle Magazine voted the Louisville Loop and the city as the 21st most bike-friendly place in America.
The Loop comprises 100 miles of biking trails that, when completed, will encircle the perimeter of the City of Louisville. One section is completed as of June 2011, including 23 miles along the Ohio River Valley through parks and other landscape. Remaining sections are in the planning stages.
Visit the Louisville Loop at www.louisvilleloop.org .
The Spirit of Kentucky Balloon Festival
Held every September at Bowman Field airport in Louisville, this hot air balloon festival is the largest in the state and one of the top balloon festivals in the nation.
Activities and include several balloon races and showings, family activities, a number of live concerts, and a classic car show, among others. A particularly fun event is the nightly balloon glows in which the balloons are lit from inside.
Kentucky State Fair, Since 1816
The Kentucky State Fair is held annually in mid-to-late August at the Kentucky Exhibition Center in Louisville, not far from Churchill Downs. Likely the most popular draw for this fair is its World's Largest Championship Horse Show. Even the giant horse show in Columbus, Ohio each autumn, congesting the city for two weeks or more with activities and visitors, does not out show Kentucky's horse show. Local and International visitors increase the fair's attendance each year to see this show. Additional shows include 4-H horses, miniature horses, and others.
In addition to all the horse shows, the state fair offers agricultural exhibits, arts and crafts, music, military displays, displays from each county in Kentucky, contests, new product demonstrations, and a number of other displays and events. Major entertainment celebrities appear, including groups such as Def Leppard, Lady Antebellum, and Maroon Five.
City of Parks
This designation represents the well-known Louisville municipal project for a continuous paved pedestrian and biking trail way that travels around the entire city. Even more park lands will be added to the already large green space developed. Louisville is walkable and ready for green travel! As section of the Louisville Loop extent around the city, many of these parks will be connected by bike trails.
At Welcome to Waterfront Park, we see that this is only one of many parks. The Louisville Waterfront Park covers 85 acres of green space on the Ohio River in the Downtown District. Special events here include the region's largest July 4th Independence Festival.
Jefferson Memorial Forest and Music
This wonderful urban forest was established and dedicated to Kentucky armed services veterans from all wars. It is also an officially designated National Audubon Society Wildlife Refuge in Louisville. It ranks as the second largest urban forest in America.
Visitors may hike year-round across 35 miles of trails form 0.2 miles to 6.2 miles in length. This is one of the best parts of the city to enjoy and part of the City of Parks initiative. Music is celebrated in this forest as well with the annual spring Forest Fest Bluegrass Music Festival that offers free admission.
Muhammad Ali Center
Louisville is home to renowned boxer Muhammad Ali, born here as Cassius Clay. Charismatic and sure, he predicted his bouts with poetry; but he once did not appear for a scheduled interview on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Carson washed his hands of the boxer on air, but they mended the argument and Muhammad Ali continued to appear on the Tonight Show for years.
He keeps going despite a neurological condition and for this and his other examples of courage and service, the public respects and loves the former boxer. A 1960 Gold Medalist in Rome, he lit the Olympic Torch at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics and in the 2000s, he was welcomed as he watched his boxing daughter Laila at a performance on Dancing With the Stars.
Muhammad Ali Center: "Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee." This museum and education center is located in Louisville, Kentucky, which is Muhammad Ali's hometown. It makes a popular cultural attraction and international education center. The museum houses two floors of exhibits, with educational space and programming, gift shop, community outreach efforts, and other elements.
The Ohio River Falls
George Rogers Clark Home
In 1981, the US Congress designated the fossil beds and Ohio river falls area as The Falls of the Ohio National Wildlife Conservation Area (and state park). Millions of fossils from the named Devonian Period of history are located at this site. A giant mammoth skeleton adorns the lobby of the Interpretive Center.
Originally, the Falls were a series of rapids, but today they are not apparent, the water dammed locally to facilitate a canal in the 1800s and eventually, hydroelectric power. All this was named the McAlpine Locks and Dam to honor the only civilian US Army Corps of Engineers District Engineer of Louisville, W. H. McAlpine (served 1917 - 1919).
The George Rogers Clark retirement dwelling is at the lower end of the Falls of The Ohio at Clark's Point. This is a curve that showed off the view of the falls and the Ohio River in both directions. The Speeds were indentured servants to Clark and today, the Speed Art Museum is popular in Louisville. A boat ramp and several gardens are located nearby, and the site can be used for weddings.
The state park is a great place to visit. Actually located in Clarksville, Indiana on the other side of the river, the park is accessible via I-65 at Exit 0.
Economic Attractions: Business and Jobs
Numbers of jobs advertised for the Louisville market remained constant from Fall 2009 - Fall 2011, with over 18,000 listings on average. This number increased to 30,700 February 2015 and remained at around 23,000 from March 2015 through the end of 2018. Job numbers were flat from 2019 through 2020, but by January 2022, over 36,000 job openings were advertised.
Originally involved heavily in waterways shipping on the Ohio River, the city developed a booming trucking freight business that thrives today.
Top Openings Available at:
- Norton Healthcare
- KentuckyOne Health
- Baptist Healthcare System
- Barton Associates: Trucking and Freight; Soar Transportation; Rush Trucking
- Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Healthcare
- General Electric; Humana: Appliances and other
- Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Staples, other food/retail outlets
- Floyd Memorial Hospital & Health Services
High Demand Jobs in Trucking, Business and Healthcare
- Registered Nurses as Licensed RNs or BSNs
- Company Truck Drivers and CDL Truck Owner-Operators; Regional Flatbed Truck Drivers
- Physical and Occupational Therapists
- Project Managers/Directors in all phases of IT, including Business Analysts and IT Applications Consultants, Technology Business Consultants
- Restaurant Managers and Crew
- Sales People, Customer Service Representatives (especially in healthcare settings), Sales Representatives, Inside and Outside
Higher Education and Training for the Local and Regional Job Market
- Bellarmine University
- Boyce College
- Brown Mackie College
- Jefferson Community and Technical College at Jefferson
- Spalding University: Located in the Downtown District at 845 S 3rd Street, Louisville KY 40203
- Spencerian College: Spencerian College is a Kentucky Private College offering education only for careers that are in demand. Spencerian College students can pursue a certificate, diploma or associate degree in a variety of fields of study included in the programs offered. 2355 Harrodsburg Road, Lexington KY 40505
- Sullivan University: Sullivan University lets you earn your college degree online or at three campuses in Louisville, Lexington and Fort Knox. The school offers affordable tuition, financial aid for those who qualify, flexible schedules (great for online learning), and small class sizes. www.sullivan.edu
- University of Louisville: Motto - "It's Happening Here"
- Churchill Downs. www.churchilldowns.com/ Retrieved September 22, 2018.
- Louisville Business News. www.bizjournals.com/louisville/ Retrieved September 24, 2018.
- Louisville Metro Area Chamber of Commerce.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Patty Inglish MS
Hello, hello, from London, UK on June 21, 2011:
I love horses and you gave me a lovely journey through this beautiful county. Thank you for this splendid hub.
Meskens Geert from Belgium on June 16, 2011:
A nice hub
Jo_Goldsmith11 on June 16, 2011:
Ahh, now I am really interested in seeing more of my Kentucky home. I have visited Frankfort, the capital, more than Louisville. I will think about taking a trip there this weekend. voted up. Thanks for the info. Have a wonderful day!
brandrocker on June 16, 2011:
nice hub, this a new topic for me but your hub helped me to get an insight. Thanks.