Whether you’re a horse enthusiast, a bourbon connoisseur, or a bluegrass music fan, or just love the coming of spring, the world-famous Kentucky Derby is one of those can’t-miss events of the season. While much of the excitement is focused on actual race, the Kentucky Derby Festival — the two-week long celebration leading up to race day — is one of the more underrated festivals of the year and celebrates all awesome things Kentucky; including some of the Derby’s finest history makers– the horses.
If you’ve ever wondered what happens to Derby winners like Big Brown or Point Given, many of them live out their lives in plush luxury, according to a recent travel post on Yahoo! which featured some ways to see some of the more famous once rose-laden horses, such as 2003 Derby winner Funny Cide, pictured below:
Image: Lisa Anders/Flickr
Farms such as Three Chimneys and others offer tours, some up to an hour long to visitors throughout the year. Of course, on extra-busy Derby week people will flock to the farms to get a bit of history and soak in some of the atmosphere surrounding these awesome thoroughbreds of the track, so tours are limited. However, Three Chimneys will offer an open house on May 5, several days before the Kentucky Derby kicks off.
Other farms in and around Lexington offer various and sundry tours, and will even offer breeding demonstrations! If that’s a little TMI and you’re looking for something a little bit more on the beaten path, take a trip to Claiborne Farm where you can tour the stables, observe the stallions, and pay homage at their cemetery to Secretariat — the immortal Triple Crown winner of 1973.