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All The Queen's Horses



All The Queen’s Horses Come To Kentucky

by Sarah Huffman

The lineup of special events taking place at the park is astounding in celebration of the Kentucky Horse Park’s 25th anniversary, in 2003. The crown jewel of all events will take place April 26-August 24, 2003 when All The Queen’s Horses: The Role of the Horse in British History comes to Lexington, Ky. This will serve as the world-exclusive showing of this exhibit which is the most comprehensive exhibition ever to explore the role of the horse in the British history. It is a culmination of nearly three years of research and planning. This exhibition will only be presented at the Kentucky Horse Park and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not to be missed.

The horse has been an integral part of British history for more than two millennia. In 55 BC Celtic warriors used cavalry and horse-drawn chariots to oppose Caesar's invasion. As a result, horses were essential cargo for the successful second Roman invasion in 45 AD, and remained a critical element in Rome's four centuries of occupation. In the ninth century, Viking raiders routinely stole horses from local inhabitants, providing the marauders with the mobility necessary to seek their plunder.

All The Queen’s Horses spans 12,000 years and displays more than 450 artifacts and 60 paintings assembled from the finest museums and private collections in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and is valued at approximately $100,000,000.

Horses have played an important role in the English monarchy since the early Anglo-Saxon rulers. Edward III, in the fourteenth century, integrated mounted archers using the native longbow into his army. The added mobility provided by the horse, combined with the archer's skill, elevated the English to be one of the most respected military forces in Europe. Much of the material presented can be associated with British monarchs such as Edward IV, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Charles I, Charles II, George III, and Queen Victoria. Certain items are also on loan from the present Royal Family.

The collection of paintings were not only selected for their artistic merit, but also for their ability to enhance the exhibition’s academic themes. George Stubbs, J.F. Herring, Sr., Sir Edwin Landseer, James Pollard, John Wootton and Sir Alfred Munnings are some of the featured artists.

A gala opening celebration of All The Queen’s Horses will be held April 25, 2003. This will be the party of the year for the Bluegrass state, attracting a regional, national and international audience. The activities of the evening will include a preview of the exhibition, cocktails, an elegant dinner, entertainment, and dancing. The third Thursday of every month through the duration of All The Queen’s Horses will host “Pub Nights” to entertain visitors to the exhibit with special evening access, traditional pub food and drinks and British pub-type entertainment.

In order to better understand the exhibit, individual hand-held audio wands are given to visitors. This digital technology allows visitors to explore the exhibition at their own pace and according to their own interests. The exhibition is enhanced by the commentary and historical insights offered by the narrator.

One of the highlights of the exhibition will be the complete reconstruction of a sixth century gravesite of an Anglo-Saxon warrior and horse. The site was discovered near Cambridge, England in 1997. A reproduction of the burial pit will be cast in fiberglass shortly before the exhibition opens. Then archeologists will transport the actual grave goods and skeletons to the Kentucky Horse Park where they will be placed into the pit as they were originally found.

This must-see event is held at the Kentucky Horse Park during the park's 25th anniversary. The event runs April 24-August 26, 2003. For more information please contact the Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, Ky. 40511 or visit www.kyhorsepark.com

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