LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — There’s another empty stall at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions following the death of champion thoroughbred ‘Point Given’ on Monday. Park officials are trying to find new horses to live there after the park’s third champion died in two years.
With Point Given’s passing, the Hall of Champions now only has four residents, and none of them are thoroughbreds. Park officials have known that these horses wouldn’t be here forever, but the business landscape around finding new champion residents has also changed.
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“We’ve been talking about it for some time. You know, [Go for] Gin was a little bit older, Point Given was a little bit older, and Funny Cide was a little bit older. They were all in their mid-twenties at the time of their deaths. So, you know, we had begun to think about, okay, what happens next,” Kentucky Horse Park President Lee Carter told FOX 56 News.
For four decades, the Hall of Champions has been where the ‘cream of the crop’ come to live out their post-racing days. Carter calls its residents the ‘ambassadors’ of the park.
“They’re all champions within their sport and have great stories to tell. In terms of when we might add another one, you know, that’s just going to depend. Again, we want to find the right horse and the right connection where it makes sense,” Carter said.
Carter says for the Hall of Champions, it’s about the story to tell: what made that horse unique, the career unique, the ownership unique, etc.
“We had hoped maybe that there’d be a little bit more time between them. But, you know, we’ve started having some conversations and just kind of working through a list of potential residents just to have dialog,” Carter said.
However, the Horse Park isn’t the only one showcasing champion horses, as other private farms now do the same thing. But Carter said he believes that’s a good thing for the industry overall.
“We don’t look at it as competition. You know, we look at, you know, Lexington being the horse capital of the world. So if it’s good for us, it’s good for them. And if it’s good for them, it’s good for us,” he said. Carter said that for right now, there’s no set timetable for new residents, and with another horse passing, it serves as a reminder to cherish the stories of the champions still here.