Going stir crazy and ready to get out of the house and travel a bit? These five cities have something to offer people who love learning about and experiencing horses.
Saratoga Springs, New York
Saratoga Springs is a hub for Thoroughbred horse racing, as the home of Saratoga Race Course. The track will open on July 15, 2021 and run until September 6, 2021. Mondays and Tuesdays are “dark”, meaning there is no racing on those days. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame displays horse paintings, trophies, and racing memorabilia from throughout the years. They are open 10AM to 4PM seven days a week. They are closed for some holidays, so check their website before planning your trip.
Cody offers a long list of exciting things to do, including world-class museums and year-round recreation. There are rodeos in the summer and skijoring in the winter. Cody is known as the “Rodeo Capital of the World” and features two annual rodeos. The Cody Night Rodeo is every night June 1- August 31 and the Cody Stampede PRCA Rodeo is July 1 – July 4. Aside from rodeos, nearby Yellowstone National Park offers trail riding, and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is a world-class attraction that includes five different museums.
Lexington claims the title of “Horse Capital of the World” and there are plenty of attractions to go around, starting with the Kentucky Horse Park, home to the USDF National Education Center and Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame. The park is a working horse farm that is open to the public. It also includes the International Museum of the Horse, with the Calumet Trophy Collection, and the Hall of Champions where you can visit with several famous retired equines. For racing action, visit Keeneland, a racecourse which runs two race meets each year; one in April and one in October. There are also opportunities to take tours of the many enchanting farms in the area.
Wellington is a must-see destination for all dressage enthusiasts. Many dressage shows take place in Wellington. The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is home to the Winter Equestrian Festival and the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Wellington is also the site of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival. This venue offers select competitions throughout the calendar year.
Chincoteague is a town on the island of the same name, in Virginia’s Eastern Shore region. It’s a gateway to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, on Assateague Island, where wild Chincoteague ponies roam the beaches. Although cancelled for 2021, the Chincoteague Island Pony Swim takes place most years in July. If you are a lover of the book Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, you can visit Beebe Ranch, currently taking tours by appointment only. The original home for the History of Misty, the hour long tour includes a visit with two of Misty’s offspring.