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Press Release


Wilmore Elementary enjoys a day at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show

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Kentucky Spring Horse Show Adds Horse Sense to School Curriculum

Written by: Jenny Ross Koning
Client: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC
Release Date: 2006-05-12

Jenny Ross for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Ross of Phelps Media Group, Inc. International at (561) 753-3389 or at

WEB SITE: Phelps Media Group, Inc. International Press Releases and Photos are available for download at

Photo Credit: Wilmore Elementary enjoys a day at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo by: Anne Gittins Photography. High Resolution copies of this photograph can be obtained by contacting

Kentucky Spring Horse Show Adds Horse Sense to School Curriculum

Lexington, KY – May 12, 2006 – Bobby Murphy and Betsy Fishback welcomed first grade students from Jessamine County’s Wilmore Elementary to the Kentucky Spring Horse Show today as part of a new program that is currently being developed. The program, created by Bobby Murphy, the Assistant Manager of the Kentucky Horse Shows, provides hands-on education for elementary school students during horse shows, giving them the opportunity to learn about horses, equestrian sports, equine nutrition, and safety equipment. The on-site field trip program allows students and teachers to observe horses during competition in the show arena, as well as first hand interaction with riders, horses, and equine experts.

“We’re in the beginning stages of the program now,” explained Murphy. “Betsy Fishback, who is the Director of Community Relations, and I have done a lot so far and plan to work with the horse park to get an educational program for school children. Since it’s a state park, we would like to put together educational field trips. We’d like to have a couple schools come out every show day, and we’ll educate them at different learning stations.”

“We can move up an exciting class, like a grand prix or a derby, to an earlier time so they can sit in the stands and watch,” he continued. “We’d like to work with the local government and have a ‘horse day,’ where all the Fayette County schools can come out to the park. We would have three to five thousand kids fill the stands and have a main event with trick horses, special features, and exhibitions. We’d like to keep educating the kids and continue to make this the horse capital that it is.”

“As part of the program, we would like to give each school a rider in the derby class. Every school could design their own logo, which would go onto the rider’s saddle pad and worn in the class. Afterwards, the winner of the class can autograph the saddle pad, and we can get a picture of the school in the background of the winner’s circle. Then we would frame it all and send it back to the school so they could see it every day and remember their experience.”

The special highlight of the day took place when Olympic Show Jumping veteran Joe Fargis, who won Team and Individual Gold Medals for the United States in 1984 and a Team Silver Medal in 1988, greeted the children upon their arrival and answered questions pertaining to his riding career and the sport of show jumping. The students were quick to raise their hands, asking such questions as “How does a bit work?” and “What is the highest jump you’ve ever jumped?” Fargis responded with the impressive answer “7’3.’’ The chaperones had a good laugh when one child asked, “How do you know the difference between a baby girl horse and a baby boy?” and Fargis replied, “You ask the veterinarian.”

Fishback guided the students up to the indoor arena lounge, where educational displays were set up at stations. The giant viewing glass wall allowed students to overlook the show arena while hunters jumped over fences below. Enthusiasm surged as they yelled “Whoa!” and “Cool!” after every obstacle was jumped on course. Fishback created presented laminated signs that introduced information about what horses eat and what equipment is used to ride show jumping horses. Grain, feed buckets, and hay nets were available for the children to touch, as well as a helmet, girth, boots, and horse shoes. Also displayed was the red jacket that Olympian Todd Minikus wore when representing the United States in the 2000 Olympics.

Since horses are measured in “hands” instead of feet (one hand equals four inches), an equine measuring stick was set up for the kids to measure themselves and convert their height to hands. Maps were also displayed, pinpointing the geographic locations of previous Olympic Games, Pan American Games, and World Equestrian Games.

The students later walked on a path adjacent to horses grazing in green pastures, which led them to a demonstration provided by the International Museum of the Horse. Afterward they perused historic photographs and memoirs and snapped pictures of statues that honor some of greatest racehorses in history.

“We would also like to build a spectator base,” added Murphy. “We would like to educate the community about the importance of the upcoming World Equestrian Games, which is one of the most prestigious international competitions and will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2010.”

Photo Credit: Wilmore Elementary enjoys a day at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo by: Anne Gittins Photography. High Resolution copies of this photograph can be obtained by contacting


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