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Many people take a drive through the country roads of Oldham County and wonder what the farms look like close-up. On Sunday, the Oldham County Farm Tour gives participants the chance.
“Most people don’t realize that Oldham County has such a large population of horse farms and that they are very important to the horse racing and show industry in Kentucky,” said Kim Buckler, executive director of the Oldham County Tourism Commission.
Through the Oldham County Farm Tour, the commission and Oldham Ahead are showing a behind-the-scenes view of distinctive area stables, with a box lunch included.
Four exclusive farms, each with their own personality, will be shown.
“We want people to understand how our horse industry works and how a green space contributes to the quality of life here,” said Mary Lowry of Alta Vista Farm.
Her farm is one of the first stops of the shuttle. Upper-level dressage rider and teacher, Jen Bobblitt, will put her gelding, Aragon, through his paces.
“Watching her perform is like watching ballet,” said Lowry. Viewers will be treated to a jumping exhibition as well.
At the next stop, patrons will enjoy a hay ride as they are treated to a display of extensive cross-country fences at Flying Cross Farm.
Situated on 100 acres, this three-day-eventing facility, owned by Allen Northcutt, will show a horse going over fences, and even jumping through an advanced water complex.
The next farm is the rarely seen 2,000-acre Mason Lane Farm, which is owned by Eleanor Bingham Miller.
The barns are environmentally-friendly, one being constructed of bamboo.
A site planner will be on hand to talk about the special construction and landscape details for the award-winning project.
Additionally, vendor booths for Oldham County organizations will be there.
The Hermitage, a world-class 700-acre establishment is also on the list. The particularly historical Hermitage, a renowned thoroughbred breeding facility since 1935, will feature a “Meet the Jockey” presentation.
This is the first time the farm has been open to the public. Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson purchased the property and soon the farm will be also known for the couple’s new passion — carriage driving.
“We are happy to provide a facility for people to learn about combined driving in a relaxed atmosphere with a beautiful farm, a wonderful landscape, and a world-class facility that is only going to get better,” said Leslie Hernandez, who trains with her husband Jose.
Patrons will see four horses in harness in a modern marathon carriage.
They will also see dressage performed by a pair of horses in harness.
“Not a lot of farms in the area specialize in combined driving,” said Jose.
Attendees will be shown a variety of horse breeds used for driving, from Welsh ponies to imposing jet-black Friesians.
They will also enjoy seeing a selection of antique carriages, like a doctor’s buggy.
Another unique event occurs after the tour.
Patrons can purchase tickets to a farm-to-table dinner which will be served at Ashbourne Farm, a regional supplier of grass-fed beef and dine on fresh produce from the bio-dynamic Foxhollow Farm.
The dress is casual, and there will be special entertainment for all to enjoy.
“We want the tour to become an annual educational event that premiers Oldham County’s special features and characteristics,” said Louise Allen, executive director of Oldham Ahead, a land trust organization.
Story by Kimberly Ross, special to The Oldham Era. Email us about this story at: email@example.com.