© 2004-2012 Horse Tack Review
Kentucky Horse Park Foundation Opens The Farmhouse to Essential Horse Park Donors
Till recently, few people realized the hidden value of a seemingly inconspicuous house located on the corner of Nina Bonnie Bldv. and Cigar Lane in the Kentucky Horse Park. The Farmhouse, originally built as a farm manager's residence in 1924, has been gradually deteorating over time, being overshadowed by the surrounding growth of the Kentucky Horse Park in recent years. The family that owned the farm land suffered a loss in the late 1960s and subsequently split up and sold the land, which the Kentucky Horse Park now sits on.
After the governor approved a proposition for the construction of the horse park shortly after the land became available in 1970, construction began two years later after bids and funding had been completed. By the time construction was finished in 1978, the house had been seemingly forgotten, used for storage and park maintenance use.
In mid-summer of 2006, after driving past the house countless times while entering the park, Alex Boone - a long time supporter of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation Man 'o War Society, came up with an ingenious idea to use the house as a private club with the hopes of giving something back to the donors of their foundation. Manager of The Farmhouse, Patricia Donohue, is a huge supporter of the concept. "It's basically a private club, for the benefit of those who have contributed so much to our foundation," she explained.
Within less than a year, construction and renovation of the 83 year-old house had been completed and members of the foundation have been pleased with the success of the idea so far. "We've only been open since July 17th," said Donohue, "but activity is certainly picking up. It's difficult because of the nature of our organization; we're here for the Kentucky Horse Park as a fund-raiser, not to sell food or anything. This makes it harder to get the word out, but once we get people in here, word of mouth seems to take care of the rest. Our foundation members are out there doing a great job as well."
The building, which retained much of its vintage appearance, now incorporates a large and comfortable indoor dining area as well as a deck, both of which overlook acres of rolling bluegrass pastures within the front of the horse park.
Perhaps the only thing surpassing the outstanding view The Farmhouse offers is the food served within, almost exclusively prepared from scratch and cooked in-house by Bayou Bluegrass Catering. From the Unbridled Country Ham Sandwich to the Affirmed Spinach Salad, the kitchen serves a full range of menu items and beverages as well as deserts, which need to be tasted to be believed. The Farmhouse restaurant is sure to appeal to any and all patrons of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation Man 'o War Society, which has developed a system incorporating various levels of benefits depending on the amount donated.
The perks of The Farmhouse go far beyond their food and include use of immaculate changing rooms on the upper floor, as well as wireless high speed internet access throughout the building.
Both Champion and Artist members have options of renting the facility out for private venues and meetings, which the facility caters to very well with additional space for tents and parking.
The Kentucky Horse Park Man 'o War Society has raised over $20,000,000 since its inception in 1985, and in conjunction with the Kentucky State Government, can be credited with the development of facilities such as the Sheila C. Johnson Arena, the premier show arena within the horse park, as well as everything from show arena footing, judges' stands, sound towers, and landscaping. The foundation is also devoted to promoting to the horse park and equine activities held within to neighboring towns and communities, as well as tourism. With funding for highlight horse park shows such as the Parade of Breeds and their equipment, costumes, and horses, to insurance for horses and vehicles found within the park, the foundation's work can be seen from anywhere within the park.
Photo Credit: The Farmhouse. Photo (C) 2007 Alex Thomas/ Phelps Media Group. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.