Wonder what goes into breeding racehorses? Or curious to see the inner workings of a thoroughbred farm? Or just want to meet lots of beautiful foals? You can do all of that by taking a horse farm tour at Sun Valley Farm in Versailles, Kentucky.
Recently, I had the incredible good fortune to join a group of my fellow bloggers in the Bluegrass State on a tour of this beautiful working thoroughbred breeding farm.
The love and pride I have for my old Kentucky home is no secret. I have lived in Lexington my entire life but still get teary-eyed driving through the picturesque back roads in and around Lexington. This is the Horse Capital of the World and seeing beautifully manicured horse farms is something I never tire of. I live in a very special place. And I dare anyone to come here and not fall in love.
Sun Valley Farms is conveniently located between Lexington and Louisville and offers tours of their lovely farm. The drive from Lexington, where I live, is stunning. But then you turn off the main road and it’s even more beautiful. And the scenery isn’t the only thing that will catch your eye. Horse barns on the larger farms are often mistaken for mansions.
Horse Farm Tour – Thoroughbred Nursery
Our tour started with a discussion about the history of the farm, and the what is involved in the day-to-day operations of running a thoroughbred nursery. Basically, mares breed the foals with the hopes of each one being a winner someday.
Twister is the lone stallion on the farm and he is a teaser. His job is to tease the mares to see if they are ready for a little action with a stud. If you thought the big dollars in the thoroughbred industry are made in racing, you would be wrong. Horse breeding is a $39 billion dollar a year business!
Meeting the Foals
After learning about the breeding process, it’s time for the real reason for coming on this tour. To meet and pet the foals! So many baby horses!
Each foal is in a stall with their mother. We were there during nap time and many were blissfully sleeping on their hay beds. During the tour, Brett and Jan will bring out foals that are not napping and are ready to meet some humans. All of the horses are so well-cared for and Brett and Jan’s affection for them is evident.
You will have the opportunity to pet the foals and have your picture taken with them. But a foal won’t be brought out if it is feeling a little shy. Again, these precious little creatures are treated with the utmost care.
Learning More About the Business
After petting and meeting the foals, Brett took us to the house to watch some videos on the horse breeding and horse racing industries. Not gonna lie, this Kentucky girl got a little choked up watching the videos. Again, those of us that call Kentucky home are a lucky bunch.
After our tour, the mares and foals were put in the pasture and you could tell they were loving life! Seeing mares and their babies sunning in fields is one of my favorite things about living in Lexington.
This is a family run business and our guides for the tour were Brett and his mother Jan. Brett is funny and engaging and an all-around great tour guide. This horse farm tour is fantastic for families, horse lovers, or really anyone that enjoys take-your-breath-away scenery. And who doesn’t love that?
Information on all the horse farm tours offered by Sun Valley Farms can be found here.
Tours are offered twice a day at 9:30 AM and 1:00 PM. Lasting 90 minutes, tours are a bargain at $20 for adults and $15 for kids. They also offer a Twilight Tour that sounds amazing as well as special tours during Kentucky Derby Week.
Sun Valley Farms is located smack in the middle of the Bourbon Trail, Sun and is only a mile away from the lovely Woodford Reserve Distillery. Coupling visits to a couple of distilleries and a tour of the thoroughbred nursery farm is a perfect way to spend a day in the Bluegrass.
Special thanks to Sun Valley Farms for hosting our group, Bluegrass Blog for arranging an amazing day, Sweet Lilus and Equus Run for providing incredible food and wine, and Bellaire Blooms for the gorgeous flowers, and last but not least, Karrie Bickett at Muse Marketing and Design for the beautiful photos!