Shelby County is “The American Saddlebred Capital of the World,” because it is the home of many of the country’s most outstanding American Saddlebred breeding and training facilities.
The Saddle Horse has been a part of the area’s history since the 1760′s when Daniel Boone and his brother Squire traveled to Kentucky on “American Horses,” the forerunners of the modern Saddlebred.
As the American Saddlebred breed grew, some of the most historic farms were located around Shelbyville. One of the most famous was Undulata, where Civil War veteran Harry Weissinger and his sons bred the great stallion American Born. Later owned by Jane Meyer, Undulata was the home of the Beau Gallant. Now the home of Saddle Horse breeder and trainer Edward Bennett, it is again returning to prominence in the Saddle Horse world.
More than 80 Saddlebred establishments now call the area home, providing many of the most famous and accomplished show horses to the country.
Horse Farm Tours
For more information on touring an American Saddlebred Horse Farm contact:
SHELBYVILLE/SHELBY COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU
P.O. Box 622
Shelbyville, KY 40066
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How do we schedule a tour?
- Tours are by appointment ONLY. Monday-Saturday and must be made at least one day in advance. To schedule a tour, call 502.633.6388 or 502.321.5979 (between the hours of 9AM-5PM Monday-Friday). No Sunday tours are available.
- What’s the Cost?
- There is no cost for a tour if staying in a Shelbyville/Shelby County accommodation, although a donation is suggested. All other tours are per person, check or cash. All monies are donated to an equine scholarship fund. Checks must be made out to the William Woods University.
- Is there a group limit/requirement?
- When do tours start?
- 9:00 or 9:30AM (Eastern Standard Time); however, tours do not run every day, so reservations are required.
- Can we do the tour on our own?
- No. We only offer guided tours, so appointments are necessary. Tours are conducted at actual working horse farms, these are not typical attractions.
- What do we see?
- We typically visit one particular horse farm which was once owned by one of the founders of the breed (American Saddlebred). We typically see a horse worked, walk through the barns, and a baby/mare if available (all subject to availability of trainers). There are other farms available to us and may be used if this one is unavailable. No guarantees on farms.
- How many farms can we see?
- Typically, we only visit one farm but other arrangements can be made if scheduled far enough in advance. There are other requirements to see more than one farm.
- Step back in time on a hands-on tour of a working Saddlebred Farm and step into the arena during a training session. Talk with a trainer. Watch these distinctly skilled and beautiful show horses as they’re worked. Walk through the barns. In the spring and summer, pet a new foal (if available). And take lots of pictures – seeing this “jewel of a breed” up-close is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.