The counties surrounding Lexington, Kentucky, make up what is known as the Bluegrass Region, steeped in history and renowned for bourbon and world-class racehorses. Bourbon County is hallowed ground there, home to some of the state’s most iconic horse-breeding operations.
To recognize its unique standing, the city of Paris installed the “Bourbon County Horse Walk of Fame”—nine blocks on both sides of Main Street. The “Walk” includes 60 numbered concrete markers, all but one representing a famous racehorse associated with a farm in Bourbon County. The large, square concrete slabs are embedded in the sidewalks of Main Street, Bank Row, and Ardery Place. Set into each marker is a brass plaque engraved with the horse’s name, its farm, and its significant accomplishments—and a pair of the horse’s iron shoes. It’s like a “Who’s Who” of American thoroughbred racing royalty.
There are several Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup winners, as well as three Triple Crown winners. Some of the names are even known beyond Bourbon County—Seabiscuit, Ruffian, John Henry, Sunday Silence, Bernardini—as well as some famous sires, such as Nasrullah, Nijinsky II, Princequillo, and Bold Ruler. Marker #7 belongs to none other than Secretariat, considered by many to be the greatest racehorse of all time. Following his retirement from racing, Secretariat stood stud at the county’s famous Claiborne Farm, and was buried there in 1989.
Bourbon County’s “Horse Walk of Fame” is a touching tribute to the very creatures that brought ongoing success and fame to this corner of the Bluegrass.