International Museum of the Horse
The Presidents and Their Horses
On June 5th 1998, the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park will open a major exhibition titled "The Presidents and Their Horses."
The exhibition will explore the equestrian involvement of all the United States Presidents through the use of paintings, sculpture, photographs, artifacts, journal entries and interpretive text.
The horse was a vital force in transportation, commerce, communications and war from the settlement of the New World to the advent of the internal combustion engine. Even into the 20th century, the relationship between Americans and the horse have remained strong.
Given this importance, it is hardly surprising that many of our nation's leaders were not only excellent horsemen but were often intimately involved in varying aspects of equestrian pursuits.many served on horseback in the 18th and 19th century army, some were breeders and trainers while others just enjoyed a long ride on a good horse. These are the relationships that will be explored in "The Presidents and Their Horses."
Above Right: Ronald Reagan's English forward seat saddle and riding boots. The saddle was a gift to President Reagan from the United States Secret Service. The boots were custom-made by Dehner's of Omaha, From the collection of the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum, Simi Valley, CA.
Left: Saddle and Saddle bags, c. 1860, made by James S. Topham, Washington, DC. A gift to Franklin Pierce after the Mexican War. From the collection of the New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, NH.
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