Kentucky is known as the “Horse Capital of the World” for good reason—it’s home to the majority of the leading race horses in North America.
And the numbers keep growing.
Every year, more than 8,000 young race horses are registered. This alone makes up for nearly 40% of the annual foals in North America.
But why is Kentucky such a popular spot for raising horses?
Well, it all comes down to the land.
The Luxury of Limestone
Just as children drink milk to grow strong bones, horses eat grass to do the same.
Although you can find perfectly fine grass just about anywhere in the midwest, Kentucky’s is a little bit different.
What makes the difference is the limestone in the earth.
It all began thousands of years ago when Kentucky was underwater and small marine creatures swam in this area. But when the water dried up, all that remained were their shells.
These shells created an abundance of limestone in the land that nourishes it even to this day.
The limestone gives off essential nutrients like calcium, which naturally makes its way into the grasses. Horses eat the calcium-rich grass and grow to become award-winning horses.
The Variety of Grasses
One thing that Kentucky is known for is its fantastic bluegrass.
This infamous bluegrass grows in abundance in Fayette County, making places like Lexington ideal for raising horses.
This type of grass is full of nutrients that the horses love, so not only is the grass delicious for them, it’s nutritious as well.
Although bluegrass is the most prominent type in this area, the land in Kentucky has a lavish variety of grasses such as orchardgrass, tall fescue, and bermudagrass.
It’s important that horses feed on a variety of turf so they can get a mix of nutrients.
The abundance of grasses in Kentucky make its land some of the best in the world for raising horses.
Another element that makes Kentucky land perfect for raising and training horses is its topography.
This state is known for its low, rolling hills that seem to come straight from the movies. Nearly everywhere you look, you’ll find these gorgeous flatlands that gently curve like slow waves.
But the beautiful land isn’t only good for looks—it has an important function for raising horses.
Flat land and gentle hills are the ideal topography for horse farming because it makes life easy for the horses. They can easily graze the land without worry of stark hills or mountains. The same is true for when they run and race.
Though this is an important benefit of flat land, the most significant thing that the rolling hills has to offer is proper water drainage.
The slight hills allow for any rain water to naturally flow into springs and creeks instead of remaining stagnant on the land. This prevents muddy areas around the farm.
Kentucky’s topography also has plenty of natural water sources in the form of springs and creeks. Having these natural water sources is fantastic for horses.
Located in the midwest, Kentucky has a temperate climate. And this mild weather positively affects the land to make it ideal for raising horses.
Since the weather doesn’t get too hot or too cold, the grass thrives throughout the year—no matter the season.
In the summer, the highs reach 85-degrees, which is cool enough for the grasses to stay green during this season.
In the winter, the lows reach 24-degrees, and although this is quite cold, there’s very little snow to cover the land. On average, Kentucky gets 10-inches of snowfall each year, which is not much at all.
The average 46-inches of rainfall per year makes Kentucky land amazing for horses because it keeps it nourished. This is just enough to maintain the richness of the grasses, but not too much to create mud piles and runoffs.
At the end of the day, it’s easy to see why so many first-class race horses come from Kentucky. The land strengthens the foals to be the best of the best from the very beginning. But this is only one of the reasons why so many people choose to buy horse farms in Kentucky. To learn more, consult our buyers page for horse farms. If you’re considering buying a horse farm in Lexington, contact our specialty agents at Turf Town Properties today!