10 Jun Big Lex statue dedicated at Lexington horse museum
A blue life-size horse statue inspired by the stallion Lexington, meant to honor the legacy of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park, was dedicated at the International Museum of the Horse at the park on Wednesday. The life-size statue of Big Lex was signed by all the gold medalists during of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and by singer Lyle Lovett, Princess Haya bint al-Hussein and actor William Shatner.
The signed statue along with a display describing the eight disciplines featured at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games is now housed as a permanent exhibit in the Sport Horse Gallery at the International Museum of the Horse. “The city understood from the beginning that this was all about legacy,” John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park, said regarding the Games. He said Big Lex would stand as a symbol for the city of Lexington for years to come.
Big Lex was inspired by Lexington, the great stallion from the late 1800s who was named in honor of the city of his birth. The greatest sire of his time, Lexington helped to solidify the title of “Horse Capital of the World” for the city. Lexington still holds the record for number of years he lead America’s sire list with 14 consecutive years and two additional years. On permanent loan from the Smithsonian, the bones of Lexington are now on display at the International Museum of the Horse.
Big Lex has become a symbol for the city as well the LCVB. The city recently erected way finding signage featuring a portrait of Big Lex.
“Because the blue horse was such a hit with people as we promoted the Games, we decided to have the gold medal winning athletes sign a life-size statue”, said David Lord, president of the LCVB. “Similar things were done at previous World Equestrian Games. We thought having the athletes’ signatures on Big Lex would serve as a fun reminder of the first World Equestrian Games ever held outside of Europe.”
John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park stated, “The Sport Horse Gallery contains memorabilia from various competitions, and therefore housing Big Lex with all the gold medal winning signatures is a wonderful addition. We are thrilled to have this addition to our gallery and encourage visitors to also take a look at the bones of Lexington while they are here.”