The fall horse show at Pima County Fairgrounds. Lots of horses jumping over obstacles, but they are beautiful animals.
Or in this case, refusing to jump over the obstacle.
A Personal Amateur Photography Blog
The fall horse show at Pima County Fairgrounds. Lots of horses jumping over obstacles, but they are beautiful animals.
Or in this case, refusing to jump over the obstacle.
Welcome to Montana – unfortunately by the time I got around to going there they had done away with the No Speed Limit laws!
Animal – Grizzly Bear
State Flower – Bitterroot
State Grass – Bluebunch Wheatgrass
1947 1957 2009
One of the most scenic areas of the state is in Glacier National Park. Sadly from the 150 glaciers that were in the park in the late 1800s they are down to 25 active glaciers, with the expectation that those too will be gone within 10 years.
The year of our visit was a bad year for forest fires, so there was a smoky haze over the entire area. Still with the lack of glaciers and the haze it is a beautiful place.
This photo from Wikipedia shows a much clearer view of the scenery.
1954 1958 1971 1994 2002 2003 2011 2013 2016
Montana is the 4th largest state in area, but 8th least populated, making it the 3rd least densely populated state (behind Alaska and Wyoming). With all that open space, the wilderness is a big appeal for residents and visitors.
Makoshika State Park in far eastern Montana. It is the largest state park in the state covering more than 11,000 acres of badlands.
The park is noted for the dinosaur fossils located there.
The Yellowstone River traverses much of Eastern Montana.
Not far from Billings is this outcropping known as Pompey’s Pilar. Standing 150′ above the Yellowstone River, it has an abundance of Native American petroglyphs as well as signatures of many of the pioneers who passed this way. Most noted of those is William Clark, of Lewis & Clark fame.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is an amazing spot in southern Montana. The canyon is 1000′ deep.
Beartooth Highway is in the southwest Montana mountains, providing scenic views all along the way. (Photos from the internet)
1985 1989 2007
The Cowboy culture is alive and kicking in Montana. Robert Redford has added much of the current mystique with movies such as A River Runs Through It and The Horse Whisperer.
As a result rodeos are a big deal throughout the state. (photo – Moon Travel Guide)
The University of Montana even has a Rodeo (photo from University of Montana Rodeo Team).
Today’s visit is to Kentucky, and the vast horse culture that exists there. But there is far more to Kentucky than horses.
The first map in our journey dates from 1942. Interestingly the state highway map was contained in a booklet that gave tourist information based on the roads of the day.
The most famous of these roads was the Dixie Highway. Originally part of the National Auto Trail system in the very early 1900, the Dixie Highway modeled itself after the Lincoln Highway in that private promoters lead the effort to build it.
When the federal government took over the route it was assign along U.S. 25 through most of Kentucky. The route was dotted with motels and restaurants for the travelers headed from the Midwest to Florida. When the interstates came along I-75 replaced it.
(photo from Pintrest)
1947 – A Mountain Road.
Much of Eastern Kentucky is in the Appalachian Mountains. This is coal country, with winding roads going up and down the mountains.
1960 – Another mountain overlook.
The mountains make numerous appearances on the cover of the map. Left to right – 1997 – 1986 – 2015.
Today the vast majority of the roads are still twisty two lane routes.
Appalachia has had tough times for decades now, with most of the population long ago heading north for jobs in factories. Today few coal mines still exist, most have closed leaving relics behind.
Kentucky is horse country. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 jobs in Kentucky depend on horses. It is the number 1 producer of thoroughbreds in the nation.
This fact is celebrated on numerous map covers including this 1945 map.
Horse Farms were also featured in 1968, 1988, 1989 and 2007.
In 2019 we had the opportunity to visit Claiborne Farms near Paris, Kentucky. The horses are beautiful, and the grounds immaculate.
This 1949 map features Eggner’s Ferry Bridge. This bridge was completed in 1932, and decommissioned in 2016. A new 4 lane bride has replaced it.
With the Ohio River bordering the entire northern side of Kentucky there are a number of impressive bridges linking the state to it’s neighbors.
The new cable stayed bridge at Owensboro was featured in 2003.
Louisville – Second Street Bridge, also known as the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge.
Covington (to Cincinnati) – Roebling Bridge.
Maysville. Simon Kenton Bridge – Completed in 1931.
1955 – Kentucky Colonel.
More than just chicken, a Kentucky Colonel is an actual title of honor that the governor of the state can issue to individuals.
Prior to the 1930s very few people were made Kentucky Colonels, but the governor of the time greatly accelerated the number including one Harland Sanders – hence the name of the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).
To this day if you find yourself in Corbin, Kentucky you can stop by the original Sanders Cafe for some fried chicken. (photo from tripadvisor.com)
For the mid 1960s Kentucky still showed their southern side with a lawn jockey and a plantation house being featured.
1966 – Daniel Boone. Boone was born in Pennsylvania and spent a great deal of time in Virginia before arriving in Kentucky. It was here his actions became lore.
The 1970s featured the Kentucky Parkways. The state was ahead of their times in building additional freeways to augment the interstates that were in the state. They did this in the form of toll roads.
Despite the names the Parkways do not prohibit truck traffic.
Horse Race Trumpeter – 1973, 1974 & 1975
In the days before electronic amplification they had to have a way to notify the jockeys it was time to come to the starting gate, hence the trumpeter. The song they play is called ‘First Call’, a military march.
Santa Anita Trumpeter
Churchill Downs Trumpeter
1979 – Man o War
When people make a list of the greatest race horses of all time there are really only two, Secretariat and Man o War. Secretariat is Man o War’s grandson.
How good was Secretariat. He still holds records 40 years later. The photo below from the legendary Belmont that he won by 31 lengths!
Man o War was just as impressive. In 1920 he was co-athlete of the year with Babe Ruth
Man o War has a statue at the Kentucky Horse Park
Seretariat’s statue is at Keeneland.
Both are representative of the best of Kentucky Horse Racing. Along with the great thoroughbreds are great tracks.
The two best are Churchill Downs in Louisville and Keeneland in Lexington.
1982, 1983 and 1983 – State Parks. While they look very similar there are slight variations to the covers.
2013 and 2017 returned to the parks.
Kentucky has a number of nice state parks with lodges. This is Cumberland Falls Park Lodge.
1992 – Kentucky Bicentennial
1998 – Cumberland Gap & Tunnel
The Cumberland Gap is a pass in the Appalachian Mountains, at the point where Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee come together.
It was the first primary route over the mountains for the early settlers. For millenia bison had used the pass to make their way back and forth for feeding. The folklore of Daniel Boone was enhanced by his effort to blaze a trail through the mountains.
Today a twin tube tunnel makes the pass much easier to traverse. Each tunnel is 4600′ long.
The Cumberland Gap National Park has some very scenic overlooks.
2000 – Scenic Byways
There are 10 Scenic Byways in Kentucky. These byways take you to the less traveled parts of the state for some unique sights like…
Nada Tunnel. That small hole in the bottom of the hill is indeed a tunnel for auto traffic.
2004 – Paris Pike. This stretch of highway was a very dangerous 2 lane road. When the decision was made to expand to 4 lanes the Department of Transportation worked with many to come up with an aesthetically pleasing but functional road.
The road leads from Lexington to Paris. The town of Paris is the center of the thoroughbred farms. It is a very picturesque town, complete with a mini Eiffel Tower.
2005 – State Capitol
The State Capitol is in the small town of Frankfort. The current Capitol was completed in 1909.
The grounds are very well groomed and include a floral clock.
The former capitol is down in the middle of town.
Just outside of town are some bourbon distilleries that were built more than 100 years ago, shuttered, and recently re-opened. It makes for a very cool environment.
Nearby is the city of Lexington, home of the University of Kentucky.
The city is home to a vast array of murals, some of the best we have seen.
2006 – Cumberland Falls
2008 – Lincoln in Kentucky
2009 & 2010 – Equestrian Games
2011 – Corvette Museum
The Corvette Museum is in Bowling Green.
2014 – Old Friends Retirement Home. While some race horses live a pampered life being set out to stud, many do not. In 2003 Boston Globe movie critic Michael Blowen lead an effort to open this farm for retired race horses.
2016 – Mammoth Caves
The longest cave system in the country, Mammoth Cave has more than 400 miles of surveyed passageways. Photo from tourist website as I am terrible with cave photography.
2018 – Culinary Trail. The most famous culinary trail in Kentucky is the Bourbon Trail.
While we didn’t do the entire trail we did tour the Jim Beam Distillery.
This storage facility burnt in a fire in 2019.
The Hippodromo Palermo is the premier horse race track in Argentina. Recently we had a chance to stop by.
Our good fortune meant we chose a day where some ladies were having a stylish day at the track, accompanied by young ladies with Down Syndrome. Together they looked great!
Even the jockeys were impressed.
In addition to the fashion show, there was a food festival – an Oreo Milkshake in Buenos Aires!
The grounds and grandstands are very nice.
Palermo is the largest neighborhood in the city – with numerous parks and other public spaces.
Hey – I missed my train. It is good to see the train from the track, as opposed to my daily view the other way.
And yes – there was a full card of racing.
Interestingly for this race the winner was wearing Boca Juniors colors. A good weekend for Boca Junior – a championship in soccer, and a winner at the track.
This photography blog started out as a way to share some photos with friends, but after a number of years it has reached a milestone – posting number 1000!
To celebrate I give you my favorite 40 photos of all time. (I tried to make it less but could not)
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
Duluth, Minnesota thunderstorm
Yellowstone National Park – All Hail the Geyser Gods
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Mendocino County, California
Cambridge, Ohio lumberjack contest
Cincinnati Renaissance Festival
Loudonville, Ohio – Native American Pow Wow
Columbus – Krampus
New York City subway art
Cincinnati – Rosie the Riveter Contest
Lanai, Hawaii – Cat Sanctuary
Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
Waimea Canyon Park, Kauai, Hawaii
Columbus – Krampus V2
Washington DC – Embassy Day
Houston – Lucky Land
Amarillo, Texas – Cadillac Ranch
Cleveland – Parade the Circle
San Antonio De Areco, Argentina
Buenos Aires – Casa Rosada
Buenos Aires – Retiro Train Station
Buenos Aires – Recoleta Cemetery
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
La Leona, Argentina
El Calafate, Argentina
Buenos Aires – Palacio Barolo
Igauzu Falls, Argentina
Buenos Aires is the center of the Polo World. Argentinian polo players make up the top 5, 8 out of the top 10, and 22 out of the top 25. In November and December they come home for the biggest tournament in polo.
The Campo Argentino de Polo is the center of this universe. It is like going to the Kentucky Derby and finding polo.
Each major sponsor has their own pavilion, some seemingly unusual for this setting like Case Tractors.
But now the polo ponies are being prepped and ready for action.
Being Argentina a bit of soccer mentality takes over at the start of the game.
It is time for polo. The players are indeed very skilled, with little delay in their game. The horses as well have been bred just for this sport.
It is so popular it is televised, but for now our afternoon of polo is over.
We have been fortunate to attend a number of amazing events, those truly unique in the world – I can’t believe what we just saw type of events.
The San Antonio de Areco Gaucho Festival is one of those events! (caution – something this cool has resulted in a fairly long posting with 40 photos)
The town of San Antonio de Areco is about 60 miles/100 KM from Buenos Aires, but in feel it is a world away.
It has a relaxed feel, where the local dogs just cruise around town greeting visitors. This little guy hung out with us for the first 1/2 hour we were there.
It is known as the ‘Cradle of Tradition’, or ‘Capital Nacional de la Tradicion’ for all of Argentina. The Gaucho Festival is their premier event of the year.
Lasting 5 days the Feast of Tradition culminates with an exhibit of traditional dance, followed by a parade of gauchos. The dancers wore authentic period clothes.
At the edge of town is the Ricardo Guiraldes Crillo Park. The park has a museum dedicated to the gaucho.
Nearby there were numerous vendors selling gaucho-ware.
The most amazing part of the day was the parade which consisted of over 4000 horses and riders! This view is of them making their way into town from the park.
Across the ‘Old Bridge’
Into another park that acted as a staging area.
It was here you began to get an appreciation of the beauty of the horses, as well as the very stylish look of the gauchos.
There were entire herds of horses just hanging out in the park.
With 4000 horses and riders some had to wait a bit for their turn to parade.
While most were in groups of two or three a few larger groups rode together.
Horses were everywhere, including on front lawns of houses.
But it was time for the parade. This rider, carrying the flag for the festival, lead the parade.
And for the next few hours we were treated to an amazingly stylish parade.
These gauchos gathered for the ‘Grand Finale’….
A number of riders showing their herding skills by driving a group of horses through the streets of the town by themselves.
What could be better than a beautiful warm spring day with a jacaranda tree blooming in the background, and a gaucho showing his skill.
With the parade over it was time for a cold cerveza while sitting on your horse! Our day in San Antonio de Areco was fantastic, a memory that will last forever.
The San Isidro Hippodromo was opened in suburban Buenos Aires in 1935. In addition to horse racing, they often have concerts here.
Because it’s primary tracks are grass, it is known as the Casa de Turf.
Unlike most American tracks, the starting gates were far away from the finish, so the horses only passed the grandstands once.
On this day there the track was having an open house, with food trucks and entertainment in the infield.
For the most part you could get up close to the horses and jockeys.
When we arrived the lady at the gate strongly encouraged us to take the free ‘bus tour’. This tour took us around the grounds.
It turned out we had a local model/tv ‘personality’ on our tour.
We stopped in the far back corner of the grounds at one of the starting gates where people were allowed to play on the starting gates before the horses arrived for the next race while our TV host did her story.
Our location allowed us a great close up of the start.
And they were off! It was a nice afternoon at the San Isidro Hippodromo.
We had a great few days in the Big Easy, coming away with fantastic memories, and lots of photographs.
Nola = New Orleans, LA (abbreviation for Louisiana) NOLA
Nola is a city with their own language and culture.
The home of jazz music.
One of the best places for local food like Po’ Boys is Mothers.
There are plenty of horse drawn carriages for the tourists, resulting in carriage jams.
The number of wide boulevards are surprising for such an old city.
Louis Armstrong Park – more Nola celebrating jazz.
The locals are friendly, and at times had free beer!
The French Quarter, while touristy, is a unique place.
Plenty of street entertainment.
St Louis Cathedral is impressive.
More views of the Quarter.
Plenty of Voodoo stores to choose from, should you need them.
Did I mention music!
But this New Orleans parade is over….
Time to roll on out of town. À la prochaine.
Keeneland Race Course is located just to the west of Lexington. It is known as one of the most beautiful facilities in the country.
Much like Claiborne Farms everything is done in an understated, but in a posh way.
The stables area are well kept, albeit somewhat quiet on this cool, damp morning.
There was some activity as the horses wait for no man.
At Keeneland the horses always have the right of way.
There is a practice track in addition to the main track.
Returning from the stable area we passed by the library.
A view of the main drive through the facility.
Most of the primary buildings are built from stone.
While this gate was closed, others were open. The styling keeps with the simple elegance.
I am not certain if a Rolex clock keeps better time, but it fits the environment.
The jockeys quarters near the main track.
The entrance to the paddock is closely guarded on race days.
Even the paddock has a nice stone wall surrounding it.
A collection of small statues display the silk colors for some of the major farms.
The main grandstands. This isn’t your county fairgrounds.
Inside the grandstands they had a horse shoe display – Nikes for Thoroughbreds.
A track side view of the main grandstands.
The morning fog gave a surreal feeling to the track.
The finish line – the ‘dirt’ track is in the foreground, the turf track is just behind it.
Attending major sporting events are always a great time, but sometimes the best photography is when nobody is there.