If you have any doubts about the boast that Kentucky is the horse capital of the world, just look at the statistics for winners of the Kentucky Derby.
The first derby was in 1875, and of the 142 races, a Kentucky horse has won 107 times! Florida horses are number two on the list with 6 wins. Let me say that again: 107 vs. 6. WOW! There must be something in the water – and as a matter of fact, there is. It’s called calcium.
Just beneath the soil of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region are thick, calcium-rich limestone beds which dissolve when rain water percolates through them.
For you science nerds, the geologic term for this process and the sinkholes and caves it produces is called karst. Famous examples are Mammoth Cave National Park …
and the notorious, overnight-surprise sinkhole beneath the Corvette Museum that swallowed 8 classic corvettes!
The dissolved minerals in the water eventually end up in soils that grow naturally calcium-rich grass. Horses like nothing better than lazy grazing, and they don’t know it, but the extra calcium in the grass they’re nipping helps build stronger bones and greater durability.
And now to the third entrant in this trifecta: bourbon. To say that bourbon is a passion in this part of Kentucky is an understatement.
Ninety-five percent of all bourbon is made right here in KY, and its history is just as long and rich as the horse business. All of the old-house bourbon makers claim that this same limestone water that grows the best grass for horses makes the best bourbons for humans. Who knows? Maybe it will make my bones stronger as well.
James & Terri
1. PandamicPhoto.com via Wikimedia Commons
2. Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia Commons
3. Scott Ehardt via Wikimedia Commons
5. Courtesy of the National Corvette Museum
8 Courtesy of Woodford Reserve