Lexington (859) 233-0371

Saratoga (518) 583-7273

Wellington (561) 383-5437



2023 Was A Success!

Check back for the 2024 date announcement!

What is Hats Off Day?

Hats Off to Kentucky’s Horse Industry Day is a celebration of the horse and its impact on the state of Kentucky. The day offers fun family activities, including arts and crafts for children, horse and pony rides, interactive educational booths, equine performance demonstrations and a $50,000 Grand Prix show jumping competition. From the average horse fan to the avid equestrian, Hats Off Day offers something for everyone. This is the only day of the year an entire family can enjoy the Kentucky Horse Park and all it offers, for free! Kentuckians who may not typically encounter close contact with a horse can enjoy hands-on experiences with horses and ponies of all sizes.

The equine industry’s multi-billion-dollar impact on the state’s economy includes:

• $8.8 billion economic impact of the state’s tourism industry, which features the horse industry as its signature promotional attraction

• 194,300 Kentuckians are involved in the industry as horse owners, service providers, employees and volunteers; even more, they participate as spectators

• The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the 2015 and 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships showed the world that Kentucky is indeed the Horse Capital of the World. Our Commonwealth will reap the economic benefits of the Games and the Breeders’ Cup for many years to come.

Hats Off Day was instituted to honor the relationship between Kentuckians and the horse and promote awareness of the equine industry’s value and importance to our state’s past, present and future. The event is supported by the community and equine industry sponsors who embrace this mission and are committed to preserving the state’s equine heritage.


The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation & The Kentucky Equine Adoption Center
The Kentucky Horse Park is Kentucky’s largest state-owned tourist attraction and the largest attraction in Kentucky’s Bluegrass region. The park is dedicated to sharing the Commonwealth’s love of horses with the world.

Since its inception in 1985, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation has followed its mission to “expand and enhance the Kentucky Horse Park.” The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation has provided funding for many of the park’s facilities, such as show rings and barns for equine competitions, new horses, tack and carriages, safety equipment, educational programs, landscaping projects, signage, sound systems, special research projects and special exhibits at the International Museum of the Horse.
The mission of the Kentucky Equine Adoption Center is to provide humane treatment and shelter while working as a clearinghouse to seek adoptive homes for all of Kentucky’s unwanted equines, regardless of breed. The Kentucky Equine Adoption Center works to educate the public and raise awareness for responsible equine ownership, so fewer horses end up in crisis. The Kentucky Equine Adoption Center works with and serves as a model for organizations with the same mission in other states, to save America’s equines from inhumane treatment.

Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital is the proud sponsor of the Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix, a premier show jumping competition held annually at the Kentucky Horse Park for the past 29 years.

The Kentucky Grand Prix provides spectators with the excitement and drama found only in the most competitive sporting events. Join us and witness the athletic ability of Grand Prix Show Jumpers and the teamwork of horse and rider! Top-level show jumpers are guaranteed to impress the crowd as they soar over 13 five-foot fences. 

The objective of the Grand Prix is for each horse and rider to clear every obstacle on the course with the least number of faults (penalties) and the fastest time. Faults are given for dropped rails, refusals and time exceeding recommendations. In the event of a tie of two or more horses completing the first round with no faults, an altered course is set and a timed jump-off is held to determine the winner.

A Grand Prix course is extremely challenging and requires tremendous strength and agility from both horse and rider to complete with no faults!

Admission is free,
and so are the hats!

Many of Kentucky’s horse farms and horse-related businesses donate hats given to 

Hats Off Day attendees. Last year, over 1400 hats were distributed!


To be a part of the 2024 Hats Off Day visit the Hats Off Facebook page!

Skip to content