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Program 1009

1. saddlebred horses
2. the Louisville Bach Society
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Shelby County

For more information:
American Saddlebred Horse Association, 4093 Iron Works Pkwy., Lexington, KY 40511, (859) 259-2742

Producer: Charlee Heaton Pagoulatos

Easy Riders

saddlebred horses

Shelby County bills itself as the “American Saddlebred Horse Capital of the World,” and with good reason. The breed was developed in the region, and the county has more saddlebred farms and training facilities than any other place in the world.

Saddlebreds are best known as show horses, though their general athleticism makes them standouts in three-day eventing, competitive trail riding, show jumping, and various other horse-and-rider competitions. The American saddlebred is a big, strong, beautiful horse, with the fire of its thoroughbred ancestors under firm control.

The breed’s origins date back to the late 18th century, when horseback was the most common way to travel. Kentucky horsemen began selectively breeding for traits that made for good long-distance riding horses: strong, level backs; consistent, even gaits; and stamina. By the 1820s, the state was renowned for its riding horses, and their buying and selling became big business. By the end of the 19th century, it had become evident that the generations of selection had created a distinct breed of horse. A group of saddle horse breeders formed an association in Louisville in 1891 and published the first registry of saddlebreds the next year. Now the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the organization today is headquartered at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, which is also the home of a saddlebred museum.

To learn more about saddlebreds, host Dave Shuffett tours Undulata Farm near Simpsonville with owner Edward “Hoppy” Bennett, a leading saddlebred breeder. Undulata is unusual because it breeds, raises, and shows its own horses.

We also visit the 2003 edition of the annual Shelbyville Horse Show, which draws competitors from around the world. It is one of several major saddlebred competitions in Kentucky, including Lexington’s Junior League Horse Show and the annual world championship for the breed, held in Louisville during the State Fair.

Jefferson County

For more information:
Louisville Bach Society, 4607 Hanford Lane, Louisville, KY 40207, (502) 893-7954

Producers: Heather Lyons
Videographer: Mike White

Bach Beat

Melvin Dickinson and the Louisville Bach Society

As a new college graduate, Melvin Dickinson spent two years in Germany studying the works of Johann Sebastian Bach on a Fulbright Scholarship. He returned to his native Kentucky determined to share his passion for Bach’s music with as many people as possible, forming a Bach appreciation society at a Frankfort church in 1960. After moving to Louisville, he founded the Louisville Bach Society with his wife, Margaret, out of his home.

The LBS is still headquartered in the Dickinson home, but it has become a community arts institution, having celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2004. Melvin conducts the chorus—which is made up of people from all walks of life—and serves as chief administrator, arranging a yearly schedule of concerts of works by Bach and other composers in Louisville, plus touring dates around Kentucky and the region. He seeks out works seldom heard in the community and places an emphasis on education: At least two Louisville Bach Society concerts each year are for schoolchildren, to introduce younger generations to classical music.

In 2001, Melvin Dickinson was honored with the Kentucky Governor’s Awards in the Arts Artist Award, which honors lifetime achievement.

SEASON 10 PROGRAMS: 1001100210031004100510061007
100810091010: Kentucky’s Last Great Places1011101210131014

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