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Program 903

1. motorcycle champ Ryan Young
2. Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese
3. miniature donkeys
Season 9 Menu

Shelby County

For more information:
Ryan Young Products, (800) 607-8742

Producer, editor: Joy Flynn
Videographer: Brandon Wickey
Audio: Chuck Burgess

Lessons from a Motorcycle Maestro

Champion rider Ryan Young

Mention “Kentucky” and “national champion” in the same breath, and people are likely to assume you’re talking about basketball. But Kentucky is also the home of a champion in another fast-moving sport: Shelby County’s Ryan Young, a master of the motorcycle observed trial.

In this variation of motorcycle racing, the object is not to score points. Contestants negotiate an obstacle course while being closely observed (hence the name) to see whether, among other things, their feet touch the ground. Penalty points are assessed for putting a foot down, going out of bounds, losing forward momentum, and other infractions, and the racer with the lowest total of penalty points wins.

Ryan has come out the winner 49 times—including six national championships. Though no longer actively competing for the title, he still rides in events frequently and conducts workshops for new riders. Observed trials does have an “extreme” division, but there are also competitive classes ranging up to age 70. In 1996, Ryan founded Ryan Young Products, which distributes bikes and other trials gear.

While demonstrating his skill for Kentucky Life, he explains that the bikes used in observed trials, seatless and designed to be as light and quiet as possible, make things a little easier. But as host Dave Shuffett finds out when he gives trials a try himself, it’s still plenty difficult.

Barren County

For more information:
Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, 2033 Thomerson Park Road, Austin, KY 42123, (270) 434-4124

Producer: Cheryl Beckley
Videographer: David Brinkley

Got Crackers?

Kenny’s country cheeses

Kenny Mattingly and family moved to a farm in Barren County in the 1970s, following Kenny’s father’s dream of becoming a dairy farmer. In 1998, they began making and selling cheeses from the milk of their own (hormone-free) cows. Hand-processed at every stage and aged for at least 60 days, Kenny’s cheeses come in Colby, white cheddar, and other types as well as the variety Kenny’s most proud of: the Dutch specialty Gouda.

All are sold by mail order as well as specialty food stores. And the Mattinglys have teamed up with other Kentucky entrepreneurs to offer a variety of gift baskets featuring their cheeses along with candies, preserves, crackers, and sausages.

Larue County

For more information:
• The Miniature Donkeys web site has general information and links to breeders and organizations.

Producer, videographer: Dave Shuffett
Editor: Jim Piston

In Miniature

Bobby Stith’s miniature donkeys

Another Kentucky farm is our last stop for this edition. At his place outside Hodgenville in Larue County, Bobby Stith raises miniature donkeys. These sporty little compact versions of the sturdy donkey are native to the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, but they seem to feel right at home under Bobby’s care.

Gentle and friendly, “mini-donks” stand under three feet tall at the shoulder when fully grown. An estimated 20,000 are being raised in the United States as pets and for shows.

Bobby Stith himself is blind—but he knows each of his own animals instantly.

Henderson County

For more information:
John James Audubon State Park, 3100 U.S. Hwy. 41 N, Henderson, KY 42419-0576, (270) 826-2247

In the Wild

John James Audubon State Park

This edition closes with a “music video” featuring scenes from John James Audubon State Park in Henderson. The centerpiece of the park is a museum with the world’s largest collection of personal artifacts from the renowned naturalist and painter, who spent about 12 years on the Kentucky frontier, first in Louisville and then in Henderson. Those critical years in Audubon’s life saw him fail at several attempts to become a merchant while finding his true calling as a painter of birds. The state park also includes a nature preserve where visitors can walk in the woods that inspired the artist.

Kentucky Life Program 411 includes a visit to the Audubon museum and its bird garden.

SEASON 9 PROGRAMS: 901902903904905906907908909: Along Highway 62

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