LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 12, 2010). One year after the death of Kentucky Derby Winner Alysheba, the Kentucky Horse Park will unveil a memorial statue at his grave.
The famous son of Alydar had resided at the park for only five months when he was euthanized as a result of an accidental fall in March 2009. The 25-year-old stallion was buried at the Hall of Champions.
The public is invited to the Alysheba Memorial Statue Unveiling, Friday, April 16, 2:00 pm.
“During the brief time he lived at the Kentucky Horse Park, Alysheba stole the hearts of our park employees – especially those who worked with him each day and frequently commented on his loving disposition. Now we are inviting his fans and those who revere champions to join us in the unveiling of this stunning statue to memorialize Alysheba for future generations.”
The bronze statue was commissioned by Clarence Scharbauer III of Midland, Texas, whose family owned Alysheba when he was racing. Sculpted by renowned artist Shelley Hunter, it was conceived as a complementary piece to the John Henry memorial statue adjacent to it, which Hunter also created. The two statues will form an impressive honor guard for the Hall of Champions.
Before coming to the Kentucky Horse Park, Alysheba spent the previous eight years of his life in the royal stables of His Majesty King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, after standing his first years at stud at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. Known on the track as “America’s horse,” he was sent to the Kentucky Horse Park as a gift from His Majesty to the American people in October 2008.
Bred by Preston Madden at Hamburg Place in Lexington, Alysheba (Alydar-Bel Sheba, by Lt. Stevens) was sold as a yearling to Dorothy and Pam Scharbauer who campaigned him under the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer, Jack Van Berg.
Alysheba won the 1987 Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness Stakes (G1), Super Derby (G1) and an Eclipse Award as Champion three-year-old colt. As a four-year-old, he was even better, winning six Grade 1 stakes: the Strub Stakes, Santa Anita Handicap, Iselin Handicap, Woodward Stakes, Meadowlands Cup and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was ridden in 17 consecutive starts by Hall of Fame Jockey, Chris McCarron.
Alysheba is listed at #42 on The Blood-Horse magazine’s list of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, one notch above another Kentucky Derby-winner, Northern Dancer.
His career highlights also included Horse of the Year honors and track records for 1 ¼ miles at Belmont and The Meadowlands. Along the way, he defeated Risen Star, Forty Niner, Bet Twice, Seeking the Gold, and another Kentucky Derby-winner, the ill-fated Ferdinand. Until two-time Horse of the Year Cigar came along, Alysheba was the world’s richest Thoroughbred, with earnings of $6,679,242.
Nicholson concluded, “The purpose of the Kentucky Horse Park has always been to honor the horse and to celebrate man’s relationship to it. This new statue will accomplish both by allowing future generations to pause at his grave, pay homage to a champion, and remember the great team that worked with Alysheba to make him a star.”
For more information call 859-233-4303. Included with park admission.
Park Hours and Rates: From March 15 through Oct 31, the park is open seven days a week. Admission is $16 for adults, $8 for children 7-12. Children six and under are always admitted free of charge. Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse – A Smithsonian Affiliate – and the American Saddlebred Museum & Gift Shop.
859-259-4209 ext 209