TBs are making a slow-but-steady return to the show ring. (Yes, George Morris said he'd take them over any other breed...) You can see them at virtually any local competition on a given weekend (for one, how about the Essex Horse Trials in Far Hills, NJ, June 23-24?). But to dig deeper, you can also see gorgeous horseflesh and learn about the history of the versatile Thoroughbred breed in settings from the gritty to the spectacular:
Locally, it's a no-brainer, since we have three legendary race tracks within driving distance from the city. In addition to regular racing cards, Monmouth Park has "dawn patrol" insider tours, Belmont Park pairs tours with breakfast, and Saratoga highlights history, architecture, landscapes, tradition and horses on their walking excursions.
Head to Kentucky for all things TB. You can tour Churchill Downs or Keeneland, spend an afternoon at the all-breed Kentucky Horse Park (home of the USEF), visit the Old Friends Retirement Farm, or arrange a meet-n-greet with any number of celebrity steeds right at their home stables.
Have a yearning for Europe? The New York Times just did a piece on the forested equestrian haven of Chantilly, France. Not only can you arrange a tour of the racing facilities, but you can also visit Domaine de Chantilly, the historic home of 19th Century prince Henri d'Orleans. This palatial estate contains the largest stables in all of Europe (pictured above) with a horse museum and regular equestrian performances of "haute-ecole." Or perhaps you might opt for Newmarket, England, where you can experience the National Stud or a variety of other horsey outings?
You choose...but whatever you do, be sure to share photos!!