Kentucky Derby Museum Stable

Come meet Kentucky Derby Museum's newest and most adorable Team Member – a miniature horse named Mighty Aristides! Also in our stables is the visiting Resident Thoroughbred named Rita's Partner. 

The Stable Exhibit is located outside the Museum by the Oaks Garden Terrace and is FREE to visit! No Museum ticket required. Please note, the Museum welcomes the public to take photos and videos of the animals, but visitors are not allowed to pet or interact with the horses for their safety and the safety of guests. 

The Stable has been a part of the Museum experience since the Museum opened in 1985. While the miniature horse is here to stay, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation will switch out the Resident Thoroughbred every few months with a new visitor for guests to encounter.

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is about more than helping horses in need. TRF designs, staffs and maintains a vocational training program in equine care and management for inmates at correctional facilities across the country.

Upon the completion of their sentences, many former inmates who have worked with the horses have gone on to become productive, solid citizens and have been quick to give credit to the TRF program. For those who have come from hard scrabble backgrounds, there is no denying the emotional benefits and self-esteem derived from caring for, trusting and, in many cases, loving another being. This unique and life-affirming TRF program has been replicated at correctional facilities in eight states.

Most horses under TRF care suffered career-ending injuries on the track that make them suitable only for quiet retirement as pasture. However, hundreds of TRF horses have successfully been retrained and adopted out to homes where they began new lives as pets, competition horses, police mounts, or equine-assisted therapy partners.

Throughout the years, the miniature horse and Thoroughbred have been a special part of romantic engagement proposals, breathtaking wedding photos, thousands of field trips, and each guest's visit to the Museum.

Also located in the Museum's Oaks Garden Terrace are the gravesites of five famous Kentucky Derby winners, Brokers Tip (1933), Swaps (1955), Carry Back (1961), Dust Commander (1970) and Sunny’s Halo (1983). Second place 2008 Derby finishing filly Eight Belles is interred in the Museum’s back garden under a Magnolia tree planted in her honor.

Resident Thoroughbred & Companion Miniature Horse: 

Rita's Partner

Rita's Partner

  • Born June 6, 1998 in MA
  • Last raced in 2004 at Suffolk Downs in MA which closed in 2019
  • 34 starts: 4 first place, 6 second place, 0 third place
  • Most of Rita's Partner racing career was at Suffolk Downs
  • Rita's Partner is stakes placed. He came in second at the Beacon Hill Stakes race at Suffolk Downs in 2001.

Mighty Aristides

  • Miniature Horse; 30 inches tall
  • Two-year-old roan
  • Adopted from Meaningful Menagerie Animal Therapy in Louisville
  • Named after Aristides, the first Kentucky Derby winner in 1875. As a companion miniature horse, Ari provides support, friendship, and a calming presence for our Resident Thoroughbred.


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