Hidemycoat blog best horse farms in Kentucky


Horses and Hatfields; Mansions and Mountains: The beautiful State of Kentucky is very diverse. It has at least three distinct regions. Central Kentucky is horse country. The southern part is more rural and homestead alike, with lots of small houses and villages, but moving up North to its central part, you enter more urban territory with many amazingly refined horse farms, It has a most definite a British prestige feel and environment. The different parts of this beautiful state has its own personality and feel. It is like three different states. If I did not know I was in the same state, I would not believe it.
The place we decided to stay this time was in Central Kentucky, located less than a 20 minute drive from Lexington, in the small historic town of Versailles. We stayed at the nationally award winning boutique hotel called A Storybook Inn. It’s 10,000 square feet spaces are professionally and beautifully appointed. The main Inn dates back to 1838. There is a newer 2000 sq. feet Southern Living design 3.5 BR Guesthouse behind the main inn with an equestrian theme where groups or families can stay.
A Storybook Inn is a Diamond Collection property, has won the Best Top Ten B and B Inns in America twice and is the oldest Select Registry Inn in Central Kentucky. It is located in the heart of horse country and the Bourbon Trail. The Inn, like the surrounding countryside, has a rich, interesting history.
The Inn was originally it was built as a private residence in 1830s by a prosperous banker, but since 2005, has become an award winning lodging destination for the tourists from all over the world. The area where the Inn is located shares the same unique European feel and charm of the surrounding horse farms. Old world charm with modern conveniences…the best of both worlds!


Upon our arrival we were lucky to meet the owner/Innkeeper of this amazing place, Elise Buckley. She designed the Inn and Guesthouse and gardens and is also the chef. Her credo “If it is worth doing it is worth doing well…no mediocrity.” One can see that she has accomplished that goal well; everywhere one looks, one sees her eye for symmetry and design as well as the delicious, healthy food she prepares daily! I was amazed and even a bit jealous by how organized and sharp she is. Maybe because of her great attitude, Elise is daily present on the property caring for her guests, from early mornings till late evenings. It is her baby and she tends it well. It is elegant but comfortable and inviting as well.

The grounds have many garden areas and there are always fresh cut flowers on our dining table and lovely blooming orchids in our suite. Elise is hands-on in the kitchen, preparing beautiful dishes such as Organic Spinach Artichoke Quiche and Blackberry Lemon Cream-filled Blintz. (oh, those Quiches with spinach did smell delicious…). She gave us a guided tour around the property and showed us our very spacious suite called Somewhere In Time that occupies an entire wing of the main Inn. All the suites are named for Classic movies and are tastefully designed and appointed to match the look and feel of the movie for which they are named.

Next morning after having a breakfast in glorious glass Conservatory, that in some way reminds me of Alice in Wonderland movie, I started exploring magnificent A Storybook Inn premises.


Mornings were warm and sunny. I started my way from the front entrance, surrounded by huge trees and covered in morning shade. The walkway on the left, leads through to the inner courtyard behind the lovely arched doorway in the old brick wall. The courtyard has lots of flowers, an old stone pond with waterfalls and a restored personal house for two beautiful kitties, Summer and Boots, so cute and friendly! Step up to a small wooden stairway and you open your way to the Glass Conservatory, where fresh ground organic coffee smell is still present. Inside, all rooms are decorated in sophisticated manner, walls greets you with original oil paintings, antiques and antique reproductions.


Every suite is named after the famous movie, it gives this property a unique atmosphere of something magical and mysterious. Our room – Somewhere in Time, is the largest and the most luxurious main suite. It has a huge sitting room with original, restored hardwood floors, fireplace, bookshelves flanking the fireplace, custom drapes, and paintings with nice ambient lighting.
P.S.: at the time of our arrival, our suite greets us with freshly baked Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and chopped Pecans. Plus one point to another sweet memory. Thank you Elise!

Small hallway takes you to a beautifully decorated bedroom and spacious bathroom that has 2-person air whirlpool with aromatherapy and spectacular spacious walk-in tile shower. A true Presidential suite experience indeed!

Mr. Lemono liked his stay so much, that several times asked us to plant him down somewhere around this beautiful guest house. We did our best to persuade him to stay with us,  explained how many other places he will see soon. Trust me, it was a hard job to do to convince him! =)


Rolling green hills, manicured horse farms that stretch for miles and miles, horses frolicking in the fields and the friendly people are the first three things that comes to mind. And if the state of Kentucky is proudly called the Horse Capital of the World, than Versailles is surely the Heart of this Capital with it’s many historic, well maintained horse farms. Here one can visit horse farms (by appointment) to see famous horses, both past and present. And, as A Storybook Inn is a true gem of hospitality in this area, the Gainesway Horse Farm can rightly be called a gem of the Horse Capital. We were so excited to be able to see this gorgeous farm with it’s one-of-a-kind barns, landscaping and some of the most distinguished Thoroughbred horses in the world.


A picturesque 1500 acres of fertile, finest Bluegrass land in Kentucky is one of the most productive grounds in Thoroughbred history. And of course Gainesway is world know for its horses. Names like Afleet Alex (Champion racehorse, sire of seven Grade 1 winners), Karakontie (Regally-bred Breeder’s Cup Mile winner), Birdstone (Sire of two champions in his first crop), Empire Maker (Classic sire & sire of sires), Tapizar (Breeder’s Cup winner, top freshman sire by Tapit) and surely Tapit (record-setting leading sire in 2014, 2015 & 2016) all speak for themselves.

Gainesway is the only horse farm in the world to be an accredited arboretum. Gainesway Horse Farm team of devoted people have the knowledge and expertise to help you breed, raise, or buy a successful Thoroughbred. I met with Jessica Gwaltney, who is Equine Operations & Events Coordinator. She kindly showed me the premises and gave a tour around the farm, sharing her knowledge aтв passion about horses. We all took a memorable picture behind the beautiful horse barn, where king Tapit reside. Another precious moment of mine.. It was really unforgettable experience!

From left to right: Jessica, Elise, Martha and me


On our way back we drove by the Kentucky Horse park, where this year is celebrated the 100th anniversary of history’s most famous racehorse, the one and only Man o’ War. No other horse ever won such fame as Man o’ War. Here is the statue of Man o’ War at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The statue of Man o’ War at the Kentucky Horse Park

With all my todays travels and farm tour arrangements I’m infinitely grateful to Martha Martin, form Unbridled Horse Tours, without her help all todays events wouldn’t be possible. Thank you Martha!


The time of our stay at A Storybook Inn coincided with Versailles Twilight Festival, fun and family friendly event, created in conjunction with local citizens is held in Versailles downtown.

This is an annual event and that day was the last and only this year, so we decided to hurry up and take our chance to attend it. Elise introduced me to Don, who is one of the organizers of the event. Lots of local food vendors, wineries, arts and crafts artisans, along with several entertainers onstage – all this created a nice and cosy atmosphere. This event is made by people and for people. I’m glad that this year I was among them!


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