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As owners/innkeepers at Charred Oaks Inn, a premier bed and breakfast, located 13 miles west of downtown Lexington, Kentucky, Richard and I get asked frequently "what makes the area the Horse Capital of the World?"

Well, the reasons are numerous, but the over-riding ones are:

1) the water that passes through the massive limestone shelf that lies beneath the nourishing bluegrass pastures feeds the soil and grasses that grow strong horses unlike anywhere else in the world. The high mineral content in the soils of the Bluegrass Region leads to stronger bones and greater durability in the horses ...

2) horse breeding has been an important Bluegrass industry since the area was first settled. Daniel Boone himself introduced a bill for "improving the breed of horses" at Kentucky's first legislative assembly in 1792

3) there are more than 450 horse farms nurturing champion horses of all breeds

4) there is one horse for every 12 people in Kentucky

5) the estimated economic impact of Kentucky's horse economy is $4 billion annually

6) Deloitte & Touche sites the number of horses in Kentucky at 330,000

7) the Kentucky horse industry is responsible for nearly 80,000 direct and indirect jobs, from grooms to administrative support staff to veterinarians

8) Lexington is home to the official registry of all Thoroughbred horses world wide

But to us, and to most of the visitors to the area, can't help but enjoy seeing how these magnificent creatures live, the dedication of the caretakers and the overriding beauty of the countryside. Best of all is the joy of not only seeing, but of actually touching.

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