If you can't make it to Louisville for the Breeders' Cup but you still want some top-quality horse action, the Alltech National Horse Show continues through Sunday in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Half of the cost of tickets will benefit charity: On Friday, it's the Louisville Mounted Police; on Friday night, the Kentucky Equine Humane Center; on Saturday, the Lexington mounted police; on Saturday night, the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation; and on Sunday, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Hunters, in which horses are judged on their form, compete during the day; big-money jumpers take the higher fences at night.
Operatic tenor Ronan Tynan will sing God Bless America in the opening ceremonies Friday night.
Saturday night features the $250,000 Alltech National Horse Show Grand Prix, in which the best riders on top horses will take the biggest fences for major money. VIPs — which could include some famous faces: Bruce Springsteen's daughter, Jessica, is a possible entry — are encouraged to come in black tie.
On Sunday, about 200 young riders (18 and younger) will compete for the Maclay, the top equitation trophy, awarded since 1933. Riders who win the Maclay are considered Olympic-caliber material, and some of the best in the world, past and present, have won it — you could be getting a peek at future medal winners.
At the Kentucky Horse Park's Alltech Arena, there are food and entertainment options besides watching the horses. There's "Horseplay," with interactive exhibits and things for kids to do, and the Alltech Experience from last year's World Equestrian Games.
For the grown-ups, there's Pearse's Place, featuring Alltech's new Town Branch Bourbon and pub food by Dupree Catering for sale, and plenty of equine-related shopping, with 60 vendors in the trade show. On Friday and Saturday, the Breeders' Cup, at Churchill Downs, will be on the big screens in Pearse's Place.