A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Horse Park’s iconic white fences – 30 miles
of them – to be painted black to cut costs


 (Photo from KyHorsePark.com)

Painting the Kentucky Horse Park’s fences black will save nearly $50,000 a year in maintenance costs. (Photo from KyHorsePark.com)


 

Staff Report
 

If you needed more proof that change is all there is, even when it comes to Kentucky’s traditional white horse farm fencing, then here it is: the Kentucky Horse Park will be painting those white fences black.
 

Thirty miles of white plank fencing turned to black will save the park nearly $50,000 in maintenance costs annually. That’s a lot of hay.
 

 (Photo from KyHorsePark.com)

White paint costs about three times as much as black paint and requires repainting more frequently, said the park’s executive director, Jamie Link. (Photo from KyHorsePark.com)

Kentucky’s signature park has had white fencing since it opened in 1978. But like many of the state’s horse farms there’s a financial reality driving the move to black. It boils down to costs — not just of the paint but for maintenance and upkeep.
 

“We realize the significance of this change and fully understand and appreciate the tradition of the white fencing at the park,” said Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director Jamie Link. “But the reality is that white fence paint costs about three times as much as black paint, white fencing requires repainting at least twice as often as black fencing, and white fencing requires more routine maintenance and resources to keep it at an appropriate level for the Kentucky Horse Park.”
 

With the cost difference of the paint, as well as the labor required to maintain and paint fencing, the park would rather devote its very limited resources to its horses and guests.
 

“We plan to begin the fence paint transition very soon,” Link said. “We will start with pressure washing, scraping or replacing damaged boards and then apply black paint when the wood surface is adequately prepared. The entire project will take several weeks, perhaps a few months, as weather and resources allow.”
 

The Kentucky Horse Park joins most every other horse farm and equine facility in central Kentucky and beyond that utilizes black plank fencing.
 

All fencing directly around horse show rings, however, will remain white for better visibility and safety purposes.


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