Lookalikes sought for Man o’ War’s centenary celebrations

Does your horse look like Man o' War? A contest is under way top find a double of "the mostest horse that ever was".
Does your horse look like Man o’ War? A contest is under way top find a double of “the mostest horse that ever was”.

A contest to find the horse who looks most like the legendary thoroughbred Man o’ War is under way, in another highlight marking celebrations commemorating the great horse’s birth 100 years ago.

The My Man o’ War Look-Alike photo contest is a social media initiative between the Kentucky Horse Park and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, challenging horse owners to submit photos of their horse recreating a famous photo of Man o’ War.

It is part of the Kentucky Horse Park’s Man o’ War Celebration which includes a series of events highlighting the life of the great racehorse.

The contest is open to any equine breed and gender. To be eligible, the horse must have a similar pose and/or likeness to Man o’ War, based on the photo shown above.

The winning horse’s photograph will be shown on the Jumbotron in Rolex Stadium Hats Off to Kentucky’s Horse Industry Day on July 29, before the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix. The winning owner will receive a gift basket of prizes from the Kentucky Horse Park and Rood & Riddle.

Applicants can submit photos to MyManoWarContest@gmail.com by midnight Sunday, July 16.

The Man o' War mural on the wall of The Village Idiot pub in Lexington, by Agustin Zarate. 
The Man o’ War mural on the wall of The Village Idiot pub in Lexington, by Agustin Zarate.

• An unveiling party to celebrate a commemorative mural of the legendary racehorse Man o’ War has taken place at the local pub The Village Idiot on Thursday.

Commissioned by LexArts and sponsored by Mt. Brilliant Farm, the 30′ x 30′ mural was painted by Mexico City native and longtime Lexington resident Agustin Zarate.

The unveiling party kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and comments from Zarate and officials at LexArts, Mt. Brilliant Farm and the Kentucky Horse Park.

“LexArts is proud to have facilitated this new addition to Lexington’s arts landscape,” said Ellen A. “Nan” Plummer, LexArts president and CEO. “It’s a striking mural in the perfect location to enchant residents and visitors alike with our rich equine history.”

The Man o’ War mural spans the entire side of the two-story Village Idiot building and commemorates the horse’s victory in the 1920 Belmont Stakes. Based on a historic photograph during his racing years, it portrays Man o’ War parading in front of the Belmont crowd following his historic feat.

“Man o’ War was truly a remarkable horse, and many people don’t realize that he’s actually buried here at the Kentucky Horse Park,” said Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director Laura Prewitt. “We hope this mural will become a downtown fixture that raises awareness of his life and legacy, and will also drive traffic to the Kentucky Horse Park to visit his gravesite and the ‘Mostest Horse That Ever Was Exhibit.'”

A commemorative beer crafted by Alltech for the Man o’ War Celebration was also released at the mural unveiling party. Called the “Mostest Wheat Ale” after Man o’ War’s nickname, the celebratory beer will be offered for a special price and served in Kentucky Horse Park Man o’ War Celebration souvenir cups. It will be available on tap at various locations throughout Lexington this summer.

The Kentucky Horse Park’s goal in its season-long Man o’ War Celebration is to celebrate the life of the legendary horse, as well as encourage people to visit the premier tourist destination, which is currently hosting a special exhibit entitled “Man o’ War: The Mostest Horse That Ever Was.”

The Man o' War mural was unveiled in Lexington on June 29.
The Man o’ War mural was unveiled in Lexington on June 29. © Kentucky Horse Park

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