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“The only way I know to get into Calumet Farm”

Unique Horse Farm Tours
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Behind-the-scenes tour of world-renowned Bluegrass horse farms and see some of the world's most famous Thoroughbred farms and equine -related facilities.
Level Contributor
106 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“The only way I know to get into Calumet Farm”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2013

Unique has operated out of the Kentucky Horse Park for a few years (with three tours per day), and its owner Shaun Washington, has evolved the business over time. My wife and I went on a tour with him a few years back, and at that time he went to Keeneland and to Winstar Farms. However, he told me that he had decided that there was no point in taking people to Keeneland, as people can go there for free and look around.

Now, he has been able to get inside of Calumet Farm, which in its glory days was the most successful thoroughbred operation in history, with two Triple Crown winners, and numerous other horses who won the Kentucky Derby and other major races. In addition to being the Steelers/Celtics/Canadiens/Yankees of the thoroughbred world, Calumet also had iconic buildings painted in white and red trim that are known throughout the world to racing fans. Even though Calumet fell on hard times, most of the other local tours drive by it as part of their itineraries just so people could see where history's greatest thoroughbred operation had been. Unfortunately, for many years, no one could actually get inside its gates.

Now, however, if you take the Unique tour you can get in and see Calumet. When I took the tour this August, the first stop was the farm's horse cemetery. A lot of non-racing fans would probably be bored silly there. However, to me it was almost like holy ground, as it had the burial sites of all the Calument Derby and Triple Crown winners, as well as Alydar, who lost all three Triple Crown races to Affirmed by a tiny margin. There was also a statue over the grave of Bull Lea, their star stallion. After visiting the cemetery, we went to a number of different buildings on Calumet. There, you could see where some of the famous horses had been stabled, as their name plates were still on the doors of their stalls.

The tour also included a drive through horse country past a number of other farms, plus a stop at a very new thoroughbred operation that was built on what had been a cattle farm until just a few years ago. The owner of that thoroughbred farm had spared no expense in his buildings, which in some ways are more elaborate than what you would expect to see in a house for humans. Calumet's buildings had been elaborate for their time, so it was interesting to contrast the new with the old.

I should also say that Shaun is an interesting guy, and knows a lot of people in the racing business (which is how he apparently obtained the right ot visit Keeneland). In any event, if you are a fan of horse racing and its history, you should run out and do this tour while you have the chance, as this might be the only chance you have to tour Calumet.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank GoPenguins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“very Good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

This is a very nice place to visit. It is very educational for those of us that do not know a lot about horses and horse racing. I would recommend going here. Be sure you to do the Unique Bus Tour. If you do not, you will truly miss out. It is unbelievable.

Visited July 2013
Thank Kscholl1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Unique Horse Farms Tour with Shawn”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

Yesterday, I booked a Unique Horse Farms Tour through the Kentucky Horse Park. It was everything I hoped for and more! During the tour, we visited two farms: Kaitirich and Calumet. Kaitirich allowed walk-through tours of the barns, up-close and personal thoroughbred encounters, and even an opportunity to pet a colt. Calumet is not typically open to the public (most tours only do drive-bys from the road). It is steeped in history and is definitely a must see for the true Kentucky Derby junkies. What made the tour so great, however, was our guide Shawn. Shawn is 100% passionate about introducing people to Kentucky's rich horse culture. He brought a great attitude, a lot of humor, and plenty of personal antidotes for a one-of-a-kind experience. He's the guy who loves coming to work each and every day--and it shows! Book a Unique Horse Farms Tour and request Shawn!!

Visited June 2013
Thank Morph25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Deserves Every Praise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2012

I want to thank everyone on TripAdvisor that recommended the Unique Horse Farm Tour. It was worth the time and money. Our guide Shaunteze took us to Calumet Farms. We had no idea we would visit it. What a treat! It was a beautiful crisp fall day. We also walked through Keeneland. The racing season was over. The Horse Park was great too! The Hall fo Champions still brings tears to my eyes. Way too much to do for one day.

Visited October 2012
Thank victoria k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Unique horse farm tour with Shawn”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

We had a great time on the 12:15 tour with Shawn. We saw billion dollar horse farms behind the scenes where no one else can go. Shawn was very knowledgeable and fun. We ate a late lunch at Wallace station, it was great! Lots of fun and highly recommended by me and my wife!! I highly recommend Unique Horse Farm Tours and ask for Shawn, he's the man!

Visited July 2012
2 Thank tm49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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