Located minutes from I-75, this pet cemetery dedicated entirely to horses is a fun roadside stop for those who need to stretch their legs on a road trip.
The Hamburg Place Horse Cemetery in Lexington, Kentucky also has a fascinating history.
If you didn’t already know, or can’t guess from the beautiful horse farms and scenery as you drive along, Lexington, Kentucky is known as horse country.
You can plan a visit The Kentucky Horse Park which is known around the world and explore one of the only pet cemeteries in existence dedicated entirely to horses.
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A Pet Cemetery for Horses? You Bet.
This is one animal cemetery that you won’t want to miss.
Especially if you’re traveling along I-75 through Lexington, Kentucky.
This unique roadside stop is located just a few minutes off the interstate and though it does require a short walk to reach it, you’ll be back on the road before you know it!
The Big Bone Lick State Park is a fun stop as well. I mean, with a name like Bone Lick, you have to stop and see what it’s about right?
The horse cemetery was originally located where the parking lot for the big box store of Walmart is currently found.
A Brief History of Hamburg Place
The property was originally settled by John Madden who purchased the land in 1898.
He named the farm Hamburg Place after having sold his horse, Hamburg, to buy the property which at that time encompassed over 2,000 acres.
John was known for raising exceptional horses with a proven track record.
He bred horses that went on to win the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and the Triple Crown. In case you’re not aware, those are big name races in the equine circle.
John died in 1929.
The farm was passed down and remained in the family until it was sold for development.
The remains of the horses buried in the Hamburg Place Horse Cemetery were exhumed and relocated to the current location a short walk from Walmart’s parking lot.
You can see what the cemetery originally looked like here.
Visiting the Hamburg Place Horse Cemetery in Lexington, Kentucky
The Hamburg Place Horse Cemetery in Lexington, KY is a hidden gem.
Today, all that remains of the famous horse farm is the cemetery where 18 award-winning horses are buried.
The headstones of each of the horses are arranged in the shape of a horseshoe around the grave of Nancy Hanks, topped with a sculpture of the horse who achieved a world record in 1892 for trotting a 2 minute, 4-second mile.
Named after the mother of Abraham Lincoln, the statue of her likeness was created by Charles Cary Rumsey, a popular artist of that time known for his horse sculptures.
The smaller headstones bear the names of Springtime, Sir Martin, Siliko, Hamburg Belle, Major Delmar, Plaudit, Ogden, Star Shoot, Lady Sterling, Imp, Ida Pickwick, Miss Kearney, and Princess Mary.
Three larger headstones are emblazoned with the names Pink Pigeon, Bel Sheba and T.V. Lark.
Nearby, you’ll also find a memorial, not to be confused with a headstone, of the founder of Hamburg Place, John Madden standing watch over the cemetery and his prized horses.
Directions to the Hamburg Place Horse Cemetery
Take exit 110 off I-75 onto US Hwy 60/Winchester Rd.
Turn left at the first light onto Elkhorn Road and keep to the right onto Grey Lag Way (unmarked last time we were there) and follow to the Walmart parking lot.
Park at the very edge of the parking lot near the bus stop. You’ll see a sidewalk across the parking lot by a guardrail.
Follow the walkway down the hill, over the creek, and through the trees. You’ll see an iron gate and stone wall surrounding the cemetery.
You’ll also find a stone bench to take a few minutes to rest, if needed. Or in our case, you can grab a seat and wait for your mom to quit taking photos.
The total walk, depending on where you park and how fast you move will take about five minutes from the parking lot to the horse graveyard.
I’d plan a few minutes to look around. You should be back on the road in 20 minutes more or less.
Of course, if you’re like me you’ll want to factor in a bit more time for photography because a couple photos are never enough.
A Map to the Horse Graveyard
You can find directions to the Hamburg Place Horse Cemetery here or click on the map below for more details.
Do you enjoy visiting roadside attractions? What is the most unique stop you’ve made on a road trip? Leave us a comment and share your story below.
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If you enjoy unique lodging check out our post on the Wigwam Motel, also in Kentucky.
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Friday 14th of April 2023
Tonya, Thank you for sharing this information. I drive past this probably 10 or more times a year and never knew what is was. We only live a hour away from this. We will need to stop and check it out. Blessings! Kelly