Lanes End Open House

I’ve never been to an open house before and I am attending the open house at Lanes End on Friday. I am not a breeder, I am just going to photograph. What can I expect? How do open houses work/run? How are they structured?

My plan is because I am not a breeder, I am going to stay out of the way and be to the side. Just to giveway to the actual breeders. If it affects answers, I have gone on plenty of public stallion tours, just haven’t done open houses.

Thanks, guys!

Lane’s End’s open houses are very welcoming and casual, or at least they use to be!

Come as you are. They let you kind of wander the main stallion barn and the other two barns (not all places allow that). You can go stall to stall and see the stallions. Grooms are on hand to pull the horses out for inspection in the courtyard area. They usually have generous and complimentary food and drink in one of the climate controlled rooms in the main barn.

I haven’t been in a few years, but I always felt like Lanes End treats everyone like royalty. I’d be there asking for a discount on the cheapest stallion on their roster and they would still treat me like I was their most important mare owner. That was kind of them. I also always felt like I could ask them anything and they wouldn’t judge me.


Thank you, that’s very helpful actually! I’ve never even been to Lanes End (not even for a farm tour), how is there complex laid out?

There are signs to the stallion barn; I’m blanking on any specific directions other than you can put the address in your gps and get there.

The stallion complex is 3(?) barns. One big main barn that houses the biggest stallions on the roster, then behind it there are two (I think) smaller barns that are maybe 4-6 stalls each that usually have pensioners or less famous stallions. There is a courtyard area between the 3 barns with paved walkways for horses and humans.

I think in the middle breezeway of the main barn is an office area on one side and a very pretty library-like room on the other where they have food and drink.

All the other horse facilities are far away from the stallion barns. They own a ton of land and everything is kind of spread out all over the place.

It’s not hard to figure out. Everything is pristine and landscaped, but they are just barns, if that makes sense.

That helps, thank you!

Worth noting, not everyone does open houses the same way. Lane’s End open houses have always been unstructured whenever I have gone.

Some other farms run more like a “showcase” where they pull the stallions out one by one while you watch from a designated viewing spot. Some farms run theirs more like guided tours. Some farms let you wander the barn, others keep you outside. Some farms are effusively welcoming and helpful, others just want you to look at the horse you’re interested in and leave. It just depends on the farm.

1 Like

I presume the last farms you speak about (wanting you to look at a horse and leave) aren’t open for photographers?

Well if they advertise an “open house,” they can’t really control who comes.

It’s just different personalities and different management styles.

1 Like

Gotcha. Assuming I do more of these, I’ll have to keep track of which ones are which in terms of cultural aspects!

Most of the large Kentucky farms are pretty welcoming. They are used to being in the public eye and understand they have a degree of tourist appeal.

The least welcoming open houses I have attended have been in other states where the racing communities are smaller and there tends to be a feeling of suspicion towards “outsiders.” But that doesn’t mean there aren’t lovely events in other states.

1 Like

Gotcha! Most of my traveling is limited, so I’ll probably stick to the big KY open houses for now anyway. :wink:

How was the open house? Which stallions did you like? Did you get to see Flightline?
I was at Lanes End in March to look at two stallions and in April to get a mare covered. I found everyone there to be very helpful. They have a great team of humans behind their amazing horses.

Thank you for checking in!

They didn’t show Flightline the week of the open house, I think they started showing him this week. I ended up not going because it was pouring and I didn’t want to risk damage to my camera and everyone I was supposed to go with bailed on me at the last second (like literally as I was getting ready to leave). Figures, I guess.