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Legendary Horses Tour Public Libraries

World Libraries Host a Parade of Yesterday’s and Today’s Heroic Equines and Equestrians

Black Beauty lives at the end of Main Street and Pegasus takes wing from the pasture around the corner in a new equestrian exhibit touring public and school libraries worldwide. The exhibit, Vanessa Wright’s The Literary Horse: When Legends Come to Life, pairs up to 100 photos of today's horses and riders with family-friendly, secular, and cited public domain quotations from the world's great books.

More than 40,000 people have visited the exhibit since its debut in May 2008, and it is scheduled to appear at the Oldham County Public Library in LaGrange for the 2009 Kentucky Derby, at the Saratoga Public Library for the 2009 Saratoga racing season, and at the Central Library in downtown Lexington to celebrate America's first hosting of the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Showcasing first-time riders through Special Olympic and Olympic champions, and equestrian disciplines ranging from carriage driving and show-jumping to jousting and vaulting (gymnastics on horseback), The Literary Horse provides visitors with a real-life tour of world classics, such as the Iliad, Richard III, and Jane Eyre, as well as beloved children's tales, such as Black Beauty, Cinderella, and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

The exhibit, though, extends beyond its images. Because it is touring public and school libraries, after exploring the scenes of heroic horses and horse-people, visitors can trot over to the shelves and jump into the books that follow their adventures. And because each exhibit features area equine and equestrian programs, visitors can contact the programs’ organizers and become riders, assistants, or volunteers.

“I hoped these images would help people see themselves in the great books and inspire them to live their own legends,” said Wright. “Heroes aren’t just people who lived long ago - they are our neighbors, our friends, our family members, and ourselves. The beauty, heart, and spirit we admire in legendary horses exists in our pasture pets, service horses, and competition partners. And together, we face challenges as thrilling and as extraordinary as the quests of old. After all, every great story, at its heart, reflects the greatness that is already within us.”

The Literary Horse: When Legends Come to Life will be touring public and school libraries worldwide through 2012. For more information, a tour schedule, activities, and a booklist, visit http://www.theliteraryhorse.com.


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