Why is Central Kentucky’s Inner Bluegrass Region the “Thoroughbred Horse Capital of the World”?
By Joe Riddell, originally published March 9, 2017
To answer this we must go back 440 million years ago to the Ordovician geological era, when what is now the Inner Bluegrass Region was south of the Equator and under a large, shallow, turbulent and tropical sea that was part of the super continent Lauretia. This sea was full of invertebrates and as they died the salt water turned thier mineral rich shells into a fossil filled sedimentary rock called Tanglewood Limestone. The amount of phosphorus in this particular limestone are among the highest in the world (if not the highest).
Tectonic Plate movement brought the Tanglewood Limestone north until it lay underneath the Inner Bluegrass Region. A 1,300 foot rise in the Earth’s crust, called the Cincinnati Arch, plus the effects of glaciation exposed this extraordinarily mineral rich limestone throughout a large part of the Inner Bluegrass Region (but not all). Tanglewood Limestone is the “parent material” for the extremely high-phosphatic soils on almost every successful thoroughbred horse farm in Central Kentucky.