Wheeler Museum: 'Ponies through the Decades' Launching Virtual Exhibit

July 9, 2012



Lexington, KY - The Wheeler Museum’s latest exhibit, Ponies through the Decades, now has the added distinction of being the first exhibit to go virtual. USHJA has teamed up with Virtual Celebration as a means to extend our latest exhibit to as many members as possible via a Virtual Interactive Exhibit.

Located in the USHJA Headquarters at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky-the live event housed at the Wheeler Museum, Ponies through the Decades, pays homage to a vital part of both the sport of horse showing itself, and the people and ponies throughout history, who have influenced us all. The vast and growing collection of Pony memorabilia from some of history’s most revered pony athletes makes for the perfect event to venture into the realms of an interactive exhibit. While foot traffic into the museum continues to increase daily, USHJA believes making the exhibit virtual creates a unique experience for visitors.

“I was amazed at the breadth of excitement and interest as a result of the announcement of the Ponies through the Decades exhibit. It made me realize that ponies have touched a countless number of our members’ lives. So many people wanted to be involved and send us photos, trophies and artifacts for the exhibit that a virtual extension of the exhibit just seemed like a way to be more inclusive and keep the history of these ponies and the lives they impacted alive long after the exhibit is no longer featured in the museum. It just makes sense in today’s world to use technology to engage as many people as possible in our projects. This type of outreach makes what we do more vital and meaningful.” Shelby French, USHJA CEO said.

The extension of the exhibit to the online virtual world gives visitors the added fun of becoming more involved with the event on a personal level. There are pages dedicated to several special pony athletes from years gone by, such as Midget, a 12.3 hand grey mare owned by Nancy Baroody. This pair is one of the most successful teams on record, having won the American Horse Show Association’s (now USEF) most desired Horse of the Year Award four consecutive years- 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969, and during the era Midget was the highest scoring junior horse or pony in the history of the AHSA awards. You can also relive the glorious decades of Taylor Made Ponies- learn how the legacy of champion ponies that live on in today’s top competitors all began.

Visitors to the virtual Ponies exhibit can post their own fond memories of these petite athletes or create new pages for other elite ponies to be honored. The Virtual Celebration provides a permanent archive of our history with these wee warriors, as well as a lasting memorial through photo galleries, written word, and community sharing.

Pat Campbell, creator of Virtual Celebration and a pony mom added, “Every pony should have its place in history since every pony has been a teacher, has brought millions of smiles and moments of joy to kids, parents, trainers and friends alike. Virtual Celebration will be a fun and interactive way to commemorate these great “teachers” and forever give them the recognition they deserve. Virtual Celebration will allow the ponies of yesterday, today and tomorrow to touch the lives of not only those who had the chance to love them in person, but to touch all pony lovers across the globe for many years to come. And just like our ponies are fun and playful and full of antics, so will the Virtual Celebration of Ponies, just like our ponies would want it!”

USHJA invites you to help us preserve the heritage and memories of our incredible past, present and future four-legged teachers. We continue to add to this virtual collection and suggest you check out the host page to see all the ways you can be part of this legendary exhibit. Registration is free and easy, so step into the Ponies through the Decades online world by visiting www.virtualcelebration.com/wmponies.

Back to News & Media