For a Good Cause
Holiday Designer Show House to be
open to the public at Chestnut Fall Farm
Cherry House designer lends her talent to the project
PROSPECT, Ky. (November 2021) – Lauri Bridges Jones knows a good design when she sees one. She has been an interior designer for almost 30 years and is currently working on a project to aid Chestnut Hall, a sanctuary farm for retired horses in Prospect, Ky.
“I’m really excited about it,” said Jones, who has been employed by The Cherry House in La Grange for the last five years. Cherry House was invited to participate in this project, and the owner, Leslie Whitehouse, asked Jones to take the lead. Cherry House has a reputation for its annual Christmas Extravaganza, which Jones’ part in this event will compliment.
A Holiday Designer Show House will be held Dec. 3-11 at Chestnut Hall Farm, located at 12611 Hwy. 42 in Prospect. Touring hours are from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and 6 - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sunday hours are from noon - 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door or $20 in advance (online).
Retired thoroughbred race horses roam the fields at Chestnut Hall Farm in Prospect, Ky. The house there will be transformed into a Holiday Showcase.
The Show House event will involve seven designers such as Jones, decorating the historic farmhouse and grounds. Designers include K.P. Designs, Living Spaces by Lyn, Debhelin Designs, Little Mount Lavender, Jason Jennings Designs, Abbey Custom Interiors and All Lit Up. Chestnut Hall is nestled into a picture perfect setting in the very midst of horse farm country along U.S. Hwy. 42.
Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Inc., purchased the Chestnut Hall property to protect its historic farmhouse and pasture land from residential development. He has personally overseen the restoration of the acreage to its former beauty as an active horse farm. Carstanjen specifically sought out the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation to partner with in providing a home for retired race horses.
Founded in 1983, the foundation is a national aftercare charity with a history of more than 20 years of caring for retired or injured thoroughbred race horses in Kentucky. The organization is funded entirely by private donations.
The 25-acre Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall will be the permanent home of 11 horses from the organization’s national herd of 500 retired thoroughbred race horses. It is open to the public by appointment through tour bookings with the foundation. The facility has also been added to the Oldham Farm Tour lineup offered through Oldham County KY Tourism & Conventions to give tourists an up close and personal look at life after the track for these hard working horses.
In addition to Chestnut Hall, the foundation has two more locations in Kentucky: Nash Farms and the Second Chances Farm at the Blackburn Corrections Complex, said Susan King, a local volunteer and Publicity Chair for this event. “The reason for this event is to help raise funds through the price of admission, and 100 percent of those funds will go directly to TRF.”
Jones will be decorating the farmhouse’s living room, which contains a “gorgeous mantel and grand piano,” she said. The overall feel will celebrate tradition and horses – two things for which Kentucky is known.
Visitors to Chestnut Hall Farm in Prospect, Ky. get up close and personal with several retired thoroughbred race horses.
Jones decided to incorporate these concepts because she said that “everyone who comes in now is tired of neutrals. They’re craving tradition and color.” Jones will be adding furniture to the room along with some elements of equestrian artwork and upholstery.
Jones said Chestnut Hall is a special place. “We’re all proud to be in Kentucky. The organization (TRF) does unbelievable work, and it’s a wonderful cause.” The foundation, a 501(c)3 charity organization, is playing host to this event.
Jones moved to the area eight years ago. She is a former furniture designer for Worlds Away, a Memphis, Tenn.-based wholesale furniture and accessory company. Worlds Away ships products worldwide, with distribution centers in Germany, Australia and Canada.
Throughout her career, Jones said she has been “obsessed with design.” At Chestnut Hall, “I want everyone to feel like they are coming into and experiencing horses, traditions and Kentucky.”
King said, “Our hope is that the attendees will be inspired and get into the holiday spirit while supporting a worthwhile charitable cause.”
Built in 1864, the original Federal-style house has been “updated and added onto many times over the years,” she said. “It was originally known as Hillcrest Farm. The house has a lovely vista of surrounding grasslands and is next door to Hillcrest Subdivision, where the neighbors enjoy watching these lovely horses living out their retirement.”
The actual idea for the Show House came from a local, long-time donor and volunteer for the foundation, Elizabeth Rosenberg of Shelbyville, Ky., said King. “Elizabeth is chairing our committee and has been the inspiration for the tour.”
Rosenberg said, “This project was created and devised by all volunteers.” The group consists of women from central Kentucky, including Oldham, Shelby and Jefferson counties, and the Lexington area. “We took the project on because we really believe in the mission of TRF.”
Rosenberg, originally from southeastern Pennsylvania, had been involved with the foundation before moving to Kentucky. She said there is a lot of cost involved with caring for these horses, including feeding, farrier needs and just taking care of an elderly horse. “Their average age is in the high teens.”
She has been involved with the Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington. The facility takes care of more than 50 horses. She said she has been “inspired to help the TRF horses and stayed involved in making the horses lives as good as can be.”
Rosenberg added, “The gift of Chestnut Hall was generous and a wonderful opportunity for TRF.” The goal is to hold future events at the sanctuary farm.
• Advanced tickets can be purchased for $20 at www.trfinc.org or at the door for $25. For more information, visit www.TourOldhamKY.com or www.trfinc.org/thoroughbred-retirement.
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