In case you missed it, the color blue is kind of a big deal around here. You also can’t turn a downtown corner, or a country backroad, without seeing a horse — whether that be local equine art or the real thing.
So, it makes sense that one of our city’s most adorned mascots is a big blue horse.
But how did “Big Lex” find his way to the winner’s circle and come to represent our city? Let’s find out.
“Lexington” was actually the name of one of the most dominant racehorses of the 19th century.
- Origin: Lexington (the horse) was born in what is now the city limits of Lexington (the town) in 1850.
- Racing: Lexington asserted his dominance in the racing industry, winning six out of his seven career races.
- Fun fact: The Kentucky Derby race is 1.25 miles in length. Several of Lexington’s winning races were a grueling four miles long — his fastest time coming in at just over seven minutes.
- Legacy: He also produced more championship offspring than any other stallion of his time, leading the US’ sire list for 14 consecutive years + 16 years in total — a record that still stands today.
Edward Troye was one of the most prolific animal painters of the 19 century.
- Life: The Swiss-born artist came to reside in Georgetown, KY, where he is now buried, and was considered the best in the US — held in regard to the European greats of his time.
- Work: In a time before iPhones, his work served as visual documentation for early US Thoroughbred champions.
- Fun fact: Troy would paint Lexington (the horse) a dozen times in his lifetime.
In 2009, VisitLex collaborated with a design firm in hopes of creating branded imagery for our city — a design that would highlight our history, while showcasing us as a modern, 21st-century city.
Hence — “Big Lex” was born.