One’s home decor is as much a reflection of their personality as the clothing they wear, the food they eat, and the people they spend their time with. This statement certainly holds true for Kim Smith’s home in North Oldham country, which is filled with equine art, accessories, and Kentucky Derby-related décor.
Smith is the founder and executive director of Second Stride, Inc., a local nonprofit organization that provides professional rehabilitation, retraining, and placement of retired thoroughbred racehorses. Through the program, Smith and her team offer retired thoroughbreds the care and quality training they need to succeed in the next stage of their lives. Her interest and love for all things equine can be seen throughout her Cape Cod-style house.
Early enthusiasm for horses
Smith’s horse obsession began when she was just a child when her father bought her first pony.
“He fibbed to my mom that we were going to the grocery store,” she told The Courier Journal, “(but) we ended up getting a pony.”
She later began working at stables, cleaning barns, tacks, and horse stalls in exchange for riding lessons.
“That (interest) just kind of kept growing,” she said. “I just became immersed. … I would find stray horses all the time … and have to find homes for them.”
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Smith eventually converted her passion into a career, and her home reflects this dedication.
Through the front doors — which boast double leather horse collars — the home’s entryway features an equine sculpture placed on a piece that Churchill Downs outrider Lee Lockwood once had atop his horse. To the right, a Pegasus centerpiece created by Smith’s mother rests in the middle of the dining table.
In the kitchen, Kentucky Derby glasses are set up on a serving tray with a bottle of Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. A dishcloth printed with a mint julep recipe lies next to it, as does a fresh bunch of mint that Smith grew herself. On the kitchen island, blue placemats with embroidered jockey silks sit under the table settings, ready for entertaining.
The biggest equine accessory, however, is the Gallopolooza-style horse that sits on the front lawn.
“I just really wanted one, being who I am,” Smith said. “I was looking on eBay and I found him in Vegas. He is supposed to be a Gallopalooza horse, but I don’t have verification of that.”
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Smith was told that the sculpture was purchased at a Kentucky fundraiser and later transported to Nevada. To get it back to the Bluegrass state, the piece was loaded onto a trailer with several real horses and driven to Smith’s home.
“There was a baby horse (on the trailer), and it got so attached to the trophy … (that) when we took it off, he was hollering because he wanted it to come back,” she said with a laugh.
In addition to the giant painted horse out front, some of Smith’s favorite accessories are the various pieces of original local art that are sprinkled throughout the home. She has pieces by Jamie Corum, Connie Sandusky, Robyn Lyons, Susan Hackworth Hoffman, Yvonne Williams, and Phyllis Wood, among others.
“Almost all of the artwork that I have (was created by) local (artists),” she said, adding that she is personal friends with many of them. “(Collecting those pieces) is one of my passions.”
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Her favorite aspect of the home itself, she says, is how much it allows her to feel as though she is out in nature.
“Everywhere you look in this neighborhood, when you look out a window, you’ll see something neat,” she said, adding that the developer was very conscious about green space. “I love Oldham County. … You get the farm feel here without the extra work.”
nuts & bolts
Owner: Kim Smith, founder/executive director of Second Stride Inc., a racehorse safety net & transitioning charity. Also in the home are her husband Mark and their children.
Home: This is a 4-bed, 4-bath, 4,600-square-foot, Cape Cod-style home in a North Oldham neighborhood that was built in 2016.
Distinctive elements: Custom-built Cape Cod ranch home; exterior character with copper covered cupola and copper heron weather vane; triple-copper covered domed dormers; limestone block flanked front porch with copper gas lanterns, and custom stained porch ceilings; double leather horse collar door statements; antique wrought iron horse hitching post; Gallopalooza-style yard horse; two bedrooms with a connected full bath via sliding barn doors; main bedroom with porch access and walk-in closet past the ensuite; bath with soaker tub, walk-in shower, leaded crystal custom window over tub and transom, double sink Carrara marble vanity, and heated tile floor; open floor plan with large wall-length multiple sliding doors along the back side of the home to bring the outdoors in and allow for the country scape view; back covered patios, with built-in gas port; French door paned glass entry to first floor office; 10-foot ceilings with 15-foot beamed great room; limestone and custom wood-trimmed mantle; honed marble/quartz counter tops in kitchen with cast iron farm sink; custom cabinetry and island with lighted glass shelved passthrough; laundry rooms on both levels; finished walk-out basement with 1800’s hand-hewn beams as drink counter and basement fireplace mantle; shelved storage room and full bath with heated tile floors that connects to in-law suite; full kitchen amenities downstairs, including a hammered copper farm sink with marble/Quartz countertops; three-car garage, with fourth-bay mower/storage/work bench room located off the basement.
Applause! Applause! Aesthetics and design by J Lloyd Design/Janet Rupp; build by TMC/Tim Menard Construction Landscape; design and installation by Bowling Nursery/Kevin Bowling; lighting by Brechers Lighting; original local art by Jamie Corum, Connie Sandusky, Robyn Lyons, Susan Hackworth Hoffman, Yvonne Williams, Phyllis Wood, and the students of Laurel Lammers and Dun Bar.