Second Stride Inc. Founder’s Louisville Home Is Overflowing With Equine Art
A person’s home decor reflects their personality as much as the clothes they wear, the food they eat, and the people they spend their time with. That statement is certainly true for Kim Smith’s home in the country of North Oldham, which is full of equine art, accessories and kentucky derby– related decor.
Smith is the founder and executive director of Second Stride, Inc., a local non-profit organization that provides vocational rehabilitation, retraining and placement of retired thoroughbred racehorses. Through the program, Smith and his team provide retired Thoroughbreds with the quality care and training they need to succeed in the next stage of their lives. Her interest and love for all things equine can be seen in her Cape Cod style home.
Early enthusiasm for horses
Smith’s obsession with horses began when she was just a child when her father bought his first pony.
“He lied to my mom saying we were going grocery shopping,” she told the Courier Journal, “(but) we ended up having a pony.”
Later she started working in stables, cleaning barns, bedbugs and stables in exchange for riding lessons.
“That (interest) has grown steadily,” she said. “I just became immersed. …I was finding stray horses all the time…and I had to find homes for them.
Smith eventually turned her passion into a career, and her home reflects that dedication.
Through the front doors – featuring double leather horse collars – the entrance to the home features an equine sculpture placed on a piece that Churchill Falls rider 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 sit on a serving tray with a bottle of Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. A tea towel printed with a mint julep recipe sits next to it, as does a bunch of fresh mint that Smith grew herself. On the kitchen island, blue placemats with embroidered jockey silks sit under the table, ready to entertain.
The biggest equine accessory, however, is the Gallopolooza-style horse that sits on the lawn.
“I really wanted one, being who I am,” Smith said. “I was looking on eBay and found him in Vegas. He’s supposed to be a Gallopalooza horse, but I don’t have any proof of that.
Smith learned that the sculpture was purchased at a Kentucky fundraiser and later transported to Nevada. To bring it back to Bluegrass status, the track was loaded onto a trailer with several real horses and driven to Smith’s home.
“There was a baby horse (on the trailer), and he was so attached to the trophy…(that) when we took him away, he was screaming because he wanted him back,” she said. laughing.
In addition to the giant painted horse in the front, some of Smith’s favorite accessories are the various quirky local art pieces that are dotted throughout the house. She has pieces of Jamie Corum, Connie SanduskyRobyn Lyons, Susan Hackworth HoffmannYvonne Williams and Phyllis Wood, among others.
“Almost all the artwork I have (was created by) local (artists),” she said, adding that she was friends with many of them. “(Collecting these pieces) is one of my passions.”
Her favorite aspect of the house itself, she says, is how much it makes her feel like she’s in nature.
“Everywhere you look in this neighborhood, when you look out of a window, you’ll see something good,” she said, adding that the developer was very conscious of green space. “I love County Oldham. … You get the farmhouse feel here without the extra work.
nuts and bolts
Owner: Kim Smith, Founder/Executive Director of Second Stride Inc., a racehorse safety net and charity in transition. Also at home are her husband Mark and their children.
Residence: This is a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom, 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 clad cupola and copper heron weather vane; domed skylights clad in triple copper; front porch flanked by limestone blocks with copper gas lanterns and custom stained porch ceilings; leather door flaps with double horse collar; antique wrought iron horse hitching post; Gallopalooza style court horse; two bedrooms with a full bathroom connected via sliding barn doors; master bedroom with access to the porch and walk-in closet in front of the adjoining bathroom; bathtub with deep soaking tub, walk-in shower, custom leaded crystal window above tub and transom, double sink Carrara marble vanity and heated tile floor; open floor plan with large multiple sliding doors running the length of the wall along the back of the house to bring the outdoors in and allow views of the countryside landscape; covered patios at the rear, with integrated petrol outlet; Glazed glazed entrance door to ground floor office; 10 foot ceilings with great room with 15 foot exposed beams; custom limestone and wood mantle; polished marble/quartz counters in kitchen with cast iron farmhouse sink; made-to-measure cupboards and island with illuminated passage for glass shelves; laundry rooms on both levels; finished basement with direct access to 1800s hand-hewn beams as drink counter and basement fireplace mantle; shelving storage room and full bathroom with heated tile that connects to the in-laws; full kitchen amenities downstairs including a hammered copper farmhouse sink with marble/Quartz countertops; three-car garage, with mower room/storage/work bench at fourth bay located adjacent to basement.
Applause! Applause! Aesthetics and design by J Lloyd Design/Janet Rupp; built 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 students from Laurel Lammers and Dun Bar.