Lexington Horsemen

Lexington Horsemen

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The Kentucky Horsemen were an indoor football team based in Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

. The team played its home games at Rupp Arena
Rupp Arena
Rupp Arena is an arena located in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, U.S. Since its opening in 1976, it has been the centerpiece of Lexington Center, a convention and shopping facility owned by an arm of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and serves as home court to the University of...

. The organization began as a 2003 expansion member of the National Indoor Football League
National Indoor Football League
National Indoor Football League was a professional indoor football league in the United States. For their first six years, the league had teams in markets not covered by either the Arena Football League or its developmental league, af2, however, that changed briefly with their expansion into AFL...

, where they were successful. After defeating the Sioux Falls Storm to win Indoor Bowl
Indoor Bowl
The Indoor Bowl is the main championship game of the National Indoor Football League. In 2001, it was played between the top two teams who survived the eight-team playoff format. Since 2002, it has been played between the Atlantic Conference champion and the Pacific Conference champion.-Indoor...

 IV, the Horsemen decided to join the new United Indoor Football
United Indoor Football
United Indoor Football was a United States indoor football league that started in 2005. Ten owners from the National Indoor Football League, including one expansion and two from arenafootball2 took their franchises and formed their own league...

 (UIF) as a charter member, where they made the playoffs, yet lost to the Sioux Falls Storm (the team they beat in their last year in the NIFL). They made the playoffs again in 2006 and made it all the way to United Bowl
United Bowl
United Bowl may refer to:* The championship game of the former United Indoor Football league from 2005 to 2008* The championship game of the Indoor Football League, which acquired UIF, from 2009 to the present...

 II; but they, again, lost to the Sioux Falls Storm. From 2008 through 2009, the Horsemen played in the af2
Af2
AF2 was the name of the Arena Football League's developmental league; it was founded in 1999 and played its first season in 2000. Like parent AFL, the AF2 played using the same arena football rules and style of play. League seasons ran from April through July with the postseason and ArenaCup...

. The team had announced intentions to compete in the new Arena Football 1 league following the dissolution of the af2, but instead ceased operations in October 2009.

Overview


During the 2007 season the Horsemen finished with an 8-7 regular season record and then advance through the playoffs to United Bowl III where they faced none other than their longtime playoff foe the undefeated Sioux Falls Storm
Sioux Falls Storm
The Sioux Falls Storm are a professional indoor football team. They are a member of the Indoor Football League. They play their home games at Sioux Falls Arena...

 they lost the game 62-59 after Collin Barber missed the potential game tying field goal as time expired. The game was Head Coach Mike Zuckerman's final game.

The team's official mascot is Spike, a hero-like horseman.

The end, but then a new beginning


On August 22, 2007 Horsemen owner Lenny House announced that the Horsemen had played their final game. They weren't averaging fans like they were once and simply lost too much money. They would join other Eastern Conference UIF teams that financially struggled during the 2007 season.

However, on October 16, 2007, House announced he had changed his mind and the Horsemen would be playing the 2008 season in arenafootball2, where they would have an in-state rivalry ("The War on I-64") with the Louisville Fire
Louisville Fire
The Louisville Fire was an arena football team that played its home games at the Brown-Forman Field in Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. They were a 2001 expansion team of the af2. Their owner/operator was former Pro Bowl lineman and Louisville native Will Wolford. The team was somewhat...

. With the move the Horsemen would get new jerseys and change the shade of blue.

Changes in 2009


The Horsemen saw numerous changes occur aft the 2008 season. Most notably, ownership changed hands from the House family to the newly formed not for profit Horsemen Charitable Foundation. The foundation was spearheaded by former Horsemen general manager Brian Boehm in an effort to keep Central Kentucky from losing yet another professional sports team.

The Horsmen will return in 2012

The End of the Franchise


Just when they were about to play in the new Arena Football 1 in 2010, the team would shut down operations due to financial situations. However, on the team's official website, a newly designed logo is shown with "Don't count us out yet!" underneath, possibly hinting at the team making a comeback.

Season-by-season



|-
| colspan="6" align="center" | Lexington Horsemen (NIFL)
|-
|2003 || 9 || 6 || 0 || 2nd Atlantic Eastern || Lost Round 1 (Ohio Valley
Ohio Valley Greyhounds
The Ohio Valley Greyhounds were a professional indoor football team. They began play in 1999 as the Steel Valley Smash, a charter member of the IFL. After the league folded, they moved to the NIFL, became a charter member, and renamed themselves as the Ohio Valley Greyhounds...

 51-42)
|-
|2004 || 10 || 4 || 0 || 1st Atlantic North || Won Round 1 (Atlantic City
Atlantic City CardSharks
The Atlantic City CardSharks were a professional indoor football team that played in the NIFL for a single season....

 54-25)
Won Atlantic Semi-Final (Houma
Houma Bayou Bucks
The Houma Bayou Bucks was a team in the National Indoor Football League . The Bayou Bucks were officially announced as a team on December 19, 2001...

 70-63)
Won Atlantic Conference Championship (Ohio Valley
Ohio Valley Greyhounds
The Ohio Valley Greyhounds were a professional indoor football team. They began play in 1999 as the Steel Valley Smash, a charter member of the IFL. After the league folded, they moved to the NIFL, became a charter member, and renamed themselves as the Ohio Valley Greyhounds...

 35-34)
Won Indoor Bowl
Indoor Bowl
The Indoor Bowl is the main championship game of the National Indoor Football League. In 2001, it was played between the top two teams who survived the eight-team playoff format. Since 2002, it has been played between the Atlantic Conference champion and the Pacific Conference champion.-Indoor...

 IV (Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls Storm
The Sioux Falls Storm are a professional indoor football team. They are a member of the Indoor Football League. They play their home games at Sioux Falls Arena...

 59-38)

|-
| colspan="6" align="center" | Lexington Horsemen (UIF)
|-
|2005 || 11 || 4 || 0 || 1st South || Won Round 1 (Evansville
Evansville BlueCats
The Evansville BlueCats were a professional indoor football team. They were a member of the United Indoor Football Association . 2007 was the 5th and final season for the Evansville BlueCats, based in Evansville, Indiana.-Location:...

 55-50)
Lost Semifinals (Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls Storm
The Sioux Falls Storm are a professional indoor football team. They are a member of the Indoor Football League. They play their home games at Sioux Falls Arena...

 62-58)
|-
|2006 || 13 || 2 || 0 || 1st East || Won Semifinals (Rock River
Rock River Raptors
This page is for the Continental Indoor Football League team, for the National Premier Soccer League team also based in Rockford, see Rockford Raptors....

 47-34)
Lost United Bowl
United Bowl
United Bowl may refer to:* The championship game of the former United Indoor Football league from 2005 to 2008* The championship game of the Indoor Football League, which acquired UIF, from 2009 to the present...

 II (Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls Storm
The Sioux Falls Storm are a professional indoor football team. They are a member of the Indoor Football League. They play their home games at Sioux Falls Arena...

 72-64)
|-
|2007 || 8 || 7 || 0 || 3rd East || Won Round 1 (River City
River City Rage
The RiverCity Rage were a professional indoor football team in the Indoor Football League. They played home games at the Family Arena in Saint Charles, Missouri, part of the metropolitan area of St. Louis, Missouri, in past seasons, played in the Scottrade Center in downtown St...

 48-33)
Won Eastern Championship (Bloomington
Bloomington Extreme
The Bloomington Extreme are a professional indoor football team and a member of the Indoor Football League. The team's name is derived from a naming rights deal with local auto dealer Extreme Motors. The Extreme play their home games at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington,...

 67-49)
Lost United Bowl III (Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls Storm
The Sioux Falls Storm are a professional indoor football team. They are a member of the Indoor Football League. They play their home games at Sioux Falls Arena...

 62-59)
|-
| colspan="6" align="center" | Lexington Horsemen (af2)
|-
|2008 || 9 || 7 || 0 || 3rd AC Midwest || Lost AC Round 1 (Green Bay
Green Bay Blizzard
The Green Bay Blizzard is a professional indoor football team, which was founded in 2003. The Blizzard began play in the Indoor Football League in 2010, after having played the previous seven seasons in af2, in the now defunct the minor league of the Arena Football League. The Blizzard play in...

 65-37)
|-
| colspan="6" align="center" | Kentucky Horsemen (af2)
|-
|2009 || 10 || 6 || 0 || 3rd AC South || Won AC Round 1 (South Georgia
South Georgia Wildcats
The South Georgia Wildcats were a professional arena football team. They were a 2002 expansion member of af2, the minor league for the Arena Football League...

 66-63)
Lost AC Semifinal (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers were a minor league arena football team that played in the AF2. The team was part of the East Division in the American conference. The Pioneers were an expansion team for the league's 2002 season, and were the runner-ups in ArenaCup VIII and ArenaCup X.-2001:The...

 82-49)
|-
| colspan="6" align="center" | Lexington Horsemen (UIFL)
|-
|2012 || || || || ||
|-
!Totals || 78 || 42 || 0
|colspan="2"| (including NIFL, UIF, & af2 playoffs)

Highlights


First Game
  • On March 29 2003, the Horsemen played their first game in front of a crowd of 10,004 in Rupp Arena. They lost to the Lake Charles Land Sharks
    Louisiana Swashbucklers
    The Louisiana Swashbucklers is a professional indoor football team formed in 2005 as an expansion member of the National Indoor Football League as the Southwest Louisiana Swashbucklers. In 2006, they moved to the Intense Football League and shortened their name to Louisiana Swashbucklers...

     41-50.


Indoor Bowl IV
  • In their second season( 2004), the Horsemen beat the Sioux Falls Storm
    Sioux Falls Storm
    The Sioux Falls Storm are a professional indoor football team. They are a member of the Indoor Football League. They play their home games at Sioux Falls Arena...

     in Sioux Falls 59-38 to win the Indoor Bowl Championship.


United Bowl II
  • Under first year QB Eddie Eviston, the Horsemen lost to the undefeated Sioux Falls Storm 64-72 in United Bowl II. The Storm still retain that streak as of July 22, 2007


Road to United Bowl III
  • After leaving the team to play for the Cincinnati Jungle Kats
    Cincinnati Jungle Kats
    The Cincinnati Jungle Kats were an af2 team that played its home games at the U.S. Bank Arena. Their only year in existence was 2007. The team is not to be confused with the The Marshals , the NIFL club that was the arena's former tenant, who changed their name to "The Marshals" and moved to Hara...

     of the af2
    Af2
    AF2 was the name of the Arena Football League's developmental league; it was founded in 1999 and played its first season in 2000. Like parent AFL, the AF2 played using the same arena football rules and style of play. League seasons ran from April through July with the postseason and ArenaCup...

     quarterback, Eddie Eviston returned to play in a July 22, 2007 playoff game against the River City Rage
    River City Rage
    The RiverCity Rage were a professional indoor football team in the Indoor Football League. They played home games at the Family Arena in Saint Charles, Missouri, part of the metropolitan area of St. Louis, Missouri, in past seasons, played in the Scottrade Center in downtown St...

    . They won the game 48-33 and advanced to the Eastern Conference championship with home field advantage.
  • In the same game, running back Rayshawn Askew
    Rayshawn Askew
    Rayshawn Askew is an American football player. A running back, he currently is a free agent. He has played for the All American Football League, United Indoor Football, Canadian Football League, Continental Indoor Football League and the National Indoor Football League.-College career:After...

     tied Hall of Fame
    Hall of Fame
    A hall of fame, wall of fame, walk of fame, walk of stars or avenue of stars is a type of attraction established for any field of endeavor to honor individuals of noteworthy achievement in that field...

     NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice
    Jerry Rice
    Jerry Lee Rice is a retired American football wide receiver. He is generally regarded as the greatest wide receiver of all time and one of the greatest players in National Football League history...

     for most touchdowns by a professional football player with 208. The following week in the eastern conference championship Askew broke the record on a touchdown catch from Eddie Eviston. The Horsemen won and advanced to the United Bowl.

Former head coaches

  • 2003 - Tony Franklin
    Tony Franklin (coach)
    Tony Franklin is an American college football coach, currently serving as the offensive coordinator for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs of Western Athletic Conference....

  • 2004-2005 - Bob Sphire
  • 2006-2007 - Mike Zuckerman
  • 2008-2009 - Mike Harmon
    Mike Harmon
    Mike Harmon is an American race car driver. Currently, he drives the #74 Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In the past, he drove in the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series, finishing 8th in points in 1997...

  • 2009 - Tommy Johnson
    Tommy Johnson
    Tommy Johnson was an influential American delta blues musician, who recorded in the late 1920s, and was known for his eerie falsetto voice and intricate guitar playing.-Early life:...


Notable players, past and present

  • Rayshawn Askew
    Rayshawn Askew
    Rayshawn Askew is an American football player. A running back, he currently is a free agent. He has played for the All American Football League, United Indoor Football, Canadian Football League, Continental Indoor Football League and the National Indoor Football League.-College career:After...

    -RB
  • Dusty Bonner
    Dusty Bonner
    Dusty Bonner is a former American football quarterback.He was a standout Harlon Hill Trophy winner in 2000 and 2001 while playing for Valdosta State University, and was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2002 by the Atlanta Falcons.-University of Kentucky:At Kentucky, Bonner was the backup...

    -QB
  • Eddie Eviston - QB
  • Antonio Hall-OL/DL
  • Derek Homer
    Derek Homer
    -High school:Homer won the Kentucky "Mr. Football" Award at Fort Knox High School in 1996. At graduation he was the most prolific running back in Kentucky high school history, with 8,224 yards on 932 carries and 110 touchdowns. He averaged 8.8 yards per carry and 164.5 yards per game rushing over...

    -RB
  • Dennis Johnson-OL/DL
  • Anthony "Champ" Kelly-WR/DB
  • J.T. Haskins - DB
  • Craig Yeast
    Craig Yeast
    Craig Nelson Yeast was a Canadian Football League wide receiver and kick returner for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Previously, he played in the National Football League from 1999 through 2001...

     - WR/DB
  • Jared Lorenzen
    Jared Lorenzen
    Jared Raymond Lorenzen is a former professional football quarterback, who is currently the commissioner of the Ultimate Indoor Football League. He most recently played for the Northern Kentucky River Monsters. He was signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2004...

     - QB
  • Shoebox Johnson - K

External links