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May 27, 2009

Graceland Stable Opens for Tours

Priscilla Presley will preside today over the opening of Elvis Presley’s Stable at Graceland for public tours for the first time ever in the storied history of Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland.

Artifacts on display as part of The Elvis Presley Stable Tour will include saddles used by Elvis and his entourage, personal western wear including chaps, hats and boots all worn by Elvis. Other items include checks and documents related to the purchase of some of Elvis’ horses, and home movie footage of Elvis on horse back at Graceland.

Built on the Southeast corner of Graceland by its original owners in 1939, the Graceland Stable currently houses four horses. After Elvis bought the 13-acre estate in 1957, he often rode his horses around the property and even up to the front gate to sign autographs for fans.

Elvis started to focus more on riding and horses in December 1966, when he purchased a horse named Domino for Priscilla, along with a variety of riding clothes and equipment for the Presley family’s equestrian activities. Shortly after Christmas, Elvis bought what would become his favorite horse, a Golden Palomino named Rising Sun. The Elvis Presley Stable eventually became known as the “House of the Rising Sun” in honor of Elvis’ favorite horse. Elvis went to great lengths to personally organize everything in the stable. His handwriting can be seen today on the wall where he wanted the tack and harnesses of each horse.

When Graceland opened for public tours in 1982 there were still five of Elvis’ original horses being cared for on the property.

• Rising Sun – a Golden Palomino American Quarter horse born in 1961.

• Memphis – a bay colored Tennessee Walking Horse.

• Moriah – Lisa Marie’s black Shetland Pony.

• Mare Ingram – a bay-colored Mixed Breed horse Elvis named for Memphis Mayor Ingram when Highway 51 in front of Graceland was named Elvis Presley Boulevard.

• Ebony’s Double – the last horse Elvis purchased for Graceland in 1975.

• Sun’s Reflection – a Golden Palomino and a distant cousin of Rising Sun who was brought to Graceland in 1988.

• Just Candy No Cash – a distant relative of Ebony’s Double having come out the same Tennessee Walking Horse bloodline.

• Max of Maine – came from a rescue unit called Six Horses Saved. Priscilla arranged to have Max come to Graceland and three moved to Virginia to a foster farm. Two remain with Six Horses Saved.

• The Blue Eyed Bandit – rescued by Fayette County Tennessee Animal Rescue, Priscilla became involved and decided to move him to Graceland.

The Elvis Presley Stable Tour will be open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

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