10.02.08

Kentucky Horse Park 2008 Media Day

Posted in 2010 Games, Kentucky, Kentucky Horse Council, Kentucky Horse Park, Media Day, United States Dressage Federation at 10:47 pm by Thomas

The Kentucky Horse Park hosted the 3rd Annual Kentucky Horse Park and National Horse Center Media Day.  For anyone in the media this is a great learning experience on all that is the Kentucky Horse Park no matter if you are in Equine media or not and I highly recommend it.  The day started out with a number of breed and discipline demonstrations in the covered arena. 

Patricia (PJ) Cooksey discussed (from horseback) the many aspects of the Kentucky Racing Commission and the changes that have been implemented this year.  She was well received and answered a number of good questions.  Dr. Nathan Slovis gave an in-depth demonstration of the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Equine Ambulance with audience participation.

It was then on to the Club Lounge for lunch with John Nicholson in which he presented his vision of unity throughout the horse industry that the Kentucky Horse Park is facilitating by currently being the headquarters of 33 Equine Organizations both big and small.  He pointed out that for every employee the Horse Park employees the private organizations there employ 3.  He also pointed out that the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be viewed by some 500 Million people around the world and that for many of them this will be their first discovery of Kentucky. 

John’s passion for the Kentucky Horse Park is always palpable and he summed up the role of the Kentucky Horse Park by saying he expects people to come to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010 and fall in love with Kentucky and that some of those people will then move their business’ to Kentucky.  There is no question that I agree with that sentiment and that these Games are the most significant thing to happen to Kentucky since the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

After lunch we received very nice Gift bags provided by the United States Dressage Foundation that had all kinds of cool stuff in them.  We then loaded onto a motorcoach sponsored by Kentucky Horse Council for a tour of the park and the ongoing construction of the new park facilities.  Currently the Horse Park is booked for 3 years into the futures and there is an event going on at the Horse Park every weekend but 2.  Nina Bonnie Blvd, the main East-Main thoroughfair through the Horse Park is going to be widened and will be the main pedestrian thoroughfair for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010. 

We saw the new indoor arena which is well underway and scheduled to be in use by June 2009 with shows allready booked for it next summer.  The arena will have seating for 7,000 with 40,000 sq ft of exhibitor space and will host the Reining and Vaulting for the Games.  We then moved on to the TRF-Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center which works to re-school racehorses and find them new homes.  Susanna M. Thomas is the Director of the Center and is a wonderful great advocate for this wonderful endeavor.  As she put it, “Every Horse has a Story”.  Our next stop was the new facilitiy under construction for the Central Kentucky Riding for Hope.  Pat Cline provided us with all the good work the CKRH does and that part of the reason for their great success was the 280 active volunteers they had last year.  As always I will say, here is another great cause for those of you looking to volunteer.

To finish up the day we headed over to the Combined Driving Event that is going on at the Horse Park through the weekend.  On our way we past the location for the new Outdoor Stadium which is starting to take shape and is on schedule to be completed next year.  It will have permanent seating for 7,500 and be expandable to hold 27,500 for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

I want to give a special thanks to Lisa Jackson who was a gracious host and provided a number of us rides to different area’s of the park at the end of the day.  I also want to thank the sponsors which allow the Kentucky Horse Park to put on this event for no charge to the Media, I for one am greatly appreciate for this opportunity.  I look forward to seeing everyone out there again next year.

Thomas