07.21.12

South Africa Horse Safari: Traveling There.

Posted in South Africa, Travel at 4:20 pm by Thomas

The thought of International travel can be a little intimidating at first, but in this day and age it shouldn’t be the reason that you do not travel abroad. The first order of business is to have a U.S. Passport which will cost you $135 and is good for 10 years for individuals over 16 years of age.  You will want to give yourself about 3 months lead time before your trip to get your Passport back though it is possible to get it expedited for an additional fee.  South Africa like many countries has a diplomatic agreement with the United States that allows citizens to travel there without a Visa.

As with any International Travel you will want to keep up on any potential security and health concerns.  The United States Department of State provides a great service through their website with all the relevant information for traveling abroad, here is the specific link for South Africa.  We do highly recommend that you enroll in the SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) which will provide you with updates as well as providing a way for friends and family to get in touch with you in an emergency.

Now that you have your Passport in hand and you have checked out any last minute concerns its time to buy your ticket.  There are a number of airlines that fly to South Africa as well as a number of routes you can take.  We have flown both Delta and South African and prefer South African both in cost and service.  The cost per person is going to run between $1400 and $3000 given a number of factors, primarily date of travel and how far in advance you purchase your tickets.  Given the exchange rate between the South African RAND and  the U.S. Dollar of between 6.5 and 8 to 1 currently, a trip to South Africa is quite affordable as a once in a lifetime adventure.

I will admit that I am quite bias on South Africa. I have said it before and I will say it again, there is a feeling I get when I am there and the experience has changed me for the better and always draws me back.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO

07.09.12

Then there were 3, 2018 WEG down another host bid!

Posted in 2018 Games at 8:25 pm by Thomas

It became official today, though the writing had been on the wall for some time, Wellington, Florida has announced their intention to drop a bid to be host city for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games.  We are disappointed but it is hard to be surprised by this outcome considering the political in fighting that had been on public display for the last couple of months.  Actually our primary disappointment is the with how this was handled and some feelings that Wellington should not of even submitted a bid in the first place because the dynamics that caused this failure were in place prior to the bid being submitted.

I realize my group and maybe more importantly myself will draw some fire for publicly making that statement.  I am not trying to indite the good intentions of certain individuals in Wellington, but it would seem there was a sense the other side would raise up to prevent this bid from being successful.  I have a pretty good sense of why that is, but that is totally unimportant to me, what is important, where the 2018 Games finally land and the impact that has on Kentucky pursuing either the 2022 or 2026 Games.

Currently the favorite to win the bid is Vienna, Austria for the simple fact, its Vienna.  With Wellington out though Bromont, Canada picks up some support with those wanting the Games in North America.  However Vienna effectively received the same boost when Budapest, Hungary withdrew their bid a few weeks ago.  Rabat, Morocco is the other city via for the Games, but it seems hard to in-vision them beating out Vienna.