05.31.17

Rolex has left the building!

Posted in 2026, My Thoughts, Rolex, Rolex Kentucky 3 Day Event, World Equestrian Games at 9:33 pm by Thomas

The news came out today and I can’t say I didn’t know it was the likely outcome but the reality that Rolex is no longer the title sponsor of, “The Kentucky Three Day Event”, which just doesn’t have the ring of “The Rolex” is bitter sweat.  My first Rolex was 1994 and I always dreamed of getting to compete there but life had other plans, I would still like be an outrider there one of these years.

The upside to this news is it does clear the way for the Kentucky Horse Park to win back the FEI World Equestrian Games because the agreements Longines had with the FEI would not allow the Horse Park to host the Games while Rolex had the agreements it did with the Horse Park.  The reason for this was a clause in the Longines/FEI agreement that required “clean/clear” venues, meaning no Rolex signage or mention anywhere is the simple non-legal explanation.

My sincere hope is that letting Rolex go was with the specific intent of winning the 2026 Games, for me I guess its more then hope, its an expectation that I am going to do all I can to see fulfilled.

 

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

08.31.16

WEG Roller Coaster

Posted in 2018 Games, My Thoughts, Tryon at 10:02 pm by Thomas

First, let me apologize for not having posted earlier in the month as the news was breaking in regards to Lexington and the 2018 Games.  In reality its been a busy couple of months and I knew I would need some time to put my thoughts together in a coherent way.  Obviously I was disappointed(again) when the news came out that Kentucky would be passing on making another bid for the 2018 Games.  In some ways I can’t blame that State, we made a legitimate bid last year when things initially fell through for Bromont and the FEI still went back and gave the Games to Bromont anyway.  Yes, the clean venue clause that Longines has with FEI was the reason given for us not getting the Games and on face value that was a hurdle and everyone just excepted that, but in reality I think if the FEI had wanted to clear that hurdle it could of been cleared, certainly the FEI knew of that hurdle before Lexington made its bid, so why even have Lexington make the bid in that case.  Ultimately I do not know the answers to that and even though I have my theories, to speculate on that in a public forum doesn’t serve any good purpose and my ultimately goal remains the success of the Games overall as well as their return to Kentucky.

Now some of my disappointment is self inflicted in that I believe you have to keep a positive attitude about things if you want them to succeed.  Sometimes I am accused of being overly positive, which is funny because I fancy myself a very logical person who prides himself on being able to look at a scenario from all sides.  So in reality I was disappointed but not surprised because there is a lot of competing things going on in the Commonwealth and for the powers that be, there probably isn’t an upside for them to us hosting the Games, certainly not as much upside as potential downside for them.

All of what I have just written is the past now, I have had an excellent summer even with the disappointment of us not getting WEG for 2018 which when you think about it means my life is pretty great and I am very blessed so I continue to move forward with the purpose to improve the lives of those around me and of this great Commonwealth.

Now what I did find to be a happy surprise was the announcement of the bid by the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina to host the 2018 Games.  The Tryon International Equestrian Center is a very new facility that only first opened the summer before the last Games occurred in Normandy and apparently there is some chatter that the developers plans were to bid for the 2022 Games which makes really good sense.  Here is the Google Maps view of the Center , if you compare it to the Kentucky Horse Park it looks about half the overall size but its actually listed at 1,500 acres compared to the Horse Park’s 1224 acres.  Of course a large portion of the Tryon acreage is wooded, almost like somebody was trying to hide the fact that they were building a world class Equestrian Park, I am only half joking as it would seem they didn’t want to get the word until the had the park completed though they have been hosting events there, almost as test runs as they build out the rest of the park.  Now I do not know Mark Bellissimo who heads up the Tryon Equestrian Partners, but I will say at this point my hat is off to them for this endeavor and not only do I wish them much success, I will support them anyway I can.

Now for most people who know me, I probably don’t need to make this next statement, but for those who do not and think I am doing a dis-service to the Kentucky Horse Park by saying I will support Tryon with all the resources I can muster, understand my first responsibility is to the horses themselves because there is no place I am happier then being around horses and events like WEG put horses in front of people who might not otherwise know the majesty of the horse.  As the population of the world has grown and technology has taken us away from nature the percentage of people who know horses has dropped significantly and I do fear for a world that one day has no horses.  On that note I probably need to close this post before I get too philosophical and end with what is probably my favorite quote;

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man!

I will be back sooner then later with more on the Tryon Center, our plans of support and the other potential contenders for the 2018 Games.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

06.30.16

Olympic Impact on the 2018 Games

Posted in 2018 Games, My Thoughts, Olympics, Rio 2016, Summer Olympic Games at 4:32 pm by Thomas

The Olympics generate lots of news both good and bad that can have all sorts of down stream effects on events coming afterwards.  Now to what effect all the negative press for the Rio 2016 Olympics is having on Bromont’s work in preparing for the 2018 World Equestrian Games, no one can say for sure but you will find no one that would say its having no effect because it shows the perils of hosting Global events and certainly provides ample ammunition to Bromont and WEG’s detractors.

With all that said I am still cautiously hopeful that the 2018 Games will be successful and that Kentucky will pursue and land the 2022 or more likely now the 2026 Games.  I say that last part because I very much suspect that there are significant powers looking to get the Games down under in Australia or back to Europe and our current political situations make it unlikely that we will even pursue a 2022 bid.  I would certainly love to see us go for and get the 2022 Games, BUT, and I put that in caps because I feel its a big but, I have to be a realist and pursuing the 2022 Games might not be in the best interest of Kentucky because the odds maybe already stacked against us and we would be spending resources that would be better saved for the 2026 bid which I really feel will have to be a do or die kind of effort.

Next month I will have more on what I feel the plan should be to get the Games back to Kentucky!

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

02.29.16

Leap Year 2016: A Day

Posted in My Thoughts at 11:56 pm by Thomas

As today is an extra day of sorts, I thought I would use it to stray from my normal discussions that revolve around the World Equestrian Games or horses in general.  Not to say I haven’t strayed before but in a way this day is meant to be a day we should all use for things out of the ordinary.  I for one am a geek, I like to say I got into computers to pay for my horse habit, which is very much the truth.  So for me I took a day of vacation, because as I look at it, its an extra day in the year I should enjoy it.  Now that isn’t to say I didn’t do work today or that even my nine-to-five job from which I took a vacation day I do not enjoy and would call work a four letter word, though technically it is, my point being is, I took a vacation day not so much to get away from work as to explore the idea of taking a day to consider what a day represents.  I didn’t ride today but I did get to ride yesterday because of taking today off so that got this day started off right.  I don’t know that I would say today was Earth shattering but it did have its moments of clarity in a number of areas.  In regards to my efforts in seeing the Games come back to Kentucky, it certainly has given me solace to continue, not that I was really looking to stop but at times I have to wonder if I am the only person who really thinks this is important, I know that’s not the case but others tend to be much more reserved in being public about it.  In my case I have come to realize that is my purpose, to be an advocate for returning the Games to Kentucky and that requires me to be public in this way.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

12.30.15

2015 Year End Review: 10th Year

Posted in 2018 Games, Breeders Cup, My Thoughts, Thoroughbred Racing, World Games 2010 Foundation at 11:10 pm by Thomas

As I look back on 2015 I am reminded of why this site came into existence, ten years ago this month the announcement was made that Kentucky had won the right to host the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games.  As Lexington Kentucky is consider the Horse Capital of the World I dubbed them the Kentucky World Equestrian Games and launched this site as a means to put my talents to use supporting those and future Games.  The 2010 Games are of course a bit more then 5 years in the past now though I still believe their impact is felt in this region.

The big example for this year was the 2015 Breeders Cup, which myself and others feel has a direct connection to the 2010 Games, even those who say the Breeders Cup would have eventually come to Lexington with out us hosting the Games can’t deny that the Games at the very least brought it here sooner then it otherwise may have naturally occurred.   I actually tend to disagree with that as it doesn’t really make sense that it should take the Breeders Cup 31 years to come to Keeneland considering the history and importance of this track but I know there are individuals who can make the argument why Keeneland hadn’t and my response to them then is, then why now, what changed, after a moment of their puzzlement, I say, the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games is what happened.

Though we didn’t win the bid in 2014 to host the 2018 Games, Bromont’s win was still viewed as a plus because it again brought the Games to North America, so we were disappointed to hear recently that there are some questions about the integrity of the final proposal in regards to the final document submitted by the Mayor of Bromont.  The current information on the investigation can be found here.  Our hope is this is more a technicality in that not all the details were clearly documented as opposed to a more blatant omission of who was ultimately responsible for the financial requirements of the Games.

Looking forward to 2016, we hope we can be more involved in continuing the case to our new Governor to submit a bid for the 2022 Games.  On a personal note we are leading our county 4-H Horse Program and are looking forward in being involved in the next generation of horse industry leaders.

Happy New Year 2016!

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

11.01.15

2015 Breeders Cup – Legacy of the 2010 Games

Posted in 2022 Games, Breeders Cup, My Thoughts, National Horse Show, World Equestrian Games at 8:08 pm by Thomas

The 2015 Breeders Cup is in the books and by all indications it was a Hugh success and the talk has already begun about Keeneland hosting it again within the next 10 years.  At the same time the Breeders Cup was going on, the National Horse Show was also going on at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.

I will let the sink in, that is 2 signature horse events going on the same week in Lexington, Kentucky, amazing when you thinks not all that many years ago no one could imagine the National Horse Show leaving New York and coming to Kentucky.  What maybe even more telling was the fact that even though Lexington is considered the Horse Capital of the World and that is especially true for the Thoroughbred breed, Keeneland wasn’t considered for the Breeders Cup because it wasn’t thought the track and the surrounding infrastructure was up to the task of what many in the Thoroughbred World consider the signature event for Thoroughbreds, more so then the Derby because that is looked upon as a single race largely geared towards the public persona of the breed, and truth be told I can’t think of another event of any kind that does for its particular subject what the Derby does for the Thoroughbred Racing.  The Breeders Cup is much more about the trainers and their business and as such the event is much more like the Oscars for Thoroughbred Horse Racing then is the Derby.

If it isn’t obvious, what I am saying is that these are two really big events in the horse world and yet they have only recently come to Kentucky, and of course I have a theory on that.  The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games paved the way for these events by demonstrating both the logistical capabilities and the personal strengths of Lexington.  I will of course have my detractors on that theory but even they can’t totally say the Games played no role in those events coming to Lexington just based on the public record.  Ultimately whether you want to believe my theory or not Lexington and the Commonwealth of Kentucky continue to strengthen our claim as the Horse Capital of the World and I very much suspect that will bring the World Equestrian Games back to Kentucky in that not too distant future.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

01.01.15

Happy New Year: \^*^/2015\^*^/

Posted in My Thoughts at 12:44 am by Thomas

Happy New Year to all horse and non-horse people a like.  I hope 2015 brings you much success and joy, and for us horse people, many sunset rides.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

12.07.14

Happy 9th Anniversary!

Posted in My Thoughts at 9:15 pm by Thomas

It was 9 years ago that it was announced that Kentucky had landed the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, to be named later the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010, and I launched my endeavor to support those Games.  This blog in its current format however wasn’t deployed until the 20th of that same month and I would of never imagined that 9 years would go by so fast.  My hope of course is that in another 3 years we are talking about our successful bid for the 2022 Games as well as counting down to the 2018 Games in Bromont.

I would be a miss if I did not honor another anniversary on this date, the 73rd Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor which thrust our country into World War II and the Greatest Generation that gave their all to protect this Great Country.  Without that Generation, some of which were my Grand Parents and friend’s Grand Parents I suspect things would be very different today and I doubt I would have the luxury to create this blog or maybe, the internet would not exist at all.  So my hat is off and I salute all those that have come before me to make this country the great nation that it is.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO

02.16.14

Year of the Horse

Posted in My Thoughts at 9:58 pm by Thomas

Interestingly enough, on the Chinese calendar, this is the “Year of the Horse” which of course I take as a good sign for Kentucky, but really everyone should take as a good sign for a year.  The horse is a very noble and inspiring creature so that holds great promise for this year.  Of course what I suspect most of us are hoping for in this new year, is warmer weather, not that we should be too surprised by getting an old fashioned snowy winter from time to time.  Now I believe in the old adage, that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and this weather will soon give way to a beautiful Kentucky Spring that will smell that much sweeter when the Dogwoods are in bloom.  For me I am waiting with great anticipation for the warm weather of Spring and the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event which for us represents the kickoff to so many horse events and activities.  So just remember, Spring is only 32 days away and you have the endurance of the horse on your side to make it to the finish of the marathon winter.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO

01.16.14

Look Forward & Always Remember What We Have!

Posted in 2010 Games, 2018 Games, John Nicholson, Kentucky Horse Park, My Thoughts at 11:53 pm by Thomas

First, I will start off by saying Happy New Year, you may say I am a little late but I have learned you need to savior the New Year and give Thanks to the old before moving on.  I am thankful for many things in life, my family and friends first and the many people who cross my path if even but once but who give a piece of themselves to me.  In that regard I want to give thanks to Mr. John Nicholson for his service over the years at the Kentucky Horse Park, though we have never met but in passing, his influence and the events he has put in motion have certainly provided a unique and positive environment in which to grow in certain aspects of my life.  I wish him a well deserved, long and healthy retirement, and hopefully I will get the chance to shake his hand one day to convey my appreciation for all he has done.

Now, before shifting gears on to my resolutions, let me speak to the other side of the coin regarding Mr. Nicholson’s retirement.  I have had discussions with some today on that very topic in regards to what it means for our bid for the 2018 Games.  Again, I do not know Mr. Nicholson personally, but have listened to him enough and seen his actions to think to offer some insight into the impact of his decision which I believe he made fully with the best interest of the Horse Park in his decision.  He certainly has earned his retirement and whether we get the 2018 Games or not will certainly not diminish that and as I still believe we will be successful in our bid that will certainly be a testament to the position he has put the Horse Park in.  His stepping aside now allows for the selection of a new Executive Director with enough time before the formal bid to give that individual the time to get comfortable in their new position but not too comfortable.  My take on Mr. Nicholson would have been had he still been around in June, he would not have felt he could step down until after the 2018 Games and that would of been a lot to ask of the man, because for someone like him, preparing for the Games isn’t a job it’s a total immersion that touches every aspect of your life.  So ultimately I see his retirement as a well thought out decision with the most positive possible out come for the Horse Park.

My resolutions are simple and straight forward.  I will continue to work towards always being a better person as I get older and to be thankful for all that I have in my life.  A significant part of that will be to do what I can to be a positive influence on the conditions in Kentucky.  In regards to what I am doing here that means being dedicated to seeing Kentucky host the World Equestrian Games again and for that to be a positive to the people of the Commonwealth.

One final resolution or maybe I should call it a proclamation.  I still continue to believe that we will be successful in winning the bid to host the 2018 Games but if we are not it will not trouble me for a day because I will be working towards seeing us host at some other date in the future for Kentucky is the Horse Capital of the World as we have been blessed by the horse.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO
Thomas_P_Demond

 

09.25.13

3 Years Later, ready to do it all over again!

Posted in 2018 Games, My Thoughts, The Lane Report at 11:21 pm by Thomas

Its been exactly 3 years since the start of the 2010 World Equestrian Games and I am blown away by how quickly that time seems to have gone by.  This December will mark 8 years since the announcement that we had won the right to host the Games.  A lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated people occurred between that announcement and this date 3 years ago.  I played a small part during that time as well as volunteering for 12 of the 16 days of the Games and was/am proud of my participation and humbled by the experience all at the same time.  Of course I am ready to do it all over again and as much as I have talked about the possibility of us getting it back, most time I felt a bit alone in that endeavor.  I do know that it took a lot out of a lot of people but I have always believed after some time the true positives of us hosting the Games would be what people remembered and that a spark would ignite the fire again to seek them once more.

This week I believe that happened, Mark Green of The Lane Report wrote a piece on the idea of Kentucky getting the Games back for 2018, which of course is sooner then even I dreamed anybody would suggest.  First let me say, part of my excitement, and my wife can attest that I was actually excited after reading Mark’s article, was just knowing I wasn’t totally alone in believing that I would live to see the Games back in Kentucky again, and I believe that to the point of knowing it in my heart and soul.  What takes the excitement even to a higher level is that this was an article published by The Lane Report which by all standards I have seen over the years is a well read and well considered publication both in and out of the Commonwealth.  Now I have to assume they, meaning the editors who had to approve Mark’s article, had to feel it had some merit and interest to their readership because its a publication that likes and needs to be taken seriously to stay in business because there is a significant segment of the business community in this area that looks to The Lane Report for some level of guidance in how and where business in this area is going.  Obviously more then a few business leaders read this article and stopped to ponder the implications of what if we did get the Games back in 2018.  I highly suspect those editors at The Lane Report are well aware of the implications of such pondering because successful business leaders will tell you that a key to being successfully is having a plan that runs 5 to 1o years out in the future and being prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

I know we may not get the 2018 Games, but my plans go out much farther then that so I won’t be disappointed if they are not here in 2018 because I will know I am still that much closer to seeing them back, One Day!

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

09.01.13

Bringing WEG back to Kentucky.

Posted in 2026, Governor Beshear, Kentucky Horse Park, My Thoughts, Position Statements at 8:44 pm by Thomas

By now I would assume anyone who has read my blog from over the last almost 8 years, can guess I have a high degree of interest in seeing the World Equestrian Games back in Kentucky again.  Now after what I heard last Saturday at the Kentucky State Fair I think I need to re-emphasize that.

It was the Saturday Night of the World’s Championship Horse Show, which is the big night and its not unusual for a sitting Governor to be there to present an award, this year was a little different.  The Governor seemed to be doing a stump speech, though not really sure why, but he was going on about how Kentucky is the Horse Capital of the World and how much money this particular week long show brought in.  Now let me stop before anyone thinks my intention is to bash the Governor, absolutely not, I like Steve Beshear and the First Lady Jane Beshear who is quite an accomplished horse person in her own right.   I will go as far as to say I voted for Governor Beshear, not saying I agree with all his policy positions but certainly think he provides a balance and direction to the Commonwealth that has helped it to weather the economic storm of the last 7 years.  I just wish that as the Governor he would openly say that he would like to see the World Equestrian Games back in Kentucky again and at least set the ball in motion considering he realizes how important it for Kentucky that we are the Horse Capital of the World.

So the point I want to drive home is, we are the Horse Capital of the World and we should make it known that we desire to hold the World Equestrian Games every so many cycles, in my opinion, no more then every 16 years  with an average of 12, meaning sometimes 8 years and sometimes 16 years.  To me it seems a no brainer, there were significant capital improvements made to the Kentucky Horse Park and the infrastructure surrounding it.  Those type of capital improvements have a life span just like anything does, I would argue they have a half-life of 16 years meaning if we hosted the Games again by 2026 most of that infrastructure should still be usable having been maintained as part of the standard ops of the Horse Park.  Now, I would certainly love to have comments from Architects and Engineers as well as City Planners on where I am right and wrong in that generalization but I am more right that wrong for the sake of my argument, and that argument isn’t whether I am crazy or not, that was settled a long time ago in regards to this.  In some ways its no longer an argument on whether the Games are coming back to Kentucky, I will find a way to get them back here because I do believe with all my soul that it is very important to Kentucky and maybe even our responsibility as the Horse Capital of the World to be part of the global rotation that holds the Games, and that is another topic for another post, the idea that there should be set of established host locations, but again, topic for another post.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO

03.31.13

Spring has Sprung

Posted in My Thoughts at 9:09 pm by Thomas

Finally Spring seems to be upon us, which is a good thing considering the opening day of Keeneland is only 5 days away and Rolex less then 4 weeks.  While we are counting down, the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games is only 511 days away but that topic I will take up another day, back to Spring in Kentucky.

Spring in Kentucky is always a magical time, the transformation from the browns of Winter to all the amazing colors of plants and trees blooming is one to behold.  Of course there is also the many new foals frolicking around enjoying their first Spring.  Everyone of those foals is a living thing that embodies the hopes and dreams of someone, whether that is a Backyard Owner or a Thoroughbred Trainer hoping to win the 2016 Kentucky Derby.  For me this is my 30 Spring in Kentucky and I always feel so blessed to get to experience this renewal each year because it is something I feel deep in my soul.

01.01.12

Happy New Year: 2012 Attitude Affects Altitude

Posted in My Thoughts at 12:16 am by Thomas

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year for 2012.  May it bring more positive change for your life then negative.  I do believe that 2012 will be a year of much change and I know that some of that change may have negative implications on many of us but I do truly believe that our personal attitudes affects our altitude when going over rough terrain.  So everyone keep your heads up and your eye’s forward and I will see you on the other side of 2012.

Kentucky Colonel

Thomas Paul Demond

10.12.11

I have connected Google Plus to my Kentucky World Equestrian Games Ovation blog,…

Posted in My Thoughts at 2:42 am by Administrator

I have connected Google Plus to my Kentucky World Equestrian Games Ovation blog, so this is a test post to see it in action.

KyWEGO®

Google+: View post on Google+

Post imported by Google+Blog. Created By Daniel Treadwell.

10.10.11

One year has past…

Posted in 2010 Games, My Thoughts, World Equestrian Games at 11:14 pm by Thomas

Today marks one year since the close of the Alltech 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games.  At the start of the Games there was a question of whether they would be a success, by the end I think the general consensus was that they were at least a success from the “on the ground” prospective.   When the final economic report came out, the overall numbers were also positive as far as the local economic impact.  One year past I still get the sense from talking to people that the positives outweighed the negatives but there isn’t a real urgency to try and get the Games back for 2022 and certainly not 2018.  That I do find a bit disappointing but, I will work to change that prior to 2016 when we would need to submit a bid for the 2022 Games.

As always I want to thank everyone who has and continues to support me in this endeavor, even when it seems all an uphill battle.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas Demond
KyWEGO®

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »