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

10.02.10

State of the Games: Mid-way Point!

Posted in 2010 Games, Discussion, Kentucky, Logistics, My Thoughts, My Volunteering, Position Statements, World Equestrian Games at 11:42 pm by Thomas

The attendance totals for today are over 50,000 bringing the total for the Games after 8 days to just over 234,000 which is impressive when you figure at the start of September the ticket sales were not much more then that.  This is an indication of what a lot of us thought, that because of the current economic recession(NBER be damned) that everyone is not wanting to lay down their hard earned cash until they are walking in the door.

This also shows the strength of the silent majority in Kentucky that are horse people in comparison to a very negative and vocal minority that wanted to say these Games would be a failure.  Now before I get accused of putting the cart before the horse (excuse the pun) ,  we are only at the halfway point, so I will not pronounce these Games a success from the financial point of view, that will take many months to say whether a number of the short term goals that were given in that regard were met, but from the stand point of Kentucky being able to put on these Games in a manner where everyone is having a great time, and that word is getting out, and the city is not being crippled while the Games are going on, I think we all can say these Games are going better at this point then any of us could of hoped.

Now again, before anyone says I am just focusing on the things that are going well and I am not giving the total picture,  I will say I have been out to the park 7 of the first 8 days and I have seen some situations were the planning did come up short.  In one case I ended up right smack in the middle of a 30 minute oversight.  I say 30 minute because that was the time difference between when an event was expected to end and when it really did but I can also tell you, that within an hour the negative impact caused by that had been eliminated because the staff and volunteers at the Games are a very flexible and resourceful group.  So as I have said for a very long time, there is a magic with these Games that is very real and a lot of good will come out of these Games for Kentucky for a long time to come.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas Demond
KyWEGO

06.22.10

Why I still believe in the Games and Why you should to!

Posted in My Thoughts, Position Statements at 12:24 am by Thomas

There has been some news lately that tends to suggest that the Games will not be all that we were sold and the truth is there is some truth to that both to the negative and to the positive.  On the negative, ticket sales and hotel occupancy continue to lag indicating that the likelihood of having 400,000 visitors to the Games, the number that I believed to be a realistic ballpark figure after the Aachen Games, in serious doubt.  That of course puts the financial numbers in doubt as well which of course is going to be the final determination on whether the Games are successful or not.

I for one don’t believe that, but today was a tough day because I began to doubt myself on why I believe in these Games because of that possibility that the Games will be perceived as failure if we don’t hit some magic number of visitors.  The problem with self-doubt is that it tends to feed on itself and by the end of the day I had to wonder if I was crazy (and not in a good way) and had wasted the last 4 1/2 years trying to promote these Games and I should just cut my losses and walk away.

Truth be told, there is still a part of me that feels that way, its part of believing in something so much that you have to sometimes ask yourself that question, what if that belief is wrong and if that belief is wrong then is what I believe in myself wrong.  I have asked myself that question today and the answer is NO, I am not wrong for believing in myself in believing that the importance of these Games to Kentucky and to the people who attend these Games is something that nobody will understand until the Games have come and past.  The importance of these Games can not be measured in the dollars spent but in the human interactions that occur because of them.  The total number of people that come to the Games is not as important as how many of those people return home and tell their friends and family about the experiences they came away with and for those of us still here afterwards we will feel it to.

I am very thankful for Dr. Lyons having committed the financial resources of Alltech and his personal belief to see these Games be successful and in that I am happy to call these Games, The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and as a Kentuckian I am Proud to call them The Kentucky World Equestrian Games because they are our Games and on October 11th and for a long time afterwards the spirit that is Kentucky will spread around the world and much good will come from it.

One final note, my self-doubt went away when I realized that no matter what happens, when I wake up on October 11th I am still going to be a Kentuckian and there is so much to be thankful for in being a Kentuckian and so much to be thankful for in my family and friends who have been supportive in my efforts.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas Demond
KyWEGO

09.08.09

Ovation – Kentucky World Equestrian Games

Posted in Position Statements at 10:09 pm by Thomas

A simple explanation to one of our purposes for creating this and it’s sister sites is Ovation defined as “A show of public homage or welcome”.  One of if not the primary goal in our promoting the Games is to welcome the Games and all those involved to our Wonderful State as we are proud to be citizens of this great Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

I do not use the term Commonwealth strictly because Kentucky is a Commonwealth, but because I feel there is a wealth and beauty that is Kentucky that flows through all her people that binds us together and provides for our common wealth and we desire to share that for the whole World to know.

09.01.08

Celebrate Labor, 753 Days to Go. Just Do It!

Posted in 2010 Games, Announcement, Position Statements at 9:27 pm by Thomas

Happy Labor Day, you don’t probably here that often.  Labor Day is the last hurrah of the Summer and so its understandable that the idea of celebrating Labor not something we think about.  I won’t even step into the conversation of Labor = Job.  No I want to talk about the concept of Doing, of applying human mental and physical force to a task at hand and getting it accomplished, that is my broad definition of Labor.  That can be a Labor of Love or a Labor of Need, but ultimately Doing something is at the core of us as humans, pretty much because it is at the core of survival. 

So today I want to Celebrate Labor, a Labor of Love, my Labor of promoting the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010, and pursuing a goal of seeing some form of the Kentucky World Equestrian Games continue past 2010 and of seeing Kentucky’s involvement in hosting a Summer Olympic Games sometime in the future, if not in my lifetime then in my son’s. 

I prefess that these are honorable goals and I seek your support and Labor in seeing that we accomplish those goals for the benefit of all.

Thomas Demond
Founder
Kentucky World Equestrian Games .ORG

05.01.08

2008 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event sets the stage for the future.

Posted in 2010 Games, Kentucky, Position Statements, Rolex Kentucky 3 Day Event at 11:59 pm by Thomas

More then 100,000 people attended the 4 days of the 2008 Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event. This of course is a great sign for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Kentucky 2010 which will be 8 disciplines over 16 days. With the expectation that the economy will be back on the upswing by the 2010 Games it all suggests that the Games have the possibility of being more successful then most people are expecting. I still believe the success of the Games is going to be more then just economic, I believe these Games will forge a bond between the people of Kentucky and people from all over the world that will influence the future of Kentucky for Generations to come.

02.21.07

2011 National Championship of Breeds

Posted in News Worthy, Position Statements at 5:45 pm by Thomas

We had heard rumors but now it has been confirmed in a Lexington Herald Leader article that World Games 2010 Foundation has also started on plans for a National Championship of Breeds to begin in 2011. Now again we can not take credit for this development, and our idea is for the Kentucky World Equestrian Games to occur every 4 years beginning in 2015 but we certainly support there efforts. Jim Host, the Foundation’s Chairmen, expects this event to bring in hundreds of thousands of people every year.

The only thing that struck us as odd was that we have only heard the rumors about this very recently and not sure who in the Foundation initially put forth this idea though it may have been Mr. Host himself. Still the problem remains, more effort needs to be put forth in explaining to the citizens of Kentucky as to why this is important to all of them, not just the perceived notion that it only benefits wealthy horse people. Ultimately, if the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 are not successful it will be hard to get the support to put together such a large event the very next year.

Our reasoning for going all the way until 2015 before having the Kentucky World Equestrian Games was the expectation that it would some time to pull the resources together again to host such a large event. Then we did not want to run up against the Summer Olympics in 2012 or the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2014. By going with 2015 we hope it would be a qualifying event for Equestrians wanting to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics which we hope will be in Chicago. After that the 4 year cycle will keep our Kentucky World Equestrian Games occurring in the year before the Summer Olympics going forward and would allow us the time to grow the Kentucky World Equestrian Games each time proving the regions ability to host a Summer Olympics of our own.

10.31.06

Lexington 2006 Mayoral Race

Posted in Lexington, Position Statements at 11:48 pm by Thomas

Jim Newberry vs. Teresa Isaac

It has been our position not to back a particular candidate in this race because we are more interested in the positive outcome of the Kentucky World Equestrian Games in 2010 then in getting tangled up in politics. Many will say that is impossible but the plan is to avoid backing individual candidates and instead to focus on the needed legislation and planning for these games to be successful.