10.11.15

2010 World Equestrian Games – 5 Years Later!

Posted in 2010 Games, 2022 Games at 9:36 pm by Thomas

This weekend marks the 5th anniversary of the closing of the 2010 World Equestrian Games, or what we of course more affectionately call the Kentucky World Equestrian Games.  Its even crazier to think that this December will mark 10 years since the announcement of us winning the bid to host the Games in the first place.  Early this year I really believed we would be working on hosting the 2018 Games at this point but that wasn’t meant to be but that has created impetuous for us to land the 2022 Games, though that push is on hold until after the November elections when we know who our next Governor will be.

The last memory I have of the Games on this weekend 5 years ago was being part of the Closing Ceremonies and Lyle Lovett signing our credentials, which are hanging on the wall beside me as I type this.  I am not a Lyle Lovett groupy but it was a nice closing note on an amazing event in my life that made for a perfect memory of the Games.  Of course I still believe I will get to make new memories of another World Equestrian Games and maybe even Lyle will make those games as well.

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

 

12.06.13

8 Years Later!

Posted in 2010 Games, 2018 Games at 8:51 pm by Thomas

I am not sure how many remember that it was this day 8 years ago when the announcement broke that Kentucky had been selected to host the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games.  And so the story began, like most there were moments when it didn’t look like we would make it, but in the end, the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games were considered a success for all involved.

So here we are today, in the hunt to host the 2018 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, of course everyone expected that at this point Bromont would be preparing to host the Games.  Bromont is still one of the 3 potential host sites but I think calling them a long shot is probably being generous.  Lexington is still the odds on favorite for all the obvious reasons, though, before I get hate mail from the Wellington faithful, I will say Wellington is going to make it a horse race.  Now I still believe this is Lexington’s to lose, but if the competing parties in Wellington can come together and show that they can work together in an extended way that gives everyone confidence that their presentation isn’t full of hot air like a Florida summer, I would certainly support them for the 2022 Games.  Now again, before I get hate mail, that is not intended as a slap at Wellington, more as a friendly challenge.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

07.27.13

Jack Kelly (2013)

Posted in 2010 Games, World Equestrian Games, World Games 2010 Foundation at 10:14 pm by Thomas

My condolences go out to the family of Jack Kelly who passed on July 24th after a long battle with cancer.  He was the CEO of the 2010 World Equestrian Games organization from 2006 to 2008 and played a significant role in laying the foundation for the success of the Games.

Funeral services for Mr. Kelly will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Clark Legacy Center at Brannon Crossing in Nicholasville, with a reception afterward.

For the complete story go to Kentucky.com.
Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO

10.01.12

The Passing of Jonathan Wentz 1990-2012

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Para-Dressage at 8:18 pm by Thomas

I am always confounded when an individual passes in the horse world that I did not know personally but at least knew of through their successes. I first want to send my thoughts and prayers to his family, I wish I had had the chance to know your son personally but I have no doubt the horse world was a better place because of his participation. I think I can safely say that Jonathan Wentz was a horse person first, Equestrian second and a person with a disability some where further down a list with many other things coming before it. I think it is also fair to say that Jonathan was able to accomplish a number of his dreams, namely competing in the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2012 London Summer Para-Olympics all by the age of 21.  So Thank You Jonathan for just being yourself and proving that any so called disability does not define who we are as human beings.

For a more in depth article on Jonathan check out the photos and article by Lindsay Yosay McCall on the United States Para-Equestrian Associations website.

Thomas Demond

09.30.12

WEG 2010 Reflections – 2014 Countdown and beyond.

Posted in 2010 Games, 2014 Games at 8:50 pm by Thomas

It’s amazing to think that it has been 2 years already since the World Equestrian Games were here in Lexington and that leaves now less then 2 years until the start of the Altech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy France.

I am going through all my old blog postings from the Games and reflecting on how much fun it was.  At this point 2 years ago I was into my forth day of volunteering, and of course was having a Great time already.  I can say 2 years on that my involvement with the 2010 Games was a Great experience that I will always remember.  I also continue to believe and see the positive impacts the 2010 Games had on Lexington and Central Kentucky.

Now onto Normandy, which if my count serves me correct is now only 692 days away.  Opening day of the Normandy Games is August 24th and they will close on the 7th of September.

I probably need to get on the ball and start looking at what the weather is like in that part of France at that time of the year.     I would assume that the close proximity to the English Channel moderates the climate.  Actually there is a lot I need to start researching for the 2014 Games now that we are within the 2 year window and everyone will start making their plans to go.

Beyond the 2014 Games, there are still many questions about the 2018 Games and the future of the World Equestrian Games beyond that point.  There are a lot of unknowns, many of which revolve around the economic outcomes of Europe over the next Decade, but I will not get into that today.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO

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®

09.25.11

World Equestrian Games Anniversary – Wonderful Memories

Posted in 2010 Games, 2026, Alltech, My Thoughts, Opening Ceremonies, Reining, World Equestrian Games at 7:45 pm by Thomas

It was one year ago today that the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010, or as you know I always refer to them as, The Kentucky World Equestrian Games started.  I went back and read the posts I made from those initial days and remembered the excitement and nervousness of that first day.

The weather today was fairly similar to what it was last year, cool in the morning but warmed up nicely later in the day.  It is all still amazingly fresh in my memory now when I think back, which I hope remains the case for the rest if my life because it was certainly one of those Great Experiences in my life.

The big news of that first day was that the turnout for the Opening Ceremonies was better then had been expected, though the expectations had been tempered by the economy.  The other big news of that day was Italy taking the lead in the Reining World Championships in the first part of that competition.

It is bitter sweet in some ways to think back to the 4 1/2 years preparing for the Games, and then they were here and gone and now another year has passed.  Though some or maybe even many people will think I am off my rocker to say definitively that the Games will again return to Kentucky, maybe not in 2018 or even 2022, but by 2026 I think we have a good shot of getting them back and you know I will be there again.

In closing on thinking back on this first day, I must as I have in the past give great thanks to many people starting with Dr. Pierce Lyons of Alltech, without whom I don’t think these Games would have taken place, and then all the staff and certainly the Volunteers without whom I do not think the Games could have been the success they were.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas Demond
KyWEGO®

09.20.11

Equestrian Events, Inc: Giving Back

Posted in 2010 Games, Equestrian Events Inc, World Equestrian Games at 9:52 pm by Thomas

I wanted to put out the word on the wonderful programs that Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) supports here in Kentucky and abroad.  For those that don’t know, EEI is the organization that produces the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Bridgestone.  EEI which itself is a non-profit, charitable organization makes donations to other charitable organizations, among that list for 2011,

Kentucky Children’s Hospital – $15,000,  primary for 2011.

Others supported during the year,

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH)

Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR)

Midway College

Boyd Martin Fire Relief

University of Kentucky Equestrian Team Fund

The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is a great event, and I highly recommend people to get out to it if they have the opportunity.  Certainly the efforts that EEI has put forth over the years in making The Rolex Kentucky such a success laid the ground work for the World Equestrian Games to come to Kentucky, so my hat’s off to them.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas Demond
KyWEGO

06.27.11

Gov. Beshear announces Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games had economic impact of more than $201 million

Posted in 2010 Games, Announcement, Business Impacts, Government, Governor Beshear, World Equestrian Games at 10:35 pm by Thomas

Report: Visitors to event came from 63 countries, all 50 states

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 27, 2011) – The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games held in 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park had an economic impact of $201.5 million, Governor Steve Beshear announced today.

“The World Equestrian Games were indeed a success and this report illustrates the positive result that our local and state governments, our sponsors, the many volunteers, the business community and the citizens of the Commonwealth working together can have.” Gov. Beshear said. “It also underscores the important role of the Kentucky Horse Park and the legacy the games will have for future years.”

Gov. Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear, Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons, Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow and Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson participated in the announcement today at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“The World Equestrian Games was a unique opportunity to reaffirm our standing as Horse Capital of the World, as well as promote tourism and business in Kentucky,” said Mrs. Beshear. “To witness the event first-hand, from its inception to the closing ceremony of the final day, I am thrilled with its success and want to thank everyone who took part in creating and executing such a tremendous, historic event for our state.”

The Alltech World Equestrian Games were held Sept. 25 through Oct. 10, 2010, the first time the international event had been held outside of Europe. The games are composed of eight events – dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, para dressage, reining and vaulting.

According to the report commissioned by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Alltech World Equestrian Games Foundation reported that it sold or provided complimentary tickets to 419,853 visitors. They came from 63 countries and all 50 states.

The economic impact took into account “direct” spending that accounted for $128.2 million. This includes guest spending at the Horse Park, lodging, restaurants, shopping centers and retail outlets.

It also considered “indirect” spending – $73.3 million – such as money spent for food and lodging suppliers, construction and other services that were needed to support the influx of guests.

The report found that $55.4 million was spent on tickets, food, souvenirs and other items at the event while $39.6 million was spent on lodging. The games also generated nearly $18.4 million in state taxes and nearly $4.6 million in local taxes, the report said.

“While these financial impact numbers are quite impressive and stronger than even anticipated, the impact extends far beyond the monetary evaluation,” said Dr. Lyons. “For years to come, our community will reap the benefits of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, from a new sense of community pride to statewide improvements and infrastructures that continue to drive tourism today.”

The study was conducted for the cabinet by Certec Inc. of Versailles. Information for the study was supplied by the World Games 2010 Foundation Inc., the Kentucky Horse Park, and the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. An online version of the report is available at http://www.kentuckytourism.com/industry/research.aspx.

“The investment Gov. Beshear and the legislature made here at the Horse Park has already made this facility the best in the nation for equine-related events and organizations,” Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. “The visibility the Games brought to our city and the investments the state made in Lexington to help our city host the Games – road improvements, a much improved gateway into our city and a new runway at the airport – have elevated Lexington’s brand as the Horse Capital of the World. The legacy and the economic impact of the Games have been remarkable.”

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games had a direct impact on passenger travel at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport. In October 2010, passenger enplanements increased by 39 percent from the previous year, according to the airport’s 2010 annual report.

The airport and its partners hosted more than 700 private and corporate airplanes, provided security for international dignitaries, welcomed more than 460 international athletes and facilitated 18 special event charter flights, said Eric Frankl, executive director at Blue Grass Airport

“It was a privilege for the airport to serve as the gateway to central Kentucky for World Equestrian Games visitors,” he said. “The airport experienced one of its busiest months in airport history as a result of the collaborative effort put forth by our airlines, airport partners and staff to successfully handle an event of this magnitude.”

###

Follow Governor Beshear on Twitter @Govstevebeshear, read the Governor’s personal notes on his blog at http://blog.governor.ky.gov/ , and view the Governor’s weekly YouTube commentary at http://www.youtube.com/governorbeshear.

10.22.10

Letter from John Nicholson; reflections on the Games!

Posted in 2010 Games, Kentucky Horse Park, World Equestrian Games at 10:17 pm by Press Release

Dear Kentucky Horse Park Family,

As all of us begin to emerge from our splendid and wonderful exhaustion,
and as the dust begins to settle . . . literally . . . I appreciate you
giving me the opportunity to share some reflections upon what I think we
would all agree was a most remarkable sixteen days.

Despite years of challenges, difficulties, tensions, angst of every
sort, and long endured struggles, all of which were largely unseen by
the world, history will record that the Alltech FEI World Equestrian
Games of 2010, conceived by, and held at, the Kentucky Horse Park, was a
triumphant success!

Throughout the many years of thinking about these Games, I simply did
not dare to dream that this event would go so well and result in the
nearly universal euphoria that we now seem to share. As a result, I am
filled with, not only great humility, but with profound gratitude, to be
associated with such a rare and remarkable group of people that made
these Games so extraordinarily successful.

In addition to the world’s best equestrian athletes, both human and
equine, there are many winners in these World Games. These winners
include, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky Horse Park,
Kentucky’s horse industry and, most assuredly, the city of Lexington.

Not surprisingly, I would like to begin with the Kentucky Horse Park.
One of the most satisfying occurrences during this entire effort was
that so many people, from so many different places in the world, were
able to witness first hand the remarkable competence, intelligence,
cleverness, and tireless dedication of the staff of the Kentucky Horse
Park. The praise for this group of people continues to be heard from all
corners. This exceptional collection of people include not only the
staff of the Horse Park, but also the staff of our Foundation and our
wonderful army of volunteers. I am not surprised, but am glad they are
being recognized for their excellence. I can tell all of you that I
consider it THE great privilege of my professional life to be associated
with every single one of my Horse Park colleagues. All of us owe them
our deepest gratitude.

In thinking of our Horse Park, it is important that we remember that the
Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games did not CAUSE the success of the
Kentucky Horse Park. The World Games are, instead, a REFLECTION of the
success of the Kentucky Horse Park. Our ascendancy has been in effect
for some years now. As a result of the urgency created by the Games, we
now have the tools to allow our Horse Park to truly fulfill its destiny.

As has been said on many occasions, the new facilities and all the
upgrades to the park were needed whether or not we ever heard of the
World Equestrian Games. And, as we predicted, these new facilities have
been extensively booked by new events and many of our long standing
events are growing dramatically. It is with this in mind, that we can
state confidently that there will be world class equine competition at
our Horse Park for decades and generations to come.

As we look forward to what promises to be an exhilarating future, it is
important that we not forget the special people who got us to where we
are today. It was gratifying that for sixteen days, tens of thousands of
people traversed upon Nina Bonnie Boulevard. One can mark the moment in
history when the Kentucky Horse Park began its rise to preeminence to
the day Governor Collins appointed Nina Bonnie to head  Commission and
to start the Foundation. I will always be grateful to her and the
Commission for hiring my mentor, Lee Cholak, whose leadership set the
stage for so much of what we have achieved. I will also always be
grateful to Lee and Nina for hiring me and giving me the opportunity of
a lifetime.

It was also during these important years that people like Alston Kerr
and Cabby Boone began to take leadership roles in the park’s
development. The great leadership that Alston and Cabby give to the park
today can be traced to the leadership of not only Nina Bonnie, but to
the many people who gave so much of themselves to the park before anyone
could be assured of its ultimate success.

In key points of its history, the Kentucky Horse Park has been blessed
to be supported and protected by special friends. There is no greater
example of this than our Governor and First Lady.

All of us know the long devotion that Steve and Jane Beshear have given
to the Kentucky Horse Park. There is something nearly Providential that
when the park entered the most critical time in its history – placing
itself upon the world stage – the Governor’s Mansion was occupied by two
of its most faithful supporters. Much of the world will never know the
critical role both of them played as the Games faced every sort of peril
and challenge. The fact that the Games prevailed in the manner that they
did is indicative and reflective of their leadership.

It is also characteristically thoughtful of Steve and Jane that they
made sure that Governor Ernie Fletcher and Glenna were deservedly
recognized for the essential role they played in securing these Games
for Kentucky. Lessor people would have not been so magnanimous and
somehow that generous gesture seemed, not only to reflect their
wonderful character, but also to embody the entire spirit of the Games.

Clearly it is not possible to discuss the success of the 2010 Alltech
FEI World Equestrian Games without expressing our enduring gratitude to
Pearse and Dierdre Lyons. Alltech has provided an event sponsorship that
is truly unprecedented and assured the success of the Games. As a native
Kentuckian, I find it as a real source of pride that the first named
sponsor of a World Equestrian Games was not one of the usual band of
international companies, but is instead, a Kentucky based company, that
is international in scope, based in our agricultural heritage, but on
the cutting edge of biotechnology. I am very proud that Dr. Lyons (both
Pearse and Mark) represent twenty-first century Kentucky to the world.

As we know, over the years the formula for success of the Kentucky Horse
Park has involved public/private partnership. We have definitely taken
that concept to an entirely new level with the naming rights agreements
that have resulted in the Alltech Arena and the Rolex Stadium. It is
fitting that these mutually beneficial business agreements involve these
particular partners. The new arena carries the name of the company that
made possible the park’s most historic event. The new stadium carries
the name of company that has a thirty year relationship with the park
and has been responsible for the park’s international reputation which
allowed us to be taken seriously as we undertook to bid on the Games.

The Games provided the occasion to celebrate and strengthen some of the
park’s most important relationships. The park staff became true partners
with the World Games Foundation staff which was charged with the actual
execution of the Games. We also solidified our close relationship with
the United States Equestrian Federation. The park renewed its many close
associations with countless breed and discipline organizations that were
present during the World Games and who have had and will have many of
their events at the park.

The Kentucky Horse Park has no prouder association than its membership
among the agencies of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, so ably
lead by Secretary Marcheta Sparrow. The Alltech FEI World Equestrian
Games provided the forum for the Kentucky Experience, one of the most
significant tourism endeavors in the history of the Commonwealth. All
Kentuckians were proud of how this pavilion presented Kentucky to world
and I was very proud that such a magnificent presentation was upon the
grounds of the Horse Park.

Kentucky was indeed a huge winner as a result of the Games. The
worldwide positive exposure was unprecedented and we have defined
ourselves to much of the world as a beautiful place inhabited by warm,
friendly people in an environment that is worthy of relocation and
business investment.

The same can be said of Lexington. Downtown Lexington has experienced
nothing less than a renaissance as a result of Spotlight Lexington,
which would not have happened were it not for the Games. The city has
experienced a surge in pride, energy and confidence.  The
Herald-Leader’s Tom Eblen noted that he lived in both Knoxville during
the time of the World’s Fair and in Atlanta during the Olympics. He
stated forthrightly that Lexington did better with these Games than
either Knoxville or Atlanta. The level of discussion about how to keep
alive the spirit of the Games within the community is simply inspiring.

The Kentucky horse industry has been change for the better as well. The
growth of the sport horse sector of the industry has given a new and
deeper meaning to “Horse Capitol of the World.” This growth is directly
related to the success of the Kentucky Horse Park and has been occurring
for several years now. The World Games is reflective of the remarkable
growth of the Kentucky Horse Park and, consequently, the growth of the
sport horse sector of the industry.

There is no longer any question but that our Kentucky Horse Park has
made the most significant contribution in memory to the advancement of
equestrian sport on this continent. There can be no question but that
our Horse Park has made an historic contribution to the international
profile of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. No one can dispute but that the
park has been an essential element in the renaissance that is occurring
within Lexington and the Bluegrass. It is now clearly evident that the
Kentucky Horse Park is at the vanguard of the movement that will make
the twenty-first century the “Golden Age of the Horse” in America.
Without doubt, the best, most exciting, and exhilarating days for the
Kentucky Horse Park lie in the future and the great spirit of the 2010
World Games will continue at the park for decades and generations to
come.

Warmest regards,

John Nicholson

10.21.10

Ticket Sales to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Top 411,000 in Preliminary Reports

Posted in 2010 Games, World Equestrian Games at 7:47 pm by Press Release

LEXINGTON, KY—A total of 411,023 tickets were sold to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, based upon a preliminary reconciliation completed Thursday by the World Games 2010 Foundation.
This includes tickets sold in 63 countries and all 50 U.S. states.  Preliminary estimates show approximately 70 percent of sales came from outside Kentucky.
Top countries represented in sales totals include Canada, Switzerland, Australia, England, Mexico, Germany, South Africa, France, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.
Total event attendance of 507,022 was calculated in a manner consistent with other major sporting events around the world. Overall attendance includes volunteers, media, staff, teams and children under the age of 12 who did not require a ticket for entry to the grounds.
“The demographic of spectators attending the Games literally spanned the globe,” said World Games 2010 Foundation CEO Jamie Link. “In the face of an incredibly challenging global economic climate, we are very pleased to have sold more than 411,000 tickets, and to have exceeded an overall attendance of one half million. The Commonwealth of Kentucky and the City of Lexington can be proud of the success of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and our achievements in showcasing equestrian sport and the Kentucky Horse Park to audiences around the world.”
Approximately 600,000 tickets were available for purchase to the Games.

10.19.10

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games By the Numbers

Posted in 2010 Games, Business Impacts, World Equestrian Games at 6:06 pm by Press Release

LEXINGTON, KY—In addition to an incredible host city and state, the world’s best athletes, and the friendliest volunteer workforce in the world, it took a lot to stage the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Here’s a look at the 16 days of September 25 through October 10, by the numbers:

507,022 attendees
16,800 feet of bike barricade
8 miles of linear fencing
396 temporary structures
70 temporary power generators
59 miles of electrical cable
20,000 temporary seats
more than 11,000 signs placed around the park
500 flags
30,000 feet of extension cord
632 athletes
752 horses
58 countries
More than 100,000 servings of Kentucky Ale brand beers poured
1,734 Maker’s Mark bottles dipped in red wax at the station inside the Kentucky Experience
175,220 pounds of recyclable and compostable materials removed from the park
56 percent of waste diverted from landfills through green initiatives
500 temporary toilet facilities
7.6 million page views to the Games web site from September 25 through October 10
193 countries represented in web site visitors
62,707 school children visited the Games thanks to Alltech
79,802 Facebook fans…and still counting!
6,000 AWESOME volunteers
1.1 million meals served to spectators, staff, athletes and volunteers
112,368 cars parked
326,260 trips to and from the Games taken through the main entry transport mall
16,000 caps, 5,000 walking sticks, and 1,000 saddle pads sold in the merchandise store
11 months– youngest credentialed person; the son of press officers John and Heather Strassburger

10.11.10

Closing Ceremonies… My thoughts.

Posted in 2010 Games, Closing Ceremonies, My Thoughts, World Equestrian Games at 10:25 pm by Thomas

As a thank you for those of us who worked so hard as volunteers we were offered the opportunity to participate in the Closing Ceremonies of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010.  I thought this was a nice gesture to those of us that had been so passionate about these Games that we put in many days volunteering.  As with most Closing Ceremonies, they were a lot less formal then the Opening Ceremonies, the only real formality was when HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein read the formal declaration that closed the Games.  I know from some of those that payed full price for the tickets, the Ceremony was a little light for what they paid, though the Lyle Lovett concert that was part of the Closing was very good, and the fact that the spectators were able to come down into the Stadium to be down right in front of the stage was a bit of a bonus.  I certainly enjoyed it though it was bitter sweet to think that it was over after 4 1/2 years of seemingly thinking about it everyday.  Now I am thinking about what it would be like if we do get it back in 8 years, which at this point I would have to say we are the odds on favorite to get it

HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein

10.10.10

Attendance to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Tops Half Million

Posted in 2010 Games, World Equestrian Games at 9:35 pm by Press Release

LEXINGTON, KY—Day 16—By the closing day of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, total attendance topped half a million.
Sunday’s attendance came in at 38,682, bringing the total for the event to 507,022.

“We are incredibly pleased with the number of spectators who have joined us at the Games over these 16 days,” said World Games 2010 Foundation CEO Jamie Link. “We are overwhelmed with the positive comments and remarks we have received about their experiences on the park, viewing competition, and with our volunteers.  By their measure, these Games have been a great success.”

Daily attendance totals avereaged from 25,000 to 35,000 throughout the event.    The biggest days on the park occurred on October 1, when 46,496 attendees packed the park on a day that concluded in a fantastic Dressage Freestyle competition under the lights of Rolex Stadium; as well as October 2, when Eventing Cross Country brought 50,818 attendees to the grounds.

Attendance was bolstered by several sold-out rounds of competition, including reining, vaulting, and dressage and para-dressage sessions.

Attendance figures include media, athletes, and volunteers who entered the grounds daily, in addition to tickets spectators and children under the age of 12 who did not require a ticket for entry on most days of competition.

Exell Makes Australian History In Driving World Championships At Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Posted in 2010 Games, Combined Driving, Disciplines, Results, World Equestrian Games at 9:31 pm by Press Release

Lexington, KY—Boyd Exell accomplished something today that no other Australian has ever done at a previous Driving World Championships—he won the individual gold medal, at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

With one ball down in the obstacles phase, held in front of a packed Driving Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park, Exell (134.04) edged Ijsbrand Chardon of the Netherlands (135.24) and Tucker Johnson of the United States (150.06).

Johnson is the second four-in-hand driving medalist in the history of the U.S. team, and he led teammates Chester Weber (who was the first U.S. individual medalist, winning individual silver in 2008) and James Fairclough to the team silver medal (330.92). This is the second team silver medal this trio has won at the World Equestrian Games. (The first was in 2002.)

Chardon, a four-time individual world champion, led the Netherlands to the team gold medal (279.77), the third time they’ve won the team gold medal in the World Equestrian Games. Germany moved up to the bronze medal (322.20) when Tomas Eriksson of Sweden was eliminated for going off course and took his third-placed team with him.

Exell closed out these World Games as the only Australian gold medalist. “I know it sounds like a cliché to say this, but it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Exell, who drove these championships with a broken left hand, suffered in a riding accident the week before they began.

In 2008, Exell won the individual bronze medal at the Driving World Championships, behind Chardon and Weber. “To get five horses and all the people and your equipment just right for one weekend is a huge task, and we’ve been trying to do it for 10 years. You get to the point where you can do it regularly, like we have, and then you have to be lucky to win.”

Exell, 38, added, “I left Australia at 21 and said I wasn’t coming home until I won the World Championship.”

Johnson, 46, said again that this would be his final world championship, that he is retiring from international competition.

“I won’t change my decision. We’ve all three been doing this for a long time, and it’s time for me to move on,” Johnson said. “This felt good. Not everyone gets a chance to end something on such a high note. It was a grand end to a lot of experiences.”

All three team members said that the World Equestrian Games being in Lexington had spurred on the team’s performance.

“Our program and our team—along with the program at the U.S. Equestrian Federation—all came together for this medal here,” said Fairclough.

“It’s been a whole group effort, and you feel like the whole nation is behind you here,” said Johnson.

Weber believes that the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will have a lasting effect on driving in the United States. “There’s a future of driving in the U.S. because of these games,” he said. “Having the WEG here really got us going, and now, with Tucker leaving, Jimmy and I are looking forward to being the foundation of our team in the future.”

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