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



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


Alltech National Horse Show sets the stage for WEG 2018!

Posted in 2018 Games, Alltech National Horse Show, Dr. Pearse Lyons at 10:00 pm by Thomas

I took my family out to the Alltech National Horse Show yesterday and can say we had an excellent time.  We had tickets to both the Kentucky Savor Event in the afternoon as well as for the $250,000 Grand Prix so we had a full day at the Alltech Arena.  I was actually surprised at the crowds in the Arena, though I guess I shouldn’t as Alltech has added a lot of different events and activities in and around the Arena so there is a little something for everyone.  Again, this should not be anything that surprises me because Alltech as an extension of Dr. Lyons leadership backed by his passion and imagination looks to always learn from what they have done in the past and improve on it.  This is why I came away from the show last night being even more certain that Kentucky would be successful in winning the bid for the 2018 Games.  Alltech set the stage for what they and Kentucky have to offer for the 2018 Games, which is leadership built on a passion and imagination that has led to the success at Alltech and the success of the 2010 Games.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond


Kentucky One Step Closer to 2018 WEG Confirmation. Everyone Get Ready!

Posted in 2018 Games at 8:27 am by Thomas

The word came out late yesterday that the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) has withdrawn their bid for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games.  I am not surprised as the BEF was making lots of stipulations on what they wanted changed about the Games in order for them to host and on the time schedule we now find ourselves, the FEI wasn’t in a position to change much.  Ultimately I believe, Great Britain was the real competition we had for these Games.

So now that the British are out of the hunt, that only leaves Kentucky, Wellington and Bromont going forward.  Of course I still do not consider Wellington a viable choice because of the political situation in Wellington which is only a little less contentious then the Hatfield-McCoy Feud because nobody has died yet, though I am afraid with the amount of money involved that is only a matter of time.  Bromont is at least politically more stable but the Canadians are still dealing with the hang over from the 76 Summer Olympics, namely that it took them 30 years to pay off the debt from them.  I know there was some feeling among the Canadians that they needed to find a way to host these Games after everyone else had dropped out because they didn’t want to be blamed if the 2018 Games didn’t occur at all.  I know many are going to say that wouldn’t be a possibility, trust me, that is more a realistic possibility then you would ever get anyone in official circles to admit publicly.

Of course this all brings me to say what I have been saying since the last Games ended, that we could and would host the Games again.  Ultimately I was certain before Britain withdrew that we would be hosting the 2018 Games, this is just one more event that brings us closer to that formal conclusion and announcement in the Spring.  So I need everyone to start getting ready, as I have heard the complaints raised, to address those for the 2018 Games means you need to get involved and speak up early.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond


It’s Official, we are in the hunt for WEG 2018.

Posted in 2018 Games, News Worthy at 9:46 am by Thomas

So it’s official, FEI announced this morning that Kentucky had formally expressed interest in hosting the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games.  November 15th is the deadline for the return of the Bid Applicant Questionnaires, and then the FEI will make the announcement on December 2nd as to the host city candidates.  Those candidates will then make their formal presentations at the FEI Bureau Spring meeting and the decision will be announced at the end of that meeting.  I have not seen the date for that meeting yet but would of course suspect it will be prior to the Kentucky Rolex so expecting us to have much to celebrate then.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond


2018 WEG is knocking, lets answer the opportunity.

Posted in 2018 Games, Alltech, Dr. Pearse Lyons, FEI, Governor Beshear, John Nicholson at 11:31 pm by Thomas

The second article in a little over the week has come out touting the possibility of the 2018 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games being back in Kentucky.  This article was written by Nancy Jaffer for EquiSearch who had discussions with both John Nicholson and Dr. Pearse Lyons and all indications from those discussions were that the idea of us hosting the 2018 Games was under active consideration, though Mr. Nicholson did temper that by saying “that should not imply a decision has been made”.

Now, based on my research and discussions with others there is certainly an opportunity for us to host the 2018 Games if we so desire.  I will go as far as to say that currently the decision has been made and indicated to FEI that we are interested in hosting them.   I should and will clarify, that is NOT information that I have gotten directly from the horse’s mouth, excuse the pun, by which I mean anyone in close contact with the 3 needed principals, Dr. Lyons, John Nicholson or the Governor  Steve Beshear.  Dr. Lyons pretty much hinted though that, that is where the decision lies at the moment, that is to say the Governor is doing the political calculation on whether there would be support for it within our Legislative body to pursue a fast track formal bid.  Now the Governor is not facing re-election but I am sure he doesn’t want to start the process of us formally submitting a bid only to then have the Legislature not provide support for it when the come back into Session after the first of the year, being as this upcoming Session will be a Budget Session for Fiscal Years 2015-2016.

My best guess/gut is a formal announcement will be made this month, possibly as early as the 10th or as late as the end of the Alltech National Horse Show which would take us into early November.  If a formal announcement one way or the other isn’t made by then I would have to say that highly suggests we are not going to pursue a bid to host.  Stay tuned as you know I will be staying on top of this story.

Here is the link to Nancy Jaffer’s article.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond


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


Will the 2018 World Equestrian Games jump back into Kentucky?

Posted in 2018 Games at 10:01 pm by EPR

Will the 2018 World Equestrian Games jump back into Kentucky?

FEI to reopen bidding process for 2018 Games

By Mark Green

Eight countries initially indicated an interest in bidding for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, according to recent world news reports. The countries indicating interest were Canada, Morocco, Austria, the U.S.A., Hungary, Australia, Russia and Sweden.

The Alltech 2010 World Equestrian Games were conducted in Kentucky.

The 2010 World Equestrian Games were conducted in Kentucky.

Australian, Swedish and Russian applications were withdrawn prior to the start of the official bid process, leaving five bidders for the 2018 games – Wellington, Fla., USA; Rabat, Morocco; Bromont, Quebec, Canada; Budapest, Hungary; and Vienna, Austria.

For various reasons, all bidders but Bromont, Quebec, elected to withdraw from the final bidding process.

In July, the FEI rejected the Bromont bid and announced it would reopen the bidding process because Bromont did not provide the necessary financial guarantees on or before the day it was due to be awarded the bid for the 2018 World Games.

Because the FEI will be reopening the bid for the 2018 World Games, it seems appropriate for Kentucky to consider indicating its interest in hosting the 2018 Games.

Research studies conducted on the Alltech 2010 FEI World Games at the Kentucky Horse Park indicate a 2018 repeat performance in Kentucky is a very viable opportunity:

• In the autumn of 2010 (FY11), the Horse Park hosted the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The 16 days of the games alone had a total economic impact of $201.5 million, including $18.4 million in state taxes, according to a report commissioned by the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and conducted by Certec Inc.

• For FY11 as a whole – excluding the 2010 Games – the cabinet calculated the park’s economic impact to be $179 million, generating $14.2 million in taxes. As a result of combined events and activities held at the Kentucky Horse Park during FY11, $32.6 million in tax revenues were added to the general fund of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

• The total attendance at the 2010 Games was 507,000.

• On four days of the 2010 Games, the attendance was more than 40,000 persons.

• 96 percent of residents felt hosting the 2010 event was beneficial to Kentucky.

• 74 percent of international visitors stated they were likely to return to Kentucky as a result of the World Games.

• TV channels around the world aired 1,556 broadcasts. Total broadcast time was 474 hours.

• 38 hours were broadcast in the United States, of which 20 were live.

All research data seem to indicate hosting the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky would be a winning and financially successful idea for the FEI and Kentucky. Due to the quality facilities already in place at the Kentucky Horse Park, the financial investment and risk of hosting the 2018 World Games would likely be greatly reduced.


I have posted this from the Lane Report in its entirety, original article is by Mark Green and can be found here .


2018 WEG Biding Re-Opened – Bromont NOT Selected

Posted in 2018 Games, World Equestrian Games at 9:04 pm by Thomas

Breaking News: The announcement has just been made in the last couple of hours that Bromont Canada’s bid for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games has been turned down as it currently stands.  With this decision the FEI has been forced to re-open the bidding process for the 2018 Games but did strongly request that Bromont resubmit a bid which they said they would.

It all came down to the public financing of the Games.  “The Bromont/Montreal bid was very impressive on all technical aspects and it is hugely disappointing, both for the bid team and for the FEI, that the Bureau was unable to allocate the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 today”, FEI President HRH Princess Haya said, “but unfortunately, without the necessary financial support, the FEI and the organisers would be exposed to an unacceptable financial risk”.

No specifics were given on the new timeline for the re-bidding process.  So we will be keeping our ears to the ground to see what we hear through both the official and unofficial information channels.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond


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.


Hot Summer Updates 2012

Posted in 2018 Games, Weather at 8:53 pm by Thomas

We hope everyone is staying cool and safe, seems we maybe paying for our mild Winter with a hot-dry Summer.  Thankfully hay production was well advanced in Kentucky by our Spring weather so hay supplies should hold up.  The hope now for our pastures will rest in a tropical system coming up through Texas to provide a significant rain event through the Central U.S.

On another hot topic, the Hungarian Federation has withdrawn the Budapest bid for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games stating their support for neighboring Vienna Austria’s bid.  This leaves four(4) competing sites, Rabat (MAR); Bromont (CAN); Vienna (AUT) and Wellington (USA).  We will start our countdown for the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games after the Olympics.

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