10.30.18

State of the Games 2018 – Short Version – No 2022 Games

Posted in 2018 Games, 2022 Games, 2026, Tryon at 9:28 pm by Thomas

It’s been 8 years since Kentucky hosted the Games and the question I keep getting is will we get the Games again.  I am of course optimistic that we will though the clock is running because the longer we wait, we loose the benefits of previously hosting them.  When I say them most people figure I am talking the capital investments in that people feel for these kind of events you have to have brand new facilities. I disagree a bit with that assessment but the bigger loss is in personal capital, the people involved in planning the event and all those involved in the actual event, including an army of volunteers that was trained.  Certainly the loss of Dr. Lyons early this year was a blow in many ways but there are certainly other Kentuckians who can pick up that torch and carry it so I certainly don’t see his loss as something that should prevent us from ever hosting the Games again, and I am sure he would be disappointed in a number of us if that was ever to be the case.  I said this was going to be the short version, so let me get to where I see the Games since the Games at Tryon have completed.

I will say right off the bat that the Games at Tryon did not go as I had hoped.  It has always been important to me that the Games be successful no matter where they were held.  This has never been a competition between Lexington and any other host city, this has always been a hope that the next Games would build on the prior.  That Lexington learned from Aachen and then Normandy learned from Lexington and Tryon learned from Normandy and so on and so on.  In my mind that is a key component to how I judge the success of any particular set of Games.  In general I believe Aachen, Lexington and Normandy were a success in that the overall sentiment was positive and you had that sense of building something.  Now before everyone assumes I am going to say Tryon was not a success and that I am going to pile on to the negative press that did arise from these Games, I am not.  It serves no purpose in what I want to accomplish which is the continuation of the Games and the desire to bring the Games back to Kentucky.  With that said, let me layout where we are and where we need to go from here.

The first thing everyone needs to remember is that Tryon was not the original host and certainly to get into that would not make this the short version of what I wanted to provide.  The reason I bring that up is because if Tryon hadn’t stepped in there may of not been a Games at all but in doing so Tryon was taking on hosting a highly complex event in what was really too short of a time frame.  The leadership at Tryon had to be optimistic about what they were promising because to be realistic would of cost them the support to have probably pulled off what they did, which at some level was a bit of a miracle.  Now with that said, I will say there were some areas where I think the leadership may have believed their own optimistic PR and didn’t really plan with reality in mind.  In those cases I will say they over promised and under delivered and I will not excuse them of that.   I am actually going to stop there because my real interest is in where this leaves us going forward.

First I think the FEI needs to have a real hard look at itself and determine if they as an organization have the passion to provide the leadership that is needed for the WEG to continue.  Now I am sure a few of you that know me are saying, WTF, that I would suggest that the WEG is not viable because of the FEI, actually, I can’t and I am not saying that, only the FEI can make that determination and it has to on the basis of what is best for the individual sports and those involved.  The situation with Endurance is a clear example and there is no way to spin that, that doesn’t leave the sport of Endurance in a tough spot because of some real harm that was done to the sport and I think that will take some time and effort to repair.

As of now no host for the 2022 Games has been selected and this presents a significant challenge for a pair of reasons.  The obvious of course is the same problem Tryon found themselves in, lack of time.  When Kentucky won the Games early in December of 2005 that gave us a little less then 5 years to get everything done, but what a lot of people never realize is how much planning had already been done at the one of a kind facility that the Kentucky Horse Park already was.  The second reason is that who ever would host the 2022 Games has lost the chance to really get a behind the scenes look at the running of the actual event while its going on and you are actually able to take your initial plan and do some simulations against a real event in real time.

So where does that leave us, my recommendation would be that we take a break and not have the Games in 2022 with the intent to make the 2026 Games a true showcase of what Equestrian Sport is, a sport like no other, because no other sport involves the relationship of two life forces like that of a human and a horse.

I appreciate all of you who took the time to read my short version.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

11.24.17

FEI forced to re-open 2022 World Equestrian Games bidding process after sole candidate Šamorín withdraws

Posted in 2022 Games at 11:01 pm by EPR

As Reported by Inside the Games

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has been forced to re-open the bidding process for the 2022 World Equestrian Games after sole candidate Šamorín withdrew from the contest.

The Slovakian city had been due to stage the event after American city Lexington pulled out of the race in January.

But Šamorín refused to sign the host city contract despite “lengthy discussions” with the FEI.

A host city for the event will be announced at the FEI Bureau meeting in Manama in November of next year.

Šamorín’s decision to withdraw was announced by FEI President Ingmar de Vos at the governing body’s General Assembly in Montevideo.

Their withdrawal marks the latest difficulty for the FEI and the World Equestrian Games but De Vos, who became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in September, claims he is confident a suitable host will be found.

“We are confident there will be candidates, but these are complex Games and we need to make sure we do it right,” he said.

Šamorín hosted last year’s FEI World Endurance Championships after stepping in to replace Dubai.

The United Arab Emirates city was axed due to horse welfare concerns.

The 2018 World Equestrian Games are due to held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina in the United States between September 10 and 23.

The city replaced Bromont in Canada, which had been selected to host but was then hit by financial issues.

Šamorín pulling out was among a number of key decisions announced at the General Assembly in the Uruguayan capital.

The FEI’s membership approved the qualification process for the sport’s three Olympic disciplines:  jumping, dressage and eventing – at Tokyo 2020.

An initial deadline achieve minimum eligibility requirements to compete at the Games was due to be May 18 in 2020 but that has been altered to five weeks before the sports entry deadline, due to be confirmed by the IOC next year.

Plans to introduce a new scoring system for international dressage tests were also scrapped by the FEI following a mixed response from the organisation’s members.

It would have seen the implementation of a “hi-lo” drop score, which removes the highest and lowest scores for each movement so an average mark is formed.

De Vos claimed during his opening address that the sport was “expanding at an amazing rate” and was continuing to grow and develop.

“In 10 years the number of events have more than doubled and we are now seeing a steady and annual increase of around eight per cent in terms of events and four to five per cent in terms of registered athletes,” he said.

“These are incredible statistics – especially in this very diverse and competitive sports market.

“And not only is our sport growing but the quality and the presentation is better than ever.”

About the author

Liam Morgan Reporter

Since joining insidethegames.biz, in 2015 Liam Morgan has covered a variety of international multi-sport events and conferences, including the Baku 2015 European Games, the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympics, the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby and the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. He has also reported from the FIFA Extraordinary Elective Congress in Zurich. He graduated from Southampton Solent University in 2014 with a BA First Class honours degree in Sports Journalism.

01.13.17

Kentucky Withdrawls from the 2022 Bid Process

Posted in 2022 Games at 9:26 pm by Thomas

It is with significant disappointment that I report that the Kentucky Horse Park Commission voted earlier today to withdraw its bid to host the 2022 FEI World Equestrian Games.  The primary reasons offered for this decision center around $12 million in deferred maintenance expenses that needed to be addressed before considering the capital needs for hosting an event like the World Equestrian Games.  As a business person I understand this decision, the risk to the park would be too great to meet both the deferred maintenance needs well preparing for the 2022 Games.  One statement though that I find very curious was one indicating that the hosting of the Games would create “limitations on potential  Horse Park generated revenue opportunities”.  That statement leaves me very puzzled but for now I will not speculate further on what I think that may really be meaning.  I hold out significant hope that we will seek and win the 2026 bid but will be honest that if we pursue that bid and then withdraw for a third time that most likely we will not be considered a serious contender for any future World Equestrian Games.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

01.01.17

Happy New Year 2017 ; Kentucky in the Hunt for 2022 World Equestrian Games

Posted in 2022 Games, World Equestrian Games at 1:11 pm by Thomas

Happy New Year to everyone on this mild Winter day in Kentucky, Spring is now just around the corner.

The big story to start the year is Kentucky’s bid to host the 2022 World Equestrian Games, which if successful in our bid would make Lexington the first city to host it twice.  The timing is about perfect in that 12 years is long enough time frame that you crave it again and not so long so the infrastructure built for the 2010 Games can be used again without major renovations or rebuilds.  Given that the economic benefit to Kentucky this time around should be significant given that those original capital expenditures have paid for themselves in many ways.

Laura Prewitt, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park said, “The Kentucky Horse Park is honored to be selected as a candidate for the 2022 Games,” and I certainly believe she means that and I have very little doubt in her ability to win the bid and put on a very successful event.  Tops in Lexington put out a very nice article on her titled, FILLY OF THE MONTH: LAURA PREWITT . Our only competition in the bidding process is Samorin, Slovakia which has some wonderful facilities but it ain’t the Kentucky Horse Park ;-}.

I am looking forward to making and meeting many friends who share my passion for seeing this great event back in the Commonwealth.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

10.31.16

2022 WEG Update

Posted in 2022 Games, KEEP at 8:15 pm by EPR

Notable Reports from KEEP Conference (10/21/2016)

At the recent KEEP Industry Conference the new executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park, Laura Prewitt said, confirmed plans to bid on the 2022 World Equestrian Games. The Horse Park was host to the 2010 WEG, the first time it was held outside Europe.

By the numbers:  Dr. Jill Stowe, associate professor in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture Economics and director of the UK Ag Equine Programs, provided statistics from the 2012 survey on the state’s horse industry, the first comprehensive study since 1977. Among the findings: There are 35,000 equine operations in the state with at least one horse in residence, totaling 242,400 equines (which include mules and donkeys), accounting for 40,665 jobs, 1.1 million acres devoted to equine use and with the value of equines and equine-related assets totaling $23.4 billion.

The Kentucky Equine Education Project is a grassroots organization created in 2004 to preserve, promote and protect Kentucky’s signature horse industry. Support for KEEP’s activity comes directly from the horse industry and horse industry supporters that we represent. To learn more about how you can become a member or make a contribution, please visit www.horseswork.com.

09.23.16

Kentucky in the hunt for 2022

Posted in 2022 Games at 9:37 pm by Thomas

It seems a fitting way to start the fall to be in the hunt for the 2022 FEI World Equestrian Games, with the announcement this week that we have submitted our formal letter of interest in hosting the Games to the FEI.  I am not aware of any other locations who have submitted the initial paper work for the 2022 Games at this time, but it is still early and I would expect at least 1 or 2 others, Aachen certainly being one and maybe somewhere in England for the other if not London itself.  Given how the economic cycles are running I would expect the 2022 Games to have a very positive impact on the Kentucky economy.  I have to point out the ironic fact that its been almost exactly 6 years since we hosted the 2010 Games and if we went we roughly the same dates in 2022 we are 6 years out from those, which is to say the 2022 Games will be here before we know it.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

04.01.16

2022 World Equestrian Games, Host Bidding Open

Posted in 2022 Games at 12:16 am by Thomas

FEI has opened the bidding process for the 2022 World Equestrian Games, this is not an April Fools Joke.  Currently only the Expression of Interest Form is available to download with the Bid Application and Questionnaire becoming available in May.  August is the deadline to return the Bid Applications for consideration with the announcement of candidates in December.  At this time I have no specific information on where Kentucky is in planning to make a bid.  I know after our losing our bid for the 2018 Games it was indicated that we would bid for the 2022 Games and with the contract with Rolex for advertising rights at the Kentucky Horse Park expiring in 2018 we would be free to pursue them without the issue that prevented us from getting the 2018 Games, that being the contract Longines has with the FEI that stipulates clean venues for any events they sponsor, the World Equestrian Games being one of those.  I am certainly going to let my voice be heard in that I believe this is an important economic event for Kentucky to pursue.  As I find out things that I am at liberty to share I will, though I suspect early in the go any information that I do receive will be under nondisclosure requirements or will be hear say that would not benefit the process to release anyway.  So I ask everyone to be understanding if you think I am withholding anything and also I ask that you let your voice be heard by your elected representatives that you feel this is something important for Kentucky to pursue.

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®

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®

 

 

12.12.12

12 12 12

Posted in 2022 Games at 10:28 pm by Thomas

Today seems like a good day to re-iterate my goal of returning the World Equestrian Games to Kentucky.  First, I think having the Games every 12 years would be a good time frame between games, thus I would like to see us host the 2022 Games.  It allows us to take advantage of the Capital Improvements made for the 2010 which was the biggest State Funded Expenditure for the Games, but at the same time not making it so often that it looses that feeling of being a somewhat rare event both for the spectators and the volunteers.  At this point the Games are 2 years in the past but I am of course working towards those Games representing the Future of Kentucky that becomes a Legacy of the Impact of the Horse on the People of Kentucky.