2008 Senate Bill 196 (Kentucky Recreational Trails Authority)

Posted in Adventure Tourism, Governor Beshear, Kentucky, Legislation at 10:53 pm by Thomas

Kentucky Senate Bill 196 (Kentucky Recreational Trails Authority) passed both houses of the Kentucky Legislature and is headed to Governor Beshear’s desk where he has said he would sign it.  This bill was referred to as the “Adventure Tourism Bill” was sponsored by Sen. Brandon Smith (R-Hazard).   In simple terms this bill is going to allow the State to enter into agreements with public land owners to provide trails and access points to connect public lands while protecting private land owners from undo liability risk.  First Lady Jane Beshear’s idea is to connect all 12o Kentucky counties with horse trails so that you could ride from one end of the state to the other.  We of course think this is a great idea and are in total support.  

The press release from the Governor’s office on this bill.  

On a side-note, I had the honor of meeting Emily Dennis at my CTA class and getting to ride out at her family’s Big Red Stables today.  Emily testified in both the House and Senate on behalf of this bill and had significant input in the crafting of the liability portion of this bill.  So I give thanks to Emily for her involvement in this bill and for the wonderful ride I had at her place today which I know I will feel in the morning, but that’s a good thing.


Certified Tourism Ambassador­™

Posted in Bluegrass Region, Tourism at 10:16 pm by Thomas

I completed my Bluegrass Tourism Ambassador Program on Thursday and am waiting the results of my test to see if I have earned the designation of Certified Tourism Ambassador™ (CTA).  Lexington is among 5 cities so far to participate in the program and classes here in Lexington just started at the end of last year.  This program is designed; “To increase regional tourism by inspiring-front-line hospitality employees and volunteers to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience”. 

The class is 4 hours long but there is reading material and exercises to be completed before the class that took me about 10 hours over a weeks time to complete.  The reading material is provided in a well put together manual that goes into great depth on everything one would need to know to provide a better experience for tourists to our area.

There are keeping the class size to 20 or so and it was an incredible learning experience and I came away with much.  The cost of the total program was only $20 and that is certainly very inexpensive for all that I got out of it.  I would certainly recommend it to pretty much everybody who has some interaction with the tourism public or simply wants to get a greater appreciation of all the wonderful things that our area has to offer. 

For more information and to sign-up go to CTA Network


Why the World Equestrian Games are Important!

Posted in 2010 Games at 12:29 pm by Thomas

Why the world equestrian games are important

By Jessica Butcher


For the first time since its conception in 1990, the FEI World Equestrian Games will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.  Not only will this be the first time this international event will be held in Kentucky, but also for the first time in the United States, or even in North America.  Never before have games been held outside of Europe, making 2010 the first time that the World Equestrian Games will be held inside this hemisphere.


Do I have your attention now?


Lexington, Kentucky will be hosting the world championships for eight very different equestrian sports.  Three of these disciplines, eventing, show jumping, and dressage, are recognized as Olympic sports.  Also included will be endurance riding, driving, reining, and vaulting.  And, for the first time, para-equestrian (riders with disabilities) championships will be held.


While the average person may not know exactly what is involved in these competitions, at the very least everyone needs to know that equestrian sports are the *only* Olympic sport where men and woman compete together and are judged equally.  In this sport, there are competitors spanning from teenagers to retirees and grandparents in their fifties and sixties.


Now, would you like to know more?


In a little over two years, the world will literally be on Lexington’s doorstep.  Well, not the entire world, but the international equestrian community will be here.  The 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany boasted of having 773 athletes and 852 horses from 61 different countries.  And they competed with over 570,000 spectators watching.  That’s more than a half-a-million people!


Sooner than you realize, Lexington will be filled with top-notch international trainers, riders, and their world-class horse counterparts.  And, coming along for the ride (pun intended) will be many hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world! 

And you are not excited yet!?  You should be!


This is an incredible achievement for our small city which proudly claims the title of “Horse Capitol of the World.”  And in 2010, we will be given the chance to prove, once and for all, that as Lexingtonians, as Kentuckians, and Americans, we truly are world-class.


Re-Posted with permission.

Jessica, thanks for the use of your wonderful article.

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Frankfort gearing up.

Posted in 2010 Games, Frankfort at 8:13 pm by Thomas

Charlie Pearl had a good article in the Frankfort State Journal last week talking about how Frankfort was gearing up for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.  He pointed out that Joe Jeffries, executive director of the Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist Commission said, “I am not sure Kentucky fully realizes yet that the world is coming here,” and “We are all going to look really or we’re going to blow it, and Frankfort is not going to blow it.”  These are of course key statements that I couldn’t agree with more, and another statement that he made was that this was a regional effort and that Lexington couldn’t shoulder the effort on its own. 

Now of course I have been saying this for more then 2 years but of course I don’t yet have the stage from which to get that message out the way politicians and those in City Governments and Tourism do, mine is still a grass roots effort.  So when I see someone getting the importance of the Games and putting it out there for everyone to read I am going to let everyone know. 

Now of course everyone at the World Games Foundation gets it and they are beating the drums to get the word out but many people in the state do not feel a connection to the Foundation the way they do with their City governments and organizations.  So I keep working to get the word out to people to talk to their elected leaders and City/County management to see let them know how important this is. 

So here is the link to this article,

City plans to show off hospitality

send this article to anyone you know in these positions so that they see how important the City of Frankfort considers the Games to be.

As always thanks for your support.

Thomas Demond

Founder KYWEGO

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