Kentucky Horse Council Travels to France & Ireland as Part of Alltech Delegation

Posted in 2014 Games, Alltech, Kentucky Horse Council at 10:04 pm by EPR

Lexington, KY, August 12, 2012 – Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) representatives joined a group of more than 30 Kentucky delegates for a cultural and economic development tour sponsored by Alltech, traveling through Normandy, France, and concluding at the Alltech European Bioscience Centre in Dunboyne, Ireland. The tour was in conjunction with the July 2011 announcement of Alltech’s sponsorship of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, in Normandy.

Alltech Delegation to France & Ireland

Anna Zinkhon, KHC Board President, and Ginny Grulke,
KHC Executive Director, joined Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear, Secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Marcheta Sparrow, and Secretary Larry Hayes of the Cabinet for Economic Development, among others, in exchanging ideas during a series of workshops hosted by the Normandy council. The Kentucky Horse Council delegates participated in a workshop with the Normandy Horse Council to discuss partnership opportunities focused on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, in Normandy.


Dr Pearse Lyons personally hosted the delegation, engaging in exploratory conversations about both economic and equestrian opportunities, as well as the cultural bond between the countries.


The equine industry provides a strong link between Ireland, Caen, France and Lexington, Kentucky, USA (host city of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™).  Each community is renowned for top-quality horse breeding programs and elite equestrian competition. The economic impact is also significant in each region, with the thoroughbred industry contributing upwards of €600 million to the Basse-Normandie region, and €900 million in Ireland in 2010.


“This trip represents a vision for the future,” commented Anna Zinkhon, KHC President. “In the equine industry as in other industries, our business is becoming more global. By teaming with the exceptional horsemen in Normandy and Ireland, we can accelerate Kentucky’s international equine growth while examining new equestrian support programs from the European model.”


In 2013, The Kentucky Horse Council will announce shared projects with the Normandy Horse Council, which will be implemented in time for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

ABOUT THE KENTUCKY HORSE COUNCIL – The Kentucky Horse Council is a non-profit organization dedicated, through education and leadership, to the protection and development of the Kentucky equine community. The Kentucky Horse Council provides educational programs and information, personal liability insurance, trail riding advocacy, horse show support, and an annual statewide equine industry directory. The specialty Kentucky Horse Council license plate, featuring a foal lying in the grass, provides the primary source of revenue for KHC programs.


Ginny Grulke
Executive Director

Kentucky Horse Council

Phone: (859) 367-0509


Governor recognizes KHP as world-class; 115 of this year’s Olympic riders competed there

Posted in Government, Governor Beshear, Kentucky, Kentucky Horse Park at 7:08 am by EPR

As the 2012 Olympic Games in London close, Gov. Steve Beshear today recognized the Kentucky Horse Park as an elite international equestrian facility for consistently hosting world-class and Olympic-caliber athletes.

The Horse Park is also a significant economic contributor to the Commonwealth, with an estimated economic impact of approximately $180 million each year.

Rolex Kentucky (photo by www.PixBySteve.com.)

“The Kentucky Horse Park is the only place in our state—and one of the few places in the world—where visitors can see world-class equestrian competitions on a regular basis,” said Beshear. “We are not only the Horse Capital of the World, but Kentucky is also one of the premier homes for high-level equestrian sports. I encourage Kentuckians and visitors to attend one of the many top-rated shows held at the Kentucky Horse Park and witness elite competition firsthand.”

More than 115 athletes who participated in equestrian events in the 2012 Olympics have competed at the Kentucky Horse Park. Seventeen of those athletes earned a medal in the London Olympics.


Athletes frequently travel from Australia, France, Great Britain and many other countries to the Lexington facility to contend for top honors in equestrian sports such as dressage, jumping and eventing.

The Horse Park also hosted the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which marked the first time the elite competition was held outside of Europe. That event placed Kentucky in the international spotlight and generated more than $200 million in economic impact, and also built on the park’s international reputation as a signature event site. The new facilities added to the Horse Park for WEG continue to attract competitors and tourists to Kentucky from across the country and around the world.

“We appreciate the continued support from the governor and first lady. We are exceedingly proud of our facility and the competitions that bring in visitors and athletes from around the globe,” said John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “The Kentucky Horse Park is clearly one of the leading equestrian competition facilities not just in North America, but anywhere in the world. We expect the tremendous growth of the sport horse industry in Kentucky will accelerate in the years ahead.”

The Kentucky Horse Park is a 1,200 acre competition facility and tourist attraction recognized as the epicenter of equestrian life, sports and business. Most notably, the park annually hosts the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. The event is ranked at four stars, which is the highest level in international competition.

The Horse Park hosts a number of other award-winning shows as well. The Alltech National Horse Show won the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame’s Show of the year. They were also named the top U.S. show by the North American Riders Group. North American Junior and Young Rider Championships and the two weeks of Kentucky Spring Hunter Jumper were named among the top 25 events in North America.

This year, the facility will host 21 grand prix jumper classes as well as seven national or international hunter derbies, with more than $1 million offered in prize money.

The Park will host three upper-level dressage events in 2013, including the U.S. Dressage Finals.

For more information on the Kentucky Horse Park and its world-class events, please visit kyhorsepark.com.

From Ky. Horse Park

Gov. Beshear Pledges Support for Recreational Trails Program

Posted in Adventure Tourism, Government, Governor Beshear, Kentucky at 6:28 am by EPR

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Office of the Governor

Letter to Sec. LaHood Affirms Kentucky’s Commitment to Program

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 9, 2012) – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced his support for the federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) by signing a letter to U.S. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood reaffirming Kentucky’s commitment to utilize RTP funds.

“I am extremely pleased that the Recreational Trails Program has been reauthorized for funding,” said Gov. Beshear.  “Kentucky is dedicated to effectively and efficiently using this program’s resources in an effort to enhance tourism, increase economic development and promote healthy, active lifestyles in our rural and urban communities.”

The RTP provides funding to states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses.

Last month, Congress and President Obama reauthorized RTP funding with the passage and signing of the Federal Public Transportation Act of 2012.  As part of the legislation, $85 million in annual funding is dedicated to states for the RTP.  However, the legislation also contains a provision that allows state governors to opt out of the program funding.

With this letter of support, Gov. Beshear officially states that Kentucky recognizes the importance of the RTP and opposes any efforts to opt out of the program.

“Recreational trails not only provide an alternative form of transportation, they also spur economic development, increase property values and aid in land conservation,” said Gov. Beshear.  “Trail funding has been a valuable resource to enhancing the quality of Kentucky communities and I encourage other states to take advantage of this funding tool.”

The RTP is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.  Kentucky’s RTP grants are administered by DLG and require that applicants match the amount of funds requested. The grants may be used to provide assistance for acquisition of easements; development and/or maintenance of recreational trails; and trailhead facilities for both motorized and non-motorized use.

In 2011, Kentucky awarded $1.8 million in RTP grants to 38 applicants in communities across the Commonwealth to help fund hiking, cycling, horseback riding and other trails.

For more info on Kentucky recreational trails and other adventure tourism efforts in the state, please visit http://www.kentuckytourism.com/outdoor_adventure/great_outdoors.aspx.

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


Commonwealth of Kentucky 

Office of the Governor
Kerri Richardson at:
502.564.2611 or 502.330.6633
Terry Sebastian at:
502.564.2611 or 502.229.6130

Kentucky Horse Council

1500 Bull Lea Rd, Suite 214C
Lexington, KY 40511
Phone: (859) 367-0509
Fax: (866) 618-3837

Sponsored By

Sponsored By AbitaNet AbitaNet Corporation