Kentucky Horse Council: I will pay for someone’s new membership!

Posted in Kentucky Horse Council, My Actions at 11:14 pm by Thomas

I want to take a moment here at the end of the year to ask you the readers to consider joining the Kentucky Horse Council if you are not already a member even if you do not own horses in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Now I know in these tough economic times many of you may not be in a position to spend money on anything but the necessities and I understand that all too well.  So I want to help somebody out who has a love of horses and wants to get involved but has other responsibilities that must be met first.

So for 2012 I want to pay it forward.  Send me an email with the subject “Pay It Forward” as to why horses are important to you and that someday in the future you will do the same for someone else and I will pay the 2012 membership fee for the individual who sends me the most compelling email.

I will make my decision January 29th.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas Paul Demond


Volunteering: Day 8. Mario Deslauriers…

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, My Volunteering, Results, Show Jumping, Volunteerism, World Equestrian Games at 8:07 pm by Thomas

Today marked my 8th day volunteering and the 11th day overall of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.  It amazing to arrive at the Kentucky Horse Park early in the morning, even before traffic control, though there is already a lot of people working in the Park.  Right now the Park doesn’t sleep, there is always something that has to be done and with any major event now a days, security is present around the clock.

I have now worked primarily in 3 areas, the Main gate, the Athletes gate and the area around Main Stadium.  Today I was back at Main Stadium and with a Morning and Afternoon Show Jumping sessions and Para-Dressage going on just down the way in the Covered Arena the morning was hectic but enjoyable.  As I have seen throughout my time volunteering the volunteers and staff are both flexible and resourceful which is always a great asset because in any event this size you are going to have those things that come up on a daily basis that have to be dealt with on the fly.

Now before everyone thinks its all work and no play, I did get to see Mario Deslauriers on Urico during my break have an excellent ride today, yesterday he won the individual Gold Medal in Speed Jumping.  He did have 2 rails down but compared to some of the crashes I saw, his ride was nearly flawless,  and the U.S. team is currently sitting 3rd on the leader board after today.  The team competition final is tomorrow with there now being an afternoon session added to get to the top 10 will compete tomorrow night.  Information on the added session can be found here, but the good news is, if you hold a ticket for the evening event it will get you into the afternoon session as well.

I have also been drawn into the Pin craze, if that’s what you call it.  Apparently most of the athletes come with a sizable bank of pins to start and generally I haven’t even had to ask, I help someone out and they give me a pin so  I have managed to gather a small collection, I say small compared to some of my volunteer friends who are sporting quite the collections now.  The pin that is in rare supply, is the South African pin, and I know of no one who has it though I did have South African team members say that they did have some just not on them one day that I did ask.  Obviously for those who don’t know me, my wife is South African and we had our wedding in South Africa almost 9 years ago, so it is certainly the Country pin I would love to land.

This week through Closing Ceremonies I am working all 1st shifts,yesterday and today that meant being at the Horse Park at 6 AM, starting tomorrow I have to be out there at 5 AM.  So this post is the last thing I am doing before I head off to bed so I am keeping it short.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas Demond


State of the Games: Mid-way Point!

Posted in 2010 Games, Discussion, Kentucky, Logistics, My Thoughts, My Volunteering, Position Statements, World Equestrian Games at 11:42 pm by Thomas

The attendance totals for today are over 50,000 bringing the total for the Games after 8 days to just over 234,000 which is impressive when you figure at the start of September the ticket sales were not much more then that.  This is an indication of what a lot of us thought, that because of the current economic recession(NBER be damned) that everyone is not wanting to lay down their hard earned cash until they are walking in the door.

This also shows the strength of the silent majority in Kentucky that are horse people in comparison to a very negative and vocal minority that wanted to say these Games would be a failure.  Now before I get accused of putting the cart before the horse (excuse the pun) ,  we are only at the halfway point, so I will not pronounce these Games a success from the financial point of view, that will take many months to say whether a number of the short term goals that were given in that regard were met, but from the stand point of Kentucky being able to put on these Games in a manner where everyone is having a great time, and that word is getting out, and the city is not being crippled while the Games are going on, I think we all can say these Games are going better at this point then any of us could of hoped.

Now again, before anyone says I am just focusing on the things that are going well and I am not giving the total picture,  I will say I have been out to the park 7 of the first 8 days and I have seen some situations were the planning did come up short.  In one case I ended up right smack in the middle of a 30 minute oversight.  I say 30 minute because that was the time difference between when an event was expected to end and when it really did but I can also tell you, that within an hour the negative impact caused by that had been eliminated because the staff and volunteers at the Games are a very flexible and resourceful group.  So as I have said for a very long time, there is a magic with these Games that is very real and a lot of good will come out of these Games for Kentucky for a long time to come.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas Demond


Volunteering: Day 4

Posted in 2010 Games, My Volunteering, Volunteerism, World Equestrian Games at 10:41 am by Thomas

My experience volunteering has been great so far, getting ready to head out for Day 5.  Yesterday I had an early morning shift and was out to the Kentucky Horse Park at 5 AM.  It was certainly cool, temps were in the mid 40’s and after the 90’s we have had recently it was a bit of a shock when I first started walking from Spy Coast parking, but by the time I got to the volunteer center I had warmed up.  The volunteers I have met so far have been good people, most but not all have some background in horses but its cool to know that there are others out there, that have come to volunteer because they also believe the World Equestrian Games are a good thing for Kentucky and they want to be a part of it.

Speaking of being a part of it, Monday night, walking back to my car at 10 PM, when all the crowds had already left, I got the most amazing sense of being a part of something special.  It was that Magic that I have always spoken about in regards to Kentucky and these Games, and when you feel it, there is no missing it.

Well, I am off to my shift, hope to see you all there!

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas Demond

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