Never before have the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games been held outside of Europe. This will be the first time the United States hosts the event. This is also the first time all the events are taking place at one location, the Kentucky Horse Park. With 1,200 acres and three brand new indoor facilities, the Kentucky Horse Park is ideal for many of the events for the Alltech FEI Games. The Rolex Three-Day Event, held yearly in early spring with international competition, has long been a tradition at the Kentucky Horse Park.
There are 8 events spanning 16 days from September 25 through October 10; combined driving, dressage, endurance riding, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting. Germany has the most overall medals with 46. The United States comes in 2nd with a little more than half of that, 27. (Look for future articles to explain more about each of these events.)
Tickets range from $25-$150 per event, kind of pricey, especially in today’s economy. Many local residents will not be going to the games, partly because they are not interested in horse events, and some because it is just too expensive. Ticket sales have been sluggish both in our country and internationally, which could be blamed on the economy, H1N1 concerns, and recent terrorist threats causing international flight headaches.
A few local residents comment about the upcoming games. One Lexingtonian commented that there is not enough advertisement explaining the events. It seems the FEI and Alltech are not interested in expanding their market. They are on the snobbish side and if you don’t know what it’s about, you don’t belong.
Linda Nelson of Georgetown says she knew it was a big to do, and that they have been doing a lot of roadwork nearby to accommodate all the traffic. She jokingly says her main worry is going hungry because the lines at restaurants will be much longer.
Trena Jones of Lexington seemed to know quite a bit about the 2010 Games. She knew this was the first time they would be held in the United States and it is like the Olympics for horse events. Jones believes Lexington will be viewed as fabulous, beautiful, and having friendly people. But she is worried that Lexington is not really ready for 600,000 more people.