Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday got you thinking about Holiday Shopping?

With Thanksgiving now behind us, the rush for everyone to do their holiday shopping has begun. And while there are those few people who plan ahead, many of us, myself included, are now facing the dreaded task of determining what to buy all of their family, friends, and loved ones for the holidays.

What do you buy the mother that has every perfume ever carried by Macy’s? Or the father who has everything short of his own personal Ty Pennington in his tool shed? What about the niece that already owns hundreds of Breyer Horses, or the nephew who wants to be a cowboy, but you already got him those really cool chaps…you know, the kind with the fringe?

Enter shameless plug here: Buy them tickets to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, of course!

But seriously, tickets to the 2010 Games make for a once-in-a-lifetime gift. With prices ranging from as low as $25 to no more than $150, there is something for everyone. Ticketholders will be able to browse the extensive international trade show (note: Mom may end up trying on beautiful Derby hats at the Hats by Katie booth), or tour a replica of Mammoth Cave in the Kentucky Experience (note again: here you might find that Dad has wandered to the local bourbon tasting section…), or wander the Equine Village where kids can see Molly the Pony or watch the exciting California Cowgirls drill team.

So on this Cyber Monday, think about what your family, friends, and loved ones might really enjoy this holiday season. Tickets to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Don’t miss your opportunity to get tickets while they are still available! And for those who can’t decide which events they want to see, check out our website (http://www.alltechfeigames.com/content.aspx?id=3292) where you can find descriptions of each event.

Happy shopping!

Louise Bowden
Public Relations

Monday, November 23, 2009

Details, Details...

Let's be honest--normally, it's tough to work hard during a holiday week. Everyone is excited to be going home, seeing family, and relaxing for a few days.

Well... not here!

Short weeks for us mean less time to complete important tasks. And with just 305 days left until the Games, that means we have to move even faster.

This morning, we visited the Kentucky Horse Park to celebrate their green initiatives, which includes a very interesting way to create power from horse manure. Check it out on the Kentucky Horse Park's web site.

This afternoon, our entire staff is once again tackling the DMAS, or "Detailed Master Activities Schedule" for the duration of the Games. With our test events over for the year, we are turning again to this important task. We literally walk through each hour of each day and discuss how the movements of people, horses and events on the park impact every department of our organizing committee. We'll be undergoing this process until early 2010, then we'll take a break from this activity to start planning our last and biggest test event--Kentucky Cup Dressage and Jumping--in conjuction with the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event.

We are also very busy recruiting Heroes--that is, volunteers! We still need volunteers, and right now, our focus is particularly on volunteers within the state of Kentucky. Hopefully you will see me on Kentucky's local tv stations and hear me on the radio talking about how to lend your expertise to the Games with a dose of hometown pride and Bluegrass hospitality! More information about volunteering can be found on our web site.

With all this going on, I have NO IDEA when I will manage to get any Christmas shopping finished. I'm usually a better planner around the holidays... but not this year. Shameless plug here: Tickets to the 2010 Games are a gift you can only give once--and you can only give it this year! Reserve your seats before they sell out at www.alltechfeigames.com/tickets.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

Amy Walker
Public Relations

Monday, November 16, 2009

Are You a Fan of Breyer Horses? Check Out the Official Model Horse of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games


The world’s finest model horse brand and the world’s most prestigious equestrian competition are joining together, as Breyer Animal Creation is the newest sponsorship of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

As part of the partnership, Breyer has commissioned sculptor Kathleen Moody to create a sculpture to symbolize the spirit of the horses competing in eight different disciplines. Known as “Esprit,” the sculpture will be available in several mediums to commemorate the Games.


Breyer will also create a number of Traditional® Series portrait models of key competitors from various disciplines, play sets for children incorporating the WEG disciplines and other commemorative products.

In addition, Breyer will create an interactive play area for children, incorporating equine-themed activities using Breyer’s realistic model horses and pint-sized jumps for children!

What horse athletes would you like to see as a Breyer Horse?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Week Two at the Royal

This week at the Royal has been fantastic! The Direct Energy Centre is a perfect venue for such a large show. We have had a constant flow of traffic at our booth, which we are sharing with the State of Kentucky and the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau.

A vast majority of people we have talked to have already purchased tickets. The rest were searching for accommodations before purchasing tickets. We have urged everybody to use the Housing Bureau. The LCVB has been great in helping figure out what to do while they attend the Games.

In addition to people coming to the Games, I’ve been amazed by the amount of people who have already been to the Kentucky Horse Park. We have a 2 x 3 ft poster of our venue map in our booth and it gets a TON of attention. Everybody walks by and gets pulled in by the fantastic visual that is the Kentucky Horse Park. They say “Oh, I’ve been there before,” and we encourage them to come back next fall!

We’ve met some wonderful people down here including the Chef D’equipe of the Canadian Endurance team who is “praying for dry weather next year.” The buzz about the Games has been more than we expected and the support of those fans is overwhelming. The show concludes on Sunday, which is far too soon, and we’ll have more for you next week. We’ll also announce who won the Games prize pack from the show. If you’re in Ontario and haven’t had a chance to come by remember we’re in Exhibit A Booth 522.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Volunteer Update

Thank you for your willingness to be a Volunteer for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Many of you have already registered. But now what? Here’s a look at the status of our Volunteer Program for the 2010 Games.

I registered years ago and I still haven’t heard anything. Why?

Thousands of people have registered their interest in volunteering over the past two years. Many of those same enthusiastic volunteers changed email addresses since then.

In September, we reached out to our entire list and asked people to reconfirm their interest and get ready to select volunteer positions. If you did not hear from us, you may need to update your information on your volunteer profile. We still need volunteers! It is not too late to re-confirm your interest. We can help you re-activate your account if you are not sure what email address is currently listed for you. Feel free to call our VOLUNTEER HOTLINE at 859-244-2996 or email us at volunteers@feigames2010.org.

I confirmed my interest, selected a position, and got an itinerary. Does that mean I am definitely a volunteer?

Your confirmation email displays the itinerary and dates you selected, but it is not your official letter of assignment. It only confirms that your request was processed.

We currently have a multi-step selection process in place that includes a back ground check. Official WEG volunteers will be confirmed at the end of that process, which will take place over the next couple of months.

Competition volunteers are being hand-selected by each Discipline Manager and will be notified over the next several weeks.

How do I sign up to volunteer for more than one position?

We are working on improving our registration process to allow you to sign up for more opportunities. We will notify everyone when those additional opportunities become available.

Will there be volunteer opportunities/accommodations available for those with disabilities?

Yes, there are many opportunities well suited to volunteers with disabilities. Go ahead and register, and then if you have any concerns, please feel free to call us at 859-244-2996.

I need to plan my housing options now. What should I do?

We are working to provide a range of affordable housing options for volunteers. However, each volunteer is required to pay for and complete their own hotel/housing arrangements. We have sent a list of preliminary options to our registered volunteers. For your reference, that list (“Housing Options”) is posted on the volunteer website.

What if I am waiting to buy tickets?

We hope that everyone has an opportunity to experience these Games as a spectator and enjoy this world-class competition. To make the most of your spectator experience, we encourage you to go ahead and purchase tickets to those events that you most want to see. We hope that your time as a volunteer will be spent focusing on the important job you will have—and we want you to relax and enjoy the events you most want to see as a spectator!

Do you still need volunteers?

We still need to fill thousands of volunteer positions—and every one of them is important! If you are already registered, please let others know about this opportunity.

How long will you take volunteer registrations?

We will be taking registrations until early spring. However, due to abundant interest, we encourage everyone to sign up as soon as possible. You can sign up at www.alltechfeigames.com/volunteer

I am a member of a group that wants to volunteer. Can we do that?

YES! Groups are a vital part of our volunteer program. Young Professionals, Corporate Groups, and Community Organizations are all needed to make our Games a success. Email us at volunteers@feigames2010.org for more information.

What if I still have questions?

Feel free to call us at 859-244-2996 or email us at volunteers@feigames2010.org. We will personally respond to your questions; please allow 48 hours to receive a reply.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Royal Winter Fair--Toronto, ON, Canada


What an exciting week it has been in Toronto and at The Royal Winter Fair and Horse Show!

I arrived in Toronto last Wednesday to attend The Royal on behalf of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Now Kentucky is known for its southern hospitality, but I have found hospitality is not something you can only find in the South, or in the United States. The people in the city of Toronto could not be more welcoming, laid-back, and helpful –especially the street car drivers who know a first time visitor when they see one!

Toronto is a city of 5 million people, which is immense in comparison to Lexington’s 250,000. In Toronto you see street cars, buses, pedestrians, and taxis everywhere, and the movement of people and automobiles is endless. Drive five minutes out of downtown Lexington and you see rolling pastures, grazing horses, and endless bluegrass. In other words, Toronto is the last place you would expect to see cows and pigs and horses being unloaded from a trailer while waiting for a street car….but we did!

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and Horse Show is truly where country meets city. Among the horses, cows, and pigs, there are also sheep, llamas, alpacas, goats, and dogs. There are multiple exhibition areas that house all types and breeds of animals, as well as food from around the world and tradeshow vendors from all over Canada, and the United States.


I was born and raised a city girl in Washington, DC and ended up in Kentucky because of horses. I have never been to a state fair, so the idea of showing livestock was very new to me. Did you know that they blow-dry cows? And that sheep wear these blankets that cover every part of their body to keep them clean? I am still very intrigued, and I think this might warrant a trip to the next Kentucky State Fair.

Our booth for the two weeks of The Royal is next to the Canadian National Equestrian Federation, and is among the “Spirit of the Horse” exhibit, which will be similar to the 2010 Games Equine Village. In fact, several of the demonstrators will be at the 2010 Games. Ruth Sturley, Kentucky Cup Endurance participant and 2010 Games hopeful, has done a demonstration about the discipline of Endurance on her Arabian (who has competed in the past 3 World Championships!). Also giving a demo this week is “Two As One Horsemanship,” who will be participating in the Equine Village next year.

Many people have stopped by to tell us how excited they are for the 2010 Games, or that they are interested in coming. With my trip coming to a close, I realize that my job really is one of a kind. And while the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be a little different than the “country meets city” feel of The Royal Winter Fair here in Toronto, I look forward to what lies ahead, and in the meantime, I think I’ll just stick to horses.

Louise Bowden
Public Relations

Friday, October 30, 2009

Volunteers have been a big topic at the 2010 Games office this week. We have already had hundreds of volunteers sign up to work job shifts--now our discussions are turning to recruiting more volunteers, clothing them, housing, them and feeding them!

If you have signed up to be a volunteer at the Games, watch your email and this blog. We're going to answer many of your questions in a volunteer update next week.

And THANK YOU for volunteering. I don't think anyone realizes the important role that volunteers play with an event of this magnitude. If you haven't signed up to volunteer yet, please know that we still need volunteers!

We were very excited this week to release our current participants in the Equine Village. This will be a pavilion area with educational demonstrations, entertainment, exhibits, and more. We are so excited to have Pat Parelli, John Lyons, Clinton Anderson, and Craig Cameron at the 2010 Games, among many other incredible showcases. For a full list, visit the Equine Village page of our web site. It promises to be a spectator favorite at the Games!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

20 Questions for Two Time World Champion Vaulter, Kai Vorberg

Pictured: Kai Vorberg at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games One-Year-To-Go Celebration on September 25, 2009 (photo credit: Matt Wooley and Equisport Photos)

NAME: Kai Vorberg
AGE: 28
DISCIPLINE: Vaulting
COUNTRY: Germany

1. When did you start in your discipline?
I stated vaulting in 1992, but actually I wanted to become a dressage rider before. But then I watched some idols in 1992And that clinched it for me to focus on Vaulting first.

2. How did you get into riding?
My mother has been a professional riding and vaulting coach for many years.

3. Do you have any lucky riding attire?
We have to change our vaulting uniforms every year, because they are related to the theme and the music.But my Vaulting Pad, which is under the handles has always been the same old one for years!

4. Do you have any advice for younger riders aspiring within your discipline?
Spread your passion to find people who support you and stick with it, even if it might be hard sometimes!

5. Who is your equestrian idol?
Reinhard Klimke, Ludger Beerbaum, Christoph Lensing

6. If there was one other discipline you could compete in, what would it be?
Dressage

7. What characteristic or quality do you value most in a horse?
Of course we need horses in Vaulting that we can trust! Apart from a good canter and the skill to focus when it matters most, the relation to our horses make us strong.

8. Where will you be in 5, 10 years?
If I would know that…I would tell you!

9. What are 3 things you are most likely to find in your refrigerator?
Natural flavored water, Yoghurts, some juices…

10. What is one thing you always take with you to horse shows/on the road?
My Laptop

11. What is the coolest place in the world horseback riding has taken you?
Dubai, Las Vegas, and Kentucky

12. Given the chance, what horse other than your own would you like to ride/compete on? To vault just one more time on my old Championship horse “Picasso RS vd Wintermühle”

13. What is your favorite horse show?
CHIO Aachen has an outstanding position for me, but many other make the same efforts and are as important as any of them

14. What is the best/worst part about riding and showing?
Best: to be challenged and able to show what you can do. Worst: to be in the pressure of dates almost every day

15. What have horses and showing taught you?
To be patient and how to find happiness!

16. What have been the biggest rewards of your career?
The medals, the feelings and the respect you get of the people for the work you do!

17. What are you most likely to be doing if/when you’re not riding?}
Almost not happening! And if, then I enjoy doing nothing but, reading, making music , sleeping and eating

18. How do you unwind after a long day in the saddle?
On the couch or in the cinema!


19. How do you juggle your riding career with your life as a mom/dad?
I am not a dad yet and probably never will be a mom!


20. What excites you most about the 2010 Games in Kentucky?
That it will be the biggest event I have ever participated in and for me in personal probablythe most emotional competition I will ever have competed at.


21. Have you ever ridden any other disciplines?
I have made the two years education as a german Bereiter, so I am educated and trained as a Dressage and Jumping rider and trainer as well. But I mostly always preferred Dressage.

22. What music are you currently listening to?
Jewel! Take That, Sugarland, cross over, …


23. What do you think when you think about possibly riding in next year’s WEG?
I am amazed and would be absolutely delighted. I really want to give my best and achieve all that is possible!

24. What are you doing to try to get there?
Training hard and focusing on things that help me to make it

25. What impact do you think having WEG in the US will have on horse sports in this country?
I hope that it will help horse sports tobe better recognized in the entire country, and especially for Vaulting, it is a big chance which we as the discipline community have to take.

Monday, October 26, 2009

2009 Alltech On The Road Tour

Susan Reynolds is on the competition staff of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. See what she has to say about her two-day tour with Dr. Pearse Lyons of Alltech to equestrian communities on the East Coast.


We are now on our third stop of the 2009 Alltech On The Road tour—and you want to talk about a whirlwind tour! In a matter of 27 hours (we left Sunday afternoon), we have already visited Middleburg and Upperville, VA, Pinehurst and Southern Pines, NC, and we landed in Aiken, SC hours ago. Tonight we will fly onto Louisville, KY for one last stop before making the short trip back to Lexington.


We have had warm and enthusiastic guests today that have shown great interest and support for the Games in Middleburg VA, Pinehurst and Southern Pines NC and Aiken SC. It has been exciting two days visiting multiple equestrian communities, and talking about the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Thank you to all that have taken time out of there busy schedules to come and show their support for the Games. Hope to see everyone next year!



Friday, October 23, 2009

Where Did October Go?

October has come and gone--and just where did it go? I look out my office window to turning leaves, slow, steady rain, and a cool breeze.

Of course, I can really count the days--they've been spent at our Kentucky Cup Driving and Kentucky Cup Endurance test events! These were a dramatic change from our first two test events. We left the comfortable, climate-controlled confines of the Kentucky Horse Park's Indoor Arena used for Kentucky Cup Reining and Vaulting, and were quite literally thrown to the elements!

These outdoor test events proved to be incredible learning experiences for our team and our preparations. For one, you certainly can't control Mother Nature! Kentucky Cup Driving was held with a little rain for Dressage, but a gorgeous Marathon day. However...

For those of you who attended Kentucky Cup Endurance, I must say hands down that you are true supporters of the 2010 Games AND of Equestrian sport. Those athletes are some of the toughest ever as well--even with the race shortened due to the weather. Temperatures plummetted to the low 40's with an onslaught of rain, leaving our entire competition venue--and anyone there--covered in a layer of wet, sticky mud. But the show must go on! We endured Kentucky Cup Endurance, and managed to enjoy some of it! It was definitely a challenge, and our staff took away some prized lessons to add to our planning.

Among some serious discussions, here's some lessons I learned:
1. I must buy new rain boots and keep a rain suit with me at all times in 2010.
2. Lap-top computers are wonderful... until you risk carrying them across a muddy, wet field.
3. Golf carts do not drive well in mud and ruin polo fields at the Kentucky Horse Park.
4. Copies of results cannot be read if they are dropped in the mud first.
5. Rain + mud + a 75-mile race = COLD.

Sensing a theme here?

With our final test events over for the year, our staff is taking a good, hard look at where we are. We're gearing up--we want to hit the beginning of 2010 knowing exactly what we have to accomplish in the final nine months so that everyone has a great experience starting on September 25, 2010.

In the meantime, our Competition Equipment Coordinator, Susan Reynolds will be blogging for us Monday while she is on the Road with our title sponsor Alltech. They are visiting Middleburg, VA and Southern Pines, NC to tell the story of the Games. Come back and find out how their trip goes!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

20 Questions for Vaulter, Mary McCormick

Name: Mary McCormick
Country: USA
Discipline: Vaulting

1)When did you start in your discipline?
1992

2) How did you into riding?

I met a girl at school who said she stood up on moving horses and I knew I wanted to do that.

3) Do you have any lucky riding attire?

My “Sun Team” bracelet.

4) Do you have any advice for younger riders aspiring within your discipline?

Work hard and dream big.

5) Who is your equestrian idol?

Nadia Zulow, multiple time World Vaulting Champion.

6) If there was one other discipline you could compete in, what would it be?Eventing.

7) What characteristic or quality do you value most in a horse?

Willing attitude.

8) Where will you be in 5, 10 years?

Vaulting, coaching and lunging.

9) What are 3 things you are most likely to find in your refrigerator?

String cheese, ground turkey and Diet Coke.

10) What is one thing you always take with you to horse shows/on the road?

My iPod. It’s good to visualize my performance to music wherever I am.

11) What is the coolest place in the world horseback riding has taken you?

CVI Leipzig Germany. We were part of a partner Pferd.

12) Given the chance, what horse other than your own would you like to ride/compete on?

Arkansas, a German horse.

13) What is your favorite horse show?

Nationals! I get to see my friends from all over the country.

14) What is the best/worst part about riding and showing?

The best is doing well and having my work pay off. The worst is getting out of sync with my horse because of the competition stress or environment.

15) What have horses and showing taught you?

It’s not about winning, just doing your best, being proud of your team and enjoying the journey.

16) What have been the biggest rewards of your career?

Watching my students grow and improve as people and equestrians.

17) What are you most likely to be doing if/when you’re not riding?

Dancing and climbing anywhere and everywhere.

18) How do you unwind after a long day in the saddle?

Dinner, Diet Coke and time with my horse.

19) What excites you most about the 2010 Games in Kentucky?

The possibility of representing my country IN my country.

20) Have you ever ridden any other disciplines?
Yes, Western pleasure, barrel racing and hunters.

21) What music are you currently listening to?
Country.

22) What do you think when you think about possibly riding in next year’s WEG?

I think it will be amazing and I am so excited.

23) What are you doing to try to get there?
Train hard, build solid foundations with my horse, and do my best in and out of the ring.

24) What impact do you think having WEG in the US will have on horse sports in this country?
I think/hope equestrian sports will gain popularity and awareness among American people. I hope it will help recognize equestrians as the dedicated athletes and professional athletes we are.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

20 Questions for 2010 Games Para-Dressage Hopeful Erin Alberda

NAME: Erin Alberda
AGE: 30
DISCIPLINE: Para Dressage
COUNTRY: USA

1. When did you start in your discipline?

I began riding when I was 9 years old. My disability onset in college, and I quit riding for a number of years, but started again in 2004, and became involved in Para Dressage

2. How did you get into riding?
I was a horse-crazy kid! I begged my parents until they finally signed me up for some lessons! I continued being a bit horse-crazy into college, competing in hunters, until my disability onset. A few years later, I was able to get back in the saddle at a therapeutic riding center (Little Bit TRC in Woodinville, WA).

3. Do you have any lucky riding attire?
I am a bit superstitious about my show attire...can't wear anything new! I do have a lucky stock pin that belonged to a close friend who passed away.

4. Do you have any advice for younger riders aspiring within your discipline?
Strive for excellence, do not be limited by what you think you can or cannot do - it is all possible and within reach.

5. Who is your equestrian idol?
I have so many!! Robert Dover, Lendon Gray, Carol Lavell, as well as my teammates & Para riders who have helped me get where I am today - Hope Hand, Lynn Seidmann, and Margo O'Callaghan.

6. If there was one other discipline you could compete in, what would it be?
I am hoping to learn driving. Reining also looks like a lot of fun!!

7. What characteristic or quality do you value most in a horse?
Temperment -horse that enjoys the work, and loves being at shows as much as I do!

8. Where will you be in 5, 10 years?
Hopefully running a successful acupuncture practice (I finish my degree next year), riding as much as possible, and loving life!

9. What are 3 things you are most likely to find in your refrigerator?
Peanut butter, jelly, bread...apparently a key staple in my diet!

10. What is one thing you always take with you to horse shows/on the road?
Lots of coffee.

11. What is the coolest place in the world horseback riding has taken you?
USET headquarters at Gladstone for Festival of Champions...simply amazing to ride in the same arena as so many of my "equestrian idols"!

12. Given the chance, what horse other than your own would you like to ride/compete on?
Leslie Morse's Tip Top - LOVE watching that horse go!

13. What is your favorite horse show?
Favorite venue is Devonwood Equestrian Center in Oregon

14. What is the best/worst part about riding and showing?
The best part of showing is how much fun it is - it's like a big fancy-dress party where everyone gets a chance to show off the results of all their hard work! The worst part is the expense involved - I sometimes wonder if this prevents people from enjoying the experience. Riding is a joyful activity for me, even on my worst rides.

15. What have horses and showing taught you?
Riding and showing have given me back a freedom and grace that I thought I had lost for good when my disability onset - it has taught me to see myself as something other than my diagnosis.

16. What have been the biggest rewards of your career?
I think my career is just getting underway - but I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people already, that's definitely the highlight.

17. What are you most likely to be doing if/when you’re not riding?
Sleeping, studying, or fundraising

18. How do you unwind after a long day in the saddle?
Hit the books!

19. How do you juggle your riding career with your life as a mom/dad?
N/A

20. What excites you most about the 2010 Games in Kentucky?
I am so excited that Para Equestrian is being included, and that it is going to take place here in the US - so many people are going to have a chance to see the world's best competitors, and learn about new disciplines, such an incredible opportunity.

21. Have you ever ridden any other disciplines?
I rode hunters until my disability onset.

22. What music are you currently listening to?
Any and all - I like things I can sing along to, or imagine riding a freestyle to!

23. What do you think when you think about possibly riding in next year’s WEG?
It would be both an amazing and humbling experience, to be sharing the stage with the worlds best. I try not to think about it too much, as I need to stay focused on getting there first!

24. What are you doing to try to get there?
Training, training, training. And fundraising. I am working hard to ensure my horse will be ready for our big year ahead, and hopeful that I will have sponsors & funding in place to help it all come together!

25. What impact do you think having WEG in the US will have on horse sports in this country?
I think it will have a huge impact - people will have the opportunity to see the highest caliber equestrian athletes in so many disciplines, and that can only generate more interest in US Equestrian sport, as well as inspire our future equestrian athletes to aim high, and train hard.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Violet Forbes is an employee of Classis Communications, a consulting firm working with the World Games 2010 Foundation. With decades of experience in managing media centers at international competitions, Violet has seen it all--and isn't afraid to share! See below for her thoughts from Kentucky Cup Driving...

Sunday Night
As I sit in my hotel room and contemplate my last day here and the last installation of this blog, I am contemplating quite a few things.

To anyone preparing to come to the Games, or to the Horse Park in general, forget the pretty shoes. Invest in a pair that is comfortable, weatherproof, and in my case, can be thrown out after the event (packing shoes covered in mud and smelling like wet dog make for a very unpleasant experience when you eventually open your suitcase). All the walking and standing that I do mandates these kind of shoes, which are never the most beautiful. Something that pains me – I love pretty shoes, but the ones that I love are only practical if I can sit down all day, which is not in my job description. So I wear the ugly comfy ones, and still have a back ache and swollen feet at the end of the day. Thank god for Magna Paste, which my horses have to share with me.

I am always a little depressed on the last day as we tear down the Press Center. I really do enjoy my work (no matter how I complain) and I have a lot of fun with the people I work with and for, so leaving makes me sad. This trip I am really sad to leave my Tower. It was such a nice location with all the necessities of life at hand.

This was one of the easiest events to work because of the drivers. I have never had a group of people be that kind, cooperative and genuinely nice about letting me intrude on their time. The drivers that I dealt with, Chester Weber, Tucker Johnson and Boyd Exell, were three of the nicest gentlemen, in the fullest sense of the word, that I have had the pleasure to chase down in quite a while. All three of them surprised me (and that is very hard to do – at least in a good surprise kind of way) on Saturday when they showed up in the Press Room of their own volition after the Marathon phase. Normally my big fear, the one that wakes me bolt upright in bed at 3 am, is that I won’t be able to get the riders that I need to come for a Press Conference. That – I gave a party and nobody came nightmare. I actually slept through the night on Saturday, confident that these three would not let me down. So not only are they the top drivers in their sport, but they are kind, sincere, funny and articulate people. They have earned my everlasting support and respect. Right now, I hope that they are the top three next year as well, because I really do need to sleep through the night.

So as I sit here slowly gaining the feeling back in my feet, I can honestly say that I am really looking forward to next year even with all the challenges that an undertaking of this magnitude will bring. I hope that it will be as fun as my time with these drivers has been.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Violet Forbes is an employee of Classis Communications, a consulting firm working with the World Games 2010 Foundation. With decades of experience in managing media centers at international competitions, Violet has seen it all--and isn't afraid to share! See below for her thoughts from Thursday and Friday... and follow her through the rest of Kentucky Cup Driving this weekend!

Day 4: There are hundreds of people running around the Horse Park in bright green shirts. These are the volunteers that have come out to help with the test events in preparation for next year. They are standing in the rain and the wind, driving golf carts filled with spectators, directing traffic and in the case of my media center volunteers, stapling and copying their day away. They do all these things out of a love of the sport and in return get nothing more than a thank you and a free lunch. They deserve so much more because without them no event would ever take place. So to all the volunteers who make my job a bit easier, and when you actually take it all the way down, allow me to have a job – THANK YOU!!! And to everyone now and in the future – no matter how stressed, pressed for time and cranky we might be – remember that these people give their time to help – it is not their fault if something is not as we would like it. Smile and thank them, because without them – our sport would come to a grinding halt.

Now that I have said all this, I will tell you why this popped into my head. I broke one of my own commandments this morning when I drove into the Horse Park without ANY credentials whatsoever. I was stopped by the parking volunteers (and they should have stopped me), and at least they were very nice when I discovered that I could produce NOTHING that said I belonged. Totally my own fault – I must have had a huge brain cramp this morning when I got ready. I managed to talk my way into the park and into the Media Parking and then into the Media Center – but I have been telling people for over a decade – Do Not Lose Your Credentials - because you will not be allowed in. Thankfully other people are nicer than I am!

I spent the afternoon getting interviews from some of the Four-In-Hand drivers as they crossed the finish of Marathon. The last time I was hands on at a driving event was a long time ago at the Festival of Champions in Gladstone. My initial impression of drivers was reinforced today. What a great bunch of people!!! They were so kind and accommodating – everyone I asked went out of their way to give me what I needed. A big thanks to all of them who love their sport so much. They were kind and funny and willing to spend time with a video crew who is trying to promote the sport. They make my job a joy – worth the sore back and aching feet.

Violet Forbes
Press Operations

Friday, October 2, 2009

Media Center Mis-Adventures from KY Cup Driving by Violet Forbes

Violet Forbes is an employee of Classis Communications, a consulting firm working with the World Games 2010 Foundation. With decades of experience in managing media centers at international competitions, Violet has seen it all--and isn't afraid to share! See below for her thoughts from Thursday and Friday... and follow her through the rest of Kentucky Cup Driving this weekend!


I arrived back in Kentucky to act as the press officer for the Kentucky Cup, the driving test event for the WEG 2010 Games.

For those if you who are familiar with me, you know I can never go anyplace without a saga or an opinion. For those of you who don’t know me but are reading this – be forewarned!
Well, here is the latest.

After a very rocky flight, I arrived in Lexington, and even though I did end up grabbing the little white bag out of the seat pocket - thankfully I did not have to use it, but it was touch and go for a while. I did keep my dignity and nothing went anywhere.

I got my first view of the Horse Park since Rolex in April and my how things are a’changin. . The new indoor arena is done and done well. I had snuck into it in April while it was still under construction and really liked it then – now that it is finished I think that it is spectacular. Wearing my Media Person hat, there was always one thing I really hated about indoor coliseums – I am always being parked at the tippy top. Not a great place for a semi blind person with a fear of heights, but also not great for anyone who likes to breathe. Not so in this new arena. The ventilation is well thought out (almost as if they consulted me) and the vendors, media, etc., are all on the main level.

I was heartsick to discover that the location of my lovely Media Center for Rolex, which has been my home for many a year, is now a construction site. I wonder what is going there – but then when I looked at where we will be in the future - just on the other side of the Steeplechase barn - I realize just how nice our media home will be for Rolex and the 2010 Games – flatter, higher and not right at the intersection of the main roads – I am excited. No more will we worry about where to put the lockers or televisions so that will no longer be the general turn around for all those lost souls who got their map of the Horse Park turned upside down. The WEG coming to the Horse Park will certainly make my life easier in the future.

For this driving test event I am in heaven – we are in the Tower of the main arena. I might not ever leave – I really like the Tower idea. I like it so much I might have to build one at home. I have the most incredible view of the Park with the arena and the fields all in view. To make life truly spectacular in the Tower, there are little brass disks in the floor at various spots which (brace yourself for it) have power and internet connections. This pleases the Queen of power strips and extension cords more than you can imagine.

In keeping with the theme of my life – the Tower also boasts real bathrooms with hot water and a flush mechanism as well as a little room with a fridge and microwave. As I said – I may never leave the Tower.



Getting around the Horse Park still requires quite a hike, but that is a minor trade-off for the amount of space that there is. I still go back to the miles long hike from the barns to the ring in Dublin. I would never have thought that I could walk so much to get to a relatively close arena in a few city blocks, so I will not complain about the peaceful and idyllic stroll through the Horse Park.

Day 2:
The morning dawned dark and chilly in Lexington. I have been to Lexington many times and I can honestly say that I have never packed correctly. This trip is proving to be much too chilly for the clothing that I brought. It may necessitate a quick trip to the local Walmart for a turtleneck or another fleece jacket. At least I can use those when I return to the North for the winter.

The jog for the Kentucky Cup was this afternoon and all went smoothly. By next year, there will be a new and improved area for all the jogs. This will leave me, and I am sure many others, looking for a way to explain how to get to the jog. For years we have directed people to the Grill On The Hill. Now that it is going to be moved – what landmark will I have to describe the location? I should have enough time before the Games begin to figure it out.

One thing I definitely have to figure out before next September is what to do with foreign keyboards. I had a very nice gentleman from Germany check in today and it turned into quite a circus when I tried to help him connect to our wireless network. Being the know-it-all that I am, I sat down in front of his computer and began to click and type away. I had at least a paragraph of pure gibberish on the screen before it dawned on me that his keyboard was totally different. What was the letter A doing way over to the right. My solution to the problem was to call pitifully for the IT guy and while we were waiting for help to arrive, I sent his files from my computer. While that was a quick fix, it is not going to work for next year. This is why we have test events!

Day 3:
I have always been awed by driving. Of course this is coming from a person who barely passed her driving road test (of course that was a million years ago and I have gotten a little better over the years – unfortunately I have also gotten blinder over the years so it evens out and I am still a bad driver).

The first thing that amazes me is that there are four horses. Every other discipline has one. The time and devotion required to get one horse to the top level of competition is bad enough. I can’t imagine having to prepare four and possibly five horses for international competition – having them at the peak of fitness both physically and mentally, having them all in tune to turn in a winning performance over three days.

Most international caliber riders, and admittedly I deal with mostly the show jumpers, have a big horse and one that they either hope to bring on or is the back up. The heir and the spare theory. Four is beyond my comprehension even given the fact that they are often worked as one unit.

After watching some of the dressage, my absolute admiration goes to these grooms. These horses were immaculate as was the tack and the carriage. All the grooms come to the ring turned out as well as their horses. The horses were not the spiffy (and much easier) show horse syle – with the hair shaved down to skin –there was elbow grease and time into this and it shows style. The tack is a wonder unto itself. This is not the kind of equipment that you can take a damp sponge to – this has to be clean and polished. These grooms are amazing – either that or they have figured out how to add hours to their day!

Even though the dressage was gorgeous – I am still waiting for Saturday and the Marathon, which is probably the most exciting thing I have seen.
Violet Forbes
Press Operations

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

20 Questions for Chester Weber

Check out our featured athlete of the week, Kentucky Cup Driving contestant, Chester Weber. Watch Chester and other World Equestrian Games veterans at the official driving test event of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Kentucky Cup Driving, this weekend (October 1-4) at the Kentucky Horse Park.

CHESTER C. WEBER
AGE: JUNE 3 1975 (33)
DISCIPLINE: DRIVING
COUNTRY: USA

1. When did you start in your discipline?
In 1989

2. How did you get into driving?
I first started to compete with draft horses, specifically with Clydesdales, and when I went off to Boarding school at Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ I was introduced to Combined Driving by Jimmy Fairclough

3. Do you have any lucky driving attire?
Not really, I joke some times that there is magic in my old top hat

4. Do you have any advice for younger riders aspiring within your discipline?
Concentrate on the details and remembers winners train and losers complain

5. Who is your equestrian idol?
Michael Freund

6. If there was one other discipline you could compete in, what would it be?
Jumping

7. What characteristic or quality do you value most in a horse?
Temperament of a winner, without that training is for nothing

8. Where will you be in 5, 10 years?
At Live Oak Stud with my wife and family

9. What are 3 things you are most likely to find in your refrigerator?
St. Pellegrino water, limes and fresh fish

10. What is one thing you always take with you to horse shows/on the road?
Movies for amusement

11. What is the coolest place in the world driving has taken you?
Aachen during the CHIO

12. Given the chance, what horse(s) other than your own would you like to compete with?
Chardon’s team from 1998

13. What is your favorite horse show?
CHIO Aachen

14. What is the best/worst part about driving and competing?
Best, the travels. Worst, packing

15. What have horses and competing taught you?
“Winners train losers complain” all good horsemen and women can cull ruthlessly, and with horses you need humility

16. What have been the biggest rewards of your career?
Getting to work with fabulous horses

17. What are you most likely to be doing if/when you’re not driving?
Skiing on the snow or in the water or playing tennis

18. How do you unwind after a long day?
Glass of French Burgundy

19. How do you juggle your driving career with your life as a mom/dad?
I am neither mom nor dad that I know of

20. What excites you most about the 2010 Games in Kentucky?
Competing in my backyard aginst the world’s best

21. Have you ever ridden any other disciplines?
Not really

22. What music are you currently listening to?
Country

23. What do you think when you think about possibly riding in next year’s WEG?
The challenges of tomorrow’s training

24. What are you doing to try to get there?
Training and keeping focused

25. What impact do you think having WEG in the US will have on horse sports in this country?
It will have a great impact on bringing our sport to the masses of horse lovers in the US.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Get Your Games Face On

Wow, what a weekend! In case you missed it tickets went on sale Friday (if you did check out Ticketmaster.com and get yours today!) There were many, many long days spent prepping for ticket sales to begin, but our team survived and we were so relieved to see everything go smoothly for ticketbuyers Friday.

Some fans may not have purchased this weekend thinking, “I’ll still get to see everything I want.” Well, if you’re a fan of dressage, eventing, jumping, reining, or opening ceremonies, you might want to “pony” up before they’re gone!

With dressage, eventing, and jumping being Olympic disciplines they have a strong following and so we anticipated those events going fast, what we didn’t expect was how fast. They’re not sold out, but they may be gone before you realize.

That is by not means to miss out on driving, endurance, para-dressage or vaulting. Tickets have been sold for every one of the 49 sessions of ticketed events available. We’ve sold tickets in all 50 states and over 25 countries. This first week of sales has by far exceeded our expectations, and we can't wait to see all of you in Kentucky.

The support has been great and we’ll continue to work hard to make your experience next fall great! Over the past few weeks you may have noticed our recent partnership with the National Reining Horse Association. This agreement led to the NRHA putting on a Reining Freestyle Exhibition. With the Games being in the U.S. for the first time and reining being such a western sport, the fit seemed natural. The Reining Freestyle Exhibition on September 30, 2010 at 6 p.m. will be a special event whether you’re a diehard fan or experiencing reining for the first time.

In addition to ticket sales we also launched information regarding accommodations, parking, daily hospitality passes and World Games Radio. If you want to add to your experience at the 2010 Games any and all of these options will certainly help. As more information becomes available please be sure to check our website. There are two phases of the site and we’re currently in the first and planning towards the second. As the Games near we’ll make changes and add information to make the Games a once-in-a-lifetime-experience.

In the meantime, did you see our latest video?


Matt Reiter
Marketing and Sales
video

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reese Koffler-Stanfield Gets Ready for WEG

Wow - I'm so excited to be selected as the Kentucky Athlete Representative at the One Year Away Celebration for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. I want to introduce myself and my horse Goubergh's Kasper.

I am a true Kentucky girl born and raised right here in Lexington. I attended Sayre High School and the University of Kentucky. I graduated from UK with a B.S. in Agriculture Economics and a M.A. from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. My first experience on a horse was during my second birthday party which was held at the Kentucky Horse Park. Since that moment I've been passionate about riding.

For years I have dreamed of the possibility of representing my country in the sport of Dressage. That dream now holds extra special meaning for me as my hometown of Lexington, KY, has been chosen as the site of the World Equestrian Games in 2010. The World Games are considered the highest honor for any rider. I am currently a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist, a USDF Certified Instructor through Fourth Level, and the principle Trainer at Maplecrest Farm of Lexington. My husband Travis Stanfield, my parents Bruce and Margee Koffler, my uncle Dr. Michael Koffler, and all of my students and the staff of Maplecrest farm make up the most loving and supportive team that any rider could ever hope to have.

Kasper (aka “Kaspie” or “Goober”) is truly an amazing partner. His kind and witty personality never ceases to put a smile on my face each day. Kasper is a 16.2 hand Chestnut Gelding with a lengthy and prestigious resume. My parents and uncle purchased Kasper in 2008 and we became instant friends. Our goal for 2009 was to qualify for the United States Equestrian Federation Festival of Champions at the Grand Prix level. To achieve this goal Kasper and I began training with internationally known “S” judge, trainer, mentor, and friend Kathy Connelly, in Wellington Florida. Kathy and I have worked together for the past seven year with the goal of competing at the international level. This year Kasper and I competed in several international shows.... we made a huge splash! We won the Grand Prix Special at the Wellington Classic CDI ***, we were the leading Americans in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W at the Wellington Equestrian Festival, and won the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle at the Lamplight CDI *** in May. We were thrilled when we received our invitation to compete in the United States Equestrian Federation Grand Prix Dressage Festival of Champions held at USET Headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. Kasper and I finished 4th overall!!! Our goal now is to again qualify for the USEF Festival of Champions which will also serve as the final selection trial for the WEG!

Kasper and I are working hard to prepare for the upcoming qualifying shows. We will be working very hard to secure a place on the 2010 WEG team which would truly be a dream come true. I am often asked what steps I am taking to prepare for the WEG. I have certainly modified my daily routine and am working to improve my strength and physical fitness with the same veracity that Kasper approaches his training each day. I visit my personal trainer, Matt Veigel of Body Structure, at least 4 days a week. After Kasper has had his breakfast and enjoyed a few hours of turnout on our beautiful Kentucky bluegrass, we get to work. After our daily workouts and a bit of lunch, Kasper settles in for a nice long nap (of which I am jealous). Then in the afternoon he goes for a walk and has a massage from Jennifer Oliver of Central Kentucky Equine Massage Therapy, before dinner. Kasper's favorite treat is bananas. He will beg ALL day for one. I spend the rest of my day working with several horses that I am currently training, and having lessons with my many wonderful students. All of my students are hardworking and unique individuals so helping them reach their goals is definitely a priority.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here We Go!

Today has been a very busy day at the WEG office. In between radio interviews and planning for a huge celebration this Friday, our staff also met to walk through the DMAS, or detailed activities schedule, for our next two test events.

One Year to Go. Ticket Sales Launch. Kentucky Cup Driving and Kentucky Cup Endurance. There's just so much going on!

Jamie Link (our CEO) and I are visiting TV stations througout the region this week, inviting everyone to downtown Lexington on Friday, September 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as we celebrate "One Year to Go" with a festival at Lexington's Courthouse Plaza. And for those of you who cannot join us in Kentucky, I hope you'll celebrate with us through a live Web stream of the festivities on the city government Web site.

Our next two test events are also coming together very nicely. Kentucky Cup Driving will feature the largest gathering of Four-in-Hand drivers ever in America, and Kentucky Cup Endurance will include competitors from 22 countries. We have several international media outlets coming to Kentucky for these test events, and it's a great opportunity to showcase everything that makes the Kentucky Horse Park a premier facility for top equestrian competition.

It is always fun to hear and see the excitement growing, and the immense support that so many people have for this event.

Don't forget--we're giving YOU a chance to ask us questions about the Games. What staff do you want to hear from? What athletes do you want to see featured? Let us know who you want to hear from and your questions--just reply to Louise's blog from September 17th and we'll get the answers.

See you in downtown Lexington--or on the Web--on September 25th.

Amy Walker
Public Relations

Friday, September 18, 2009

We Want to Hear from You

When I first started riding, I was that kid who would rather be in my riding breeches than in a party dress. I would rather be giving pony rides on my vacation than going to the beach. I had posters of all of the top riders from every discipline plastered over my bedroom walls, much to my Mother’s chagrin. And much to my disbelief, I somehow landed a job working for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the eight world championships of equestrian sport; the most prestigious equestrian competition in the world.

If you were ever like me, you would have loved the opportunity to ask the insider questions. Now is your chance! For all of you horse-crazy kids just like me, equine-loving adults, or those just excited that the 2010 Games are coming to the United States or to your back yard, we want to hear from you.

What do you want to know about the Games? What staff members do you want to hear from? What questions do you want to ask athletes? You ask the questions, we’ll give you the answers.

Post your questions below and we will choose the comment with the best questions. And don’t forget to read all of the comments before posting your own…The more original the questions, the better!

Louise Bowden
Public Relations

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On the Road with Sinead Halpin

A few months ago I was in the middle of a whirlwind of activity. I had had a super run on my advanced horse, Tate, at the CIC 3* at The Fork, qualifying us for Jersey CCI 3*. My business on the other hand was an uphill battle. I was living in Middleburg trying desperately to get the training, sales and teaching back up to where it had been before shutting down to move to England the previous year. I was living on one of my best friend’s couches as I just hadn’t had the time to find a place to live. I was running in circles and not sure if I was getting anything done, and a broken arm caused real insult to injury.

In an effort to keep my mental game on track, since my physical game had a set back, I pulled out some sports psychology books, bought Badmington, Burghley and Rolex DVD’s, and tried to figure out what it was going to take to get to the top of the sport and still get a balance in day to day life.

In one book I read “not push the boat upstream." Instead, it said to survive in nature one must learn to “go with the flow." I quickly realized that is why I was “breaking” literally and figuratively. Why was I continuing to run around in circles, not have consistency in all my horses and not enough business to survive? I decided I needed a fresh start.

I moved to Gladstone, New Jersey where I had friends and peers and there were fewer horses and professionals than Middleburg. I headed back across the pond to get re-inspired and watched some good friends as well as greats such as Mark Todd, Mary King and William Fox-Pitt compete.

Physically healed, I headed to New Jersey. The first event back was one I was glad to get under my belt. I had only jumped a couple of times and I was determined to have a good run. Tate was a star, winning the Intermediate division, and with Geoffrey I placed in the OP division at Stuart Horse Trials. The feeling was more “relief” than “excitement” to be honest.

Since then things have been very positive. I love my new barn in New Jersey. Business is picking up and I have never been hungrier to take advantage of everyday I’m in the tack, and every day with my horses. Tate finished 5th at the CIC3* World Cup Qualifier in Canada last month and Geoffrey finished 2nd in the OP. The young horses at the barn have been stepping up to the plate as well! White Gloves Adamus “racer” just won his first begginer novice and Sir Bally Patrick Ricardo has won his last two Novices on 23's! Tate is headed to the CIC3* at Plantation Field next week and Geoffrey the CIC1*.

I have been lucky enough to remain on the Developing Rider list which made me eligible for a training grant. With the grant I have been able to get help from Show Jumpers Katie Prudant and Anne Kursinski and Dressage rider Betsy Steiner. I have read that most people who have been successful in their business or sport were not handed everything, but when a door opened they walked through without hesitation, or when an opportunity arose they took full advantage of it. I am aware that I have an amazing horse, have positive people surrounding me and am lucky enough to do a job that I love. I plan to take full advantage of every day that I have that.

My goals this season are to have successful outings at Fairhill CCI3* and qualify for Rolex 4* this spring—and I hope both will be great previews for the kind of competition we will see at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games next September. I also plan to enjoy every day on the journey there!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Those Countdown Clocks

If you get emails from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, you’ve recently been hit with several emails themed “Tickets On Sale Soon” and “Games Are Almost One Year Away.”

I hope every reminder of this big moment for the 2010 Games makes you just as excited as I am. And if you think you’re seeing Games information all the time, just imagine what it would be like if EVERY DAY, you were reminded that there’s one less day left to plan!

The Lexington, Kentucky community is counting down to the Games—literally. Every time I drive through downtown Lexington, I am reminded of this as I pass underneath two big countdown clocks posted over the city’s major downtown roadways. Friends send me text messages and email me photos of the countdown clock on significant days—500, 400, 399—just in case I ever forget that time is ticking away.

The first time that clock hit a number beginning with “3” was an important day for our staff. Momentum is building, preparations are coming together and our visitors are planning their trips for next year. But we are also reminded daily that we have one chance on this world’s stage. We have one chance to make a great first impression. We have one chance to get this right.

Personally, it was a little nostalgic; the unveiling of our countdown clocks was one of my first big press conferences as a member of our PR staff. Those countdown clocks began ticking with 1000 days to go. Now there are only 375.

As a native Kentuckian, I am so proud of this chance to welcome you all to my home state and showcase our Kentucky Horse Park. We in Lexington are thinking about these Games every day. I hope you are counting down with me!

(And if you’re not getting our emails, you’re missing out. Shameless plug now: go to www.alltechfeigames.com to register and find out about our other social media sites!)

Amy Walker
Public Relations

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hello From Spruce Meadows

Marilee and I arrived at Spruce Meadows on a beautiful brisk sunny Tuesday and were greeted by a spectacular facility with green tidy lawns, an abundance of beautiful flowers and sprinklers spraying vast amounts of water over the riding arenas. The sight was awesome. There was harried activity in the trade show as exhibitors set up their booths in preparation for the upcoming days of the Masters. The organization of Spruce Meadows is spot on and everythingruns like clockwork.

Wednesday morning presented a very different mood with everything setup and ready for business. Spectators were milling around beginning to make their purchases. Spruce Meadows offers a diverse trade show with many types of exhibitors, ranging from breed associations, fashion shows, English and Western tack and apparel, jewelry, art and much, much more!

Wednesday evening, in Congress Hall, the Exhibitor Reception presented by the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games was ready, set up with lovely flowers imported directly from Holland and delivered on the plane with the horses arriving from Europe. Linda Southern, CEO of Spruce Meadows, stopped by to extend a welcome to the exhibitors after which the Games promo video was shown. Marilee captured everyone’s attention with a great trade show presentation and we spoke with several interested vendors. Makers Mark was present offering a tasting of their Kentucky Bourbon and the Mint Juleps were a hit! We were thrilled with the turnout.

The 2010 Games booth has had a lot of activity over the past several days. So many peoplealready have the Games on their calendar. Many Canadians have already secured their tickets through pre-purchase programs and those who haven’t are anxiously awaiting September 25th to purchase their tickets . Spruce Meadows exhibitors have stopped by to ask questions about the WEG trade show, and we expect to see increased activity over the weekend. The excitement is mounting!

We extend our thanks to Cheryl Hatcher of the Kentucky Department of Tourism, and Mary Quinn Ramer and Lou Ann Pelle of the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau for their presence in our booth and the assistance they have given us.

We have had a great experience here at Spruce Meadows, but look forward to returning home next week to continue our preparations for The Games!

Debbie Blair and Marilee Meyers
Trade Show

Friday, July 31, 2009

Welcome!

Welcome to the Official Blog of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games!

Be sure to check back regularly for the latest updates on everything that goes into preparing for the games!

The World Equestrian Games are comprised of the world championships for eight equestrian sports. The Games are held every four years, two years prior to the Olympic Games, and are governed by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

If you would like more information about the games, please visit out website at www.alltechfeigames.com.