Monday, July 20, 2009

2010 WEG: Preparations for World Equestrian Games go full-tilt



Courier-journal.com - Full Article

July 17, 2009

By Gregory A. Hall

LEXINGTON, Ky. — It will be more than a year before tens of thousands of equestrian fans fill the new arena and outdoor stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park for 16 days of world championship equine events, but a practice round of sorts for competitors and organizers gets under way next week.
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An international reining test, expected to attract 75 competitors from North America, is open to the public on Tuesday and Thursday, followed July 30 with a four-day vaulting competition.

That first "dress rehearsal" is the latest step since Lexington won the right to host the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games — with an estimated 60,000 fans and 700 competitors from 60 countries.

In the more than three years since that happened, a $45million, 6,000-seat indoor arena has been built at the horse park, along with a $25million outdoor stadium that with temporary seating can hold up to 30,000, along with numerous other details like lining up parking as close as possible in Central Kentucky.

The local organizer of the event said staffers are working to ensure that by Sept. 25, 2010, the day the games begin, nothing goes wrong — and even if it does, you don't notice.

"We go through literally every minute of every day, detailed planning (for) … transportation, security, competition, hospitality, food service, trade show," said Jamie Link, chief executive of the World Games 2010 Foundation. The goal is to "have a very detailed plan and also a very detailed contingency plan for weather, security issues, transportation issues."

The arena got positive reviews Friday from one of the first riders to use it.

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