Thursday, July 01, 2010

World Equestrian Games Preview - Full Article

by: Jennifer O. Bryant
July 01 2010, Article # 16603

Excitement mounts for the biggest-ever equestrian competition on U.S. soil.

Think of the biggest sporting events in the United States, and which ones come to mind? The Super Bowl, of course. The Kentucky Derby. A handful of mega-competitions, such as the two-week-long tennis U.S. Open. Two months from now, for the first time in history, the United States will host a 16-day sporting extravaganza that will approach the U.S. Open (which drew 700,000-plus spectators in 2009) in attendance size. It will command more than six hours of network television airtime, and it will bring together athletes from 60 nations.

It's the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), and the eight-discipline equestrian world championships kick off Sept. 25 on the pastoral grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park, near Lexington.

The World Games 2010 Foundation, the Lexington-based organizer, anticipates selling 600,000 reserved tickets. The Commonwealth of Kentucky has been building arenas and stabling, expanding infrastructure, widening roads, and more since 2005, when the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body of equestrian sport, awarded the 2010 WEG to Lexington. In return, Kentucky hopes to realize the projected $150-plus-million influx of visitor dollars...

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