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American Saddlebred Involvement in the Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games



Editor’s note: The following information was submitted by Ms. Tandy Patrick, Chair of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission and a member of the Board of the 2010 World Games Foundation, Inc. She also serves as the Fair Board Member-in-Charge of the Kentucky State Fair World's Championship Horse Show.

 

With less than 1,000 days to go before the start of the Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games, Saddlebred owners are wondering how our breed can be involved in the Games, and what we can do to maximize the opportunities that the Games will present for exposure of our breed. 

I have had the unique opportunity to be involved with the 2010 event from the very beginning; I was a member of the five-person delegation from Kentucky that traveled to Bahrain in December of 2005 to make the Horse Park’s final presentation to the FEI to host the 2010 event, and I continue to serve on the Board of the entity that is conducting the 2010 event, the “World Games 2010 Foundation, Inc.”  I am a lifelong owner, breeder and exhibitor of American Saddlebreds, and I am excited and energized about the opportunities that 2010 provides for our breed!

As background information, the World Equestrian Games consist of the world championships for eight different equestrian disciplines, namely, show jumping; dressage;  eventing;  driving;  reining;  vaulting;  endurance;  and para-equestrian.  The Games are held every four years, two years prior to the Olympic Games, and are governed by the FEI, which is the international governing body of equestrian sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee.  The United States Equestrian Federation, which is the national governing body for equestrian sport in the United States, is one of over 130 members of the FEI.

The 2010 event will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park over a 16-day period.  The event organizers anticipate an average attendance in excess of 50,000+ people per day at the Park over this 16-day period.  The 2010 event will be the first time the Games have been held outside of Europe.

During the Games, buses will transport visitors to and from the Park (all visitors will park off-site at designated locations and will be transported via buses that will run nonstop to and from the Horse Park).  There will be a large, very upscale vendor area in the main parking lot of the Horse Park adjacent to the American Saddlebred Museum, and buses will load and unload right in front of the Sultan statue at the Museum.

A permanent change that will be implemented at the Horse Park within the coming year is a pathway that will lead from the covered arena area to the Saddlebred Museum; this will greatly enhance the visibility and accessibility of the Museum for all visitors at the Horse Park!

The current covered horse show arena at the Horse Park will be utilized during the Games for demonstrations and exhibitions, which will be ongoing during the Games and which will be free of charge for all who have a general admission ticket.  The concourse at the covered arena will be utilized as a trade show/booths for various horse organizations.

All of this presents wonderful opportunities for us to showcase the Saddlebred, including the following:

1.     Marketing Booth 

The ASHA has reserved a booth in the trade show/vendor area to be located in the main parking lot of the Horse Park, which will feature informational and marketing materials about the American Saddlebred.

2.     Exhibits/Demonstrations 

In March of 2008, the 2010 organizers will release an RFP (“Request for Proposal”) to all recognized equine organizations, inviting them to submit a proposal for an equine exhibition/demonstration to be held in the covered arena during the Games.  The ASHA intends to formulate and submit a proposal.  The 2010 organizers have formed a special committee that will review all responses and make a determination as to which exhibits/demonstrations will be included in the 2010 event.

The 2010 organizers contemplate an additional area for various horse organizations (including the ASHA) to set up informational booths on the concourse area of the covered arena.

The event organizers view these demonstrations and exhibitions as a wonderful way to involve all equine breeds, and they hope to include a wide variety of entertaining and informative presentations.  This spirit of inclusiveness, of all sport horse breeds, is reflective of the Kentucky Horse Park’s mission:  to celebrate mankind’s unique relationship with the horse.  The American Saddlebred is unique, as Kentucky’s native breed, with our World’s Championship Horse Show being held at the Kentucky State Fair every year.

3.     Opening and Closing Ceremonies 

The event will feature elaborate Opening and Closing Ceremonies, similar to the Olympics, which will be televised not only throughout the United States but also overseas.  We are hopeful that American Saddlebreds will be included in these ceremonies.

4.     American Saddlebred Museum – “Showplace for Saddlebreds”

The Museum presents one of the most exciting opportunities that we have to truly ‘showcase’ the American Saddlebred to all 2010 visitors! As noted above, the buses transporting visitors to and from the Event will load and unload right in front of the Museum, and the Museum will be contained within the vendor show area.  A “live feed” of the 2010 competition will be displayed on television screens in the Museum throughout the event.  I think this provides an opportunity for us to ‘meet and greet’ visitors at the Museum, and also gives us an opportunity to develop and distribute materials to visitors – not only information about our breed, but also items such as listing of Saddlebred farms and contact info if 2010 visitors would like to visit a Saddlebred farm while they are in Kentucky (for example).

5.     Volunteers

The 2010 event will engage an army of volunteers, including groups such as equine science program students from William Woods, Stephens, Georgetown, Midway, etc.  Anyone who is interested in serving as a volunteer can register online at the 2010 Web site, which is www.feigames2010.org.




 

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