2010 World Equestrian Games to be held at Kentucky Horse Park

For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 8, 2005

For the first time, the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) will be held outside of Europe when the games come to the United States in 2010. The announcement of Kentucky's successful bid to host the games was made half-way around the world in Bahrain on December 6, 2005. The Kentucky Horse Park, soon to be the permanent home of the USDF and its National Education Center, will be the venue for all seven FEI equestrian disciplines which make up the WEG, including dressage.

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher was all smiles as he made the announcement to an enthusiastic crowd of industry leaders gathered for a press conference at the Kentucky Horse Park. He observed, "This will be an unprecedented opportunity for our Commonwealth to showcase itself to the world. We are known as the epicenter of the equestrian world and we have a deep appreciation for all things having to do with the horse. I know that we will stage a very successful series of competitions."

United States Equestrian Federation President David O'Connor also noted that the FEI World Equestrian Games would confirm the Kentucky Horse Park as the center of equestrian sports in the U.S. "I've competed all over the world, and there is no place like the Kentucky Horse Park."

John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, now has the honor and responsibility of hosting the FEI WEG. "This will be the first time that the World Equestrian games will be staged at a single venue. That's because there isn't another site in the world that has the facilities that are available at the Kentucky Horse Park...  It will be the park's privilege and distinction to represent the United States to the world via the games."

A five-member delegation consisting of John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, Rob Hinkle, Director of Operations at the Kentucky Horse Park, Derrick Ramsey, Deputy Secretary of the Commerce Cabinet, Tandy Patrick, Chair of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission, and John Long, Chief Executive Officer of the United States Equestrian Federation, Inc., made the winning presentation.

The games are scheduled for September 20 - October 3, 2010 and have estimated ticket sales of 300,000. More than 1,000 athletes representing 50 countries are expected to participate. The games will be broadcast live from the Kentucky Horse Park to 40 countries and reported world-wide by more than 1,000 members of the international media.

The FEI World Equestrian Games are the combination of the World Championships of all the FEI disciplines held concurrently at the same location. They consist of the seven FEI disciplines: Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Vaulting, Endurance, and Reining. The first competition took place in 1990 in Stockholm and was a great success. It was followed by the The Hague (The Netherlands) in 1994, Rome (Italy) in 1998, Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) in 2002. The German city of Aachen will be the location for the fifth FEI World Equestrian Games Competitions in 2006.

For more information, contact Lisa Jackson at the Kentucky Horse Park, 859-259-4224, Sarah Lane at the U.S. Equestrian Federation, 859-225-6974, or Chris Gilligan at the Commerce Cabinet of Kentucky, 502-564-4270.

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit www.usdf.org, email usdressage@usdf.org, or call (859) 971-2277.