In the wake of Britain’s withdrawal from the bid for the 2010 World Equestrian Games, Kentucky has announced it will pitch for the games, which would take the event out of Europe for the first time since its inception.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is finalising its bid proposal to hold the event at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. It was unsuccessful in its bid to stage the 2006 WEG, losing out to Aachen, Germany, but hopes are high this time round.
Kentucky’s Commerce Secretary Jim Host explains: “Kentucky is the horse capital of the world and is the ideal location for this equestrian sport.”
The Horse Park already has a world-class reputation for hosting of the Lexington four star event, which attracts riders from all over the world. Kentucky would host the World Equestrian Games but is representing the United States in this bid.
“We fund and send the United States’ equestrian teams to international competitions throughout the world, including the Olympic Games, and we relish the opportunity to host the World Equestrian Games, right here in our own back yard, the Kentucky Horse Park,” said John Long, Chief Executive Officer of USEF
“It’s long overdue that these games be held in the United States and we are energized by the enthusiasm the governor’s office has for this bid.”
The WEG were first held in 1990, and have since been held quadrennially. They bring together seven equestrian disciplines over the course of approximately two weeks: competitors battle it out for the title of world champion in eventing, show jumping, dressage, endurance riding, driving, reining and vaulting.
Kentucky’s plans include building a 300-room hotel, as well as a $30million indoor arena. But the expectation of a successful bid for the games generating as much as $90million in the region is an added incentive to the prospect of promoting Lexington as a premier international equestrian venue.
“Having the World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park would, for the first time, allow all seven disciplines to be held at the same venue. Although this will be a monumental undertaking, we are confident that we can host the best games in the history of this event,” said John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park.