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Gov. Beshear announces Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games had economic impact of more than $201 million Report: Visitors to event came from 63 countries, all 50 states
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 27, 2011) – The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games held in 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park had an economic impact of $201.5 million, Governor Steve Beshear announced today.
“The World Equestrian Games were indeed a success and this report illustrates the positive result that our local and state governments, our sponsors, the many volunteers, the business community and the citizens of the Commonwealth working together can have.” Gov. Beshear said. “It also underscores the important role of the Kentucky Horse Park and the legacy the games will have for future years.”
Gov. Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear, Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons, Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow and Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson participated in the announcement today at the Kentucky Horse Park.
“The World Equestrian Games was a unique opportunity to reaffirm our standing as Horse Capital of the World, as well as promote tourism and business in Kentucky,” said Mrs. Beshear. “To witness the event first-hand, from its inception to the closing ceremony of the final day, I am thrilled with its success and want to thank everyone who took part in creating and executing such a tremendous, historic event for our state.”
The Alltech World Equestrian Games were held Sept. 25 through Oct. 10, 2010, the first time the international event had been held outside of Europe. The games are composed of eight events – dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, para dressage, reining and vaulting.
According to the report commissioned by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Alltech World Equestrian Games Foundation reported that it sold or provided complimentary tickets to 419,853 visitors. They came from 63 countries and all 50 states.
The economic impact took into account “direct” spending that accounted for $128.2 million. This includes guest spending at the Horse Park, lodging, restaurants, shopping centers and retail outlets.
It also considered “indirect” spending – $73.3 million – such as money spent for food and lodging suppliers, construction and other services that were needed to support the influx of guests.
The report found that $55.4 million was spent on tickets, food, souvenirs and other items at the event while $39.6 million was spent on lodging. The games also generated nearly $18.4 million in state taxes and nearly $4.6 million in local taxes, the report said.
“While these financial impact numbers are quite impressive and stronger than even anticipated, the impact extends far beyond the monetary evaluation,” said Dr. Lyons. “For years to come, our community will reap the benefits of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, from a new sense of community pride to statewide improvements and infrastructures that continue to drive tourism today.”
The study was conducted for the cabinet by Certec Inc. of Versailles. Information for the study was supplied by the World Games 2010 Foundation Inc., the Kentucky Horse Park, and the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. An online version of the report is available at http://www.kentuckytourism.com/industry/research.aspx.
“The investment Gov. Beshear and the legislature made here at the Horse Park has already made this facility the best in the nation for equine-related events and organizations,” Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. “The visibility the Games brought to our city and the investments the state made in Lexington to help our city host the Games – road improvements, a much improved gateway into our city and a new runway at the airport – have elevated Lexington’s brand as the Horse Capital of the World. The legacy and the economic impact of the Games have been remarkable.”
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games had a direct impact on passenger travel at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport. In October 2010, passenger enplanements increased by 39 percent from the previous year, according to the airport’s 2010 annual report.
The airport and its partners hosted more than 700 private and corporate airplanes, provided security for international dignitaries, welcomed more than 460 international athletes and facilitated 18 special event charter flights, said Eric Frankl, executive director at Blue Grass Airport
“It was a privilege for the airport to serve as the gateway to central Kentucky for World Equestrian Games visitors,” he said. “The airport experienced one of its busiest months in airport history as a result of the collaborative effort put forth by our airlines, airport partners and staff to successfully handle an event of this magnitude.”
Follow Governor Beshear on Twitter @Govstevebeshear, read the Governor’s personal notes on his blog at http://blog.governor.ky.gov/, and view the Governor's weekly YouTube commentary at http://www.youtube.com/governorbeshear.
White Prince, a very rare white Thoroughbred, arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park today (Wed, June 22, 2011) at 1:30pm.
He is one of only a few dozen registered white Thoroughbreds in the world.
White Prince will become a member of our Breeds Barn and will participate in our Parade of Breeds Shows.
He was donated to the Kentucky Horse Park by Patchen Wilkes Farm of Lexington, which bred him.
Watch a video of White Prince
Photos by PixBySteve.com
The Kentucky foal license plate funds the Kentucky Horse Council programs, helping Kentucky horse owners, equine businesses and associations, and the welfare of Kentucky horses.
Because of the revenue from the foal license plate, KHC is able to provide programming and support for Kentucky equestrian trail access and maintenance, health and welfare initiatives, education and networking, youth activities, competitions and support for the equine industry.
Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, a therapeutic riding program at the Kentucky Horse Park, needs you!
Join them as a volunteer for their Therapeutic Riding Classes. Work with CKRH's kind horses and amazing riders.
Orientation and training for new volunteers second Saturday of each month 1-4 pm.
We have original, licensed Secretariat jewelry by Jane Heart available in our Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop.
The styles include a large and small pendant, charm, charm bracelet, brooch, and cuff links. They are available in sterling silver and 14k and 18k gold.
Designer Jane Heart stated, “I am honored to have the license to design jewelry for Secretariat. He, indeed, followed his heart with his tremendous passion for running and has been an inspiration to me to continue to follow my own heart. Being an extra in the movie was indeed a thrill and later seeing it to experience the drive and confidence of Mrs. Chenery achieving her dreams was a memorable event for me. The voice of Chic Anderson from CBS television said it all, 'He is running like a tremendous machine!' May these designs of Secretariat also inspire you to pursue your dreams and reach the highest level of your ability.”
Each piece is stamped with the name Secretariat™ on the back and arrives in a gift box with a blue satin pouch.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each piece goes to the Secretariat Foundation which benefits various horse charities including horse rescue and laminitis.
Call 859-259-4244 or email
THE EQUINE VISION OF ROBERT VAVRA Kentucky Horse Park to Present a 60-Year Retrospective by the World's Premier Photographer of Horses
LEXINGTON, KY (February 24, 2011) Famed novelist James Michener once wrote, “Though equus has fired the imaginations of painters from the prehistoric hunter-artists of Altamira to Leonardo da Vinci, Velazquez, Goya and Picasso, still in the history of photography no cameraman has recorded the horse with such excitement and personal style as has Robert Vavra. His photographs are works of art; they are interpretations of the horse as perceptive as those done by Stubbs and Remington. They are a joy to see, because they evoke the inner nature of the horse.”
Today Robert Vavra is universally recognized as the world’s premier photographer of equines, and his work will be the focus of the Kentucky Horse Park’s next exhibition, Vavra’s Vision: The Equine Images of Robert Vavra, Mar 19-May 30 in the International Museum of the Horse – a Smithsonian Affiliate. The exhibition is being presented courtesy of the International Institute of Photographic Arts.
By portraying the horse in his fresh and very personal way, Robert Vavra has become an icon in his own lifetime. He is the author of 37 books accounting for more than 3,000,000 volumes in print, in eight languages. This retrospective exhibition will delve into the world that Vavra has created through his lens for the past 60 years while circling the globe. In photographs, in film and in print, his images capture the strength, beauty and wisdom of the horse.
There will also be a public lecture and book signing with Mr. Vavra on Saturday, March 19 at 10:30am at the Kentucky Horse Park.
For more information about this exhibition, contact the Kentucky Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse, 859-259-4232. For more information on Robert Vavra, go to www.robertvavra.com.
What the critics say about Robert Vavra’s work:
"Internationally acclaimed photographer Robert Vavra's story is amazing..." -- CNN
"Robert Vavra...might well have been a character Ernest Hemingway invented for one of his books set in Spain...Vavra is elegant in the way people are when everything extraneous has been burned away by the fires and acids of a passionate life." -- THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"I did like Robert Vavra's book not only for its so very good photographs but for the text as well. He's no ordinary fellow, obviously..." -- NORMAN MAILER
"Seldom is found in one person an author of Vavra's caliber, a photographer unparalleled and a sensitive chronicler of animal behavior..." -- UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
"During my lifetime I have met dozens of writers and photographers in dozens of different countries. But I have encountered no one who could both write and photograph with the artistry of Robert Vavra." -- JAMES A. MICHENER
"Vavra's photographs vault the travel barriers of our strange times..." -- THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Vavra's pictures and words are emotional, romantic and grand." -- COSMOPOLITAN
"I am a great admirer of Robert Vavra and love his beautiful photographs and books. He is a wonderful artist, a poet..." -- LENI RIEFENSTAHL
"...exquisite photographs..." -- THE WASHINGTON POST
"...the photographs are not only stunning artistic success, but more wonderfully, Vavra's writing is equal to his enterprise." --THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
"The focus is personal...poetic..." -- NEWSWEEK
"...enlightening stories and pictures...what beautiful intimate close-ups." -- ALFRED EISENSTAEDT
"...remarkable photos..." -- BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB
"They are superb, totally unhackneyed..." -- THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"...superlative pictures..." -- THE SATURDAY REVIEW
"...exquisite...confirms the existence of a pictorial genre that can only be called Vavra-esque - different in kind from all others." -- JAN MORRIS, THE LONDON TIMES
"Each of them a masterpiece..." -- THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER
"...glorious photographs singular in their artistry..." -- PBS
"Robert Vavra is one of these artists, part magician, part alchemist, who is able to create a series of photographs in unforgettable compositions. Only visible are the dunes, the blinding fields of flowers and the vast sky, the epic intimacy of Robert Vavra's vision." -- PETER USTINOV
"Robert Vavra has moved the mighty and the masses. His photographs are so loved that most of his thirty-three books have never gone out of print, and the words in them have been translated into ten languages from Japanese to Swedish...Peter Ustinov called him an alchemist with his camera. Ernest Hemingway was his friend; Princess Grace of Monaco, Yehudi Menuhin, Ustinov and James Michener wrote his forewords. Michener says there is no better photographer. The book they did together, IBERIA, was more than a year on the New York Times best seller list..." -- THE ADVOCATE AND GREENWICH TIMES
"...photographs of dazzling artistic beauty." -- GOOD MORNING AMERICA
KENTUCKY HORSE PARK ADULT RIDING PROGRAM
Kick-Start your New Year’s Resolution to Get Fit!
The weather is warmer and the grass is green. Those New Year’s resolutions to loose weight and get fit are long forgotten. Let the Kentucky Horse Park help you kick-start and renew that resolution with the Adult Riding Program scheduled from May 4 – 7, 2011, and May 11-14, 2011.
Team up with a friend or just bring yourself to learn balanced seat riding and “feel the burn” of using long forgotten muscles while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Kentucky Horse Park from horseback!
Participants will learn general horse care while exercising their entire body and getting more fit. The course is geared toward all levels of riders from beginners to experienced riders who are simply looking for more instruction. Participants will have daily riding, vigorous riding instruction, and also enjoy relaxing trail rides.
The course is offered in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate adults’ busy work schedules, and participants can sign-up for one or both sessions.
Enrollment is limited to 10 riders per session so register early to ensure your enrollment and get ready to “feel the burn” in a fun and exciting way that beats spending hours walking on a treadmill!
Session One: May 4-7 5– 7:30pm W,Th,F; or 9am – 3pm Sat
Session Two: May 11-14 5- 7:30 pm W,Th,F; or 9am – 3pm Sat
For more information or to register, please contact Sheila Forbes in the Kentucky Horse Park Education Department at 859-233-4303 or