Kentucky Horse Park's new stadium opened

April 24, 2009

The new outdoor stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park was officially opened on Wednesday afternoon, and first to use the $US25 million facility will be the dressage riders at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, which starts today.

John Nicholson, Executive Director of the park, along with special guests Governor and Mrs Steven L Beshear, welcomed a crowd of government officials, business leaders, equestrian and tourism industry representatives, and the public. The new Outdoor Stadium is one major component of a master capital improvement plan that will allow the Kentucky Horse Park to continue to attract large horse shows and other events to Kentucky.


The Kentucky Horse Park's new outdoor stadium.
The stadium's field of play is about 109m x 123m (406' x 360'), with state-of-the-art footing by the German company OTTO Sportin the stadium and adjacent warm-up ring, which drains quickly to enhance the safety of horses and riders who will compete in a variety of equestrian disciplines. The stadium, which is lighted for night competitions, also includes six restrooms, six concession areas, a hospitality building, and a state-of-the-art LCD Daktronic scoreboard.

The stadium was designed by EOP Architects of Lexington, Kentucky, and constructed by Messer, a Lexington, Kentucky commercial construction company, and employed about 200 people during its construction. It has nearly 7400 permanent seats (4630 covered, 102 for disabled), and the flexibility to expand the seating to 30,000 for very large shows like the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games which will be held at the park in 2010.

"Every citizen of Kentucky can be proud of their Kentucky Horse Park and the influence the new facilities will have in attracting business to our commonwealth," said Governor Beshear. "My administration is working to ensure that Kentucky remains the 'Horse Capital of the World,' with all of the benefits that flow through every county as a result."

The first organization to rent the new Outdoor Stadium is Equestrian Events, Inc, which hosts the annual Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Held April 23-26, the dressage and stadium jumping phases of the competition will take place in the stadium.

"This will truly be a momentous year for the Kentucky Horse Park and for the citizens of the great Commonwealth of Kentucky," said Nicholson.

"Every improvement that we make to the park will increase our ability to attract new business to Kentucky."