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WEG 2010 will be largest sporting event in US

December 8, 2009

Next year's World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park will be the largest sporting event in the US in 2010, and the second largest in North America - second only to the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

The park's new outdoor stadium, which was opened in April 2009.

The new climate-controlled Indoor Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park was on the master plan developed for the park since 1999 and opened in July of 2009.

The games will host the largest group of horses - nearly 690 - ever to be shipped by air into the US.

The state of Kentucky has invested $US110 million into the horse park to prepare for the WEG. It will be the first time the games have been held outside Europe.

Speaking at last week's US Eventing Association Annual Meeting and Convention, US Equestrian Federation CEO John Long said it was five years ago that the USEF made the pitch to host the games. "We've all put in a tremendous amount of work since then," and the event needed to be "technically, artistically, and financially perfect," he said.

Jane Beshear, wife of Kentucky Governer Steve Beshear, said the Kentucky Horse Park was working on "green" solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of the event, when countless people will be on-site. More energy-efficient technology is being used, such as solar-polar trash compactors and endless recycling.

"It's a time when we're all very nervous and excited. We will get everything done before the Games and it'll be the best it can possibly be. You'll be aghast at the metamorphosis of this horse park."

US Eventing chef d'quipe Captain Mark Phillips believes that the United States will have a great "home court" advantage at the event.

"There's going to be a lot of riders working extra hard this winter," he said.

Phillips said that the final mandatory outing before the Games would be held at Chattahoochee Hills in conjunction with the American Eventing Championships. "What better place to prepare for the WEG than at the AEC?" he said.

The team will stay on and prepare for the Games at the immaculate training facility at "Chatt Hills," owned and enjoyed by Belgian rider Carl Bouckaert.



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