Archive for the Kentucky Category

Thank You WEG!

Posted in Events, Horse Lovers, Horse Park, Kentucky, Rolex, Special Events, Trainers/Clinicians, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on October 12, 2010 by martimu

The outdoor arena waits for its next big event

Are they really over? Has the last competitor really been loaded into a trailer, onto a plane and zoomed far, far away?

Yep. Four years’ worth of personal blog build-up and now it’s over. But I will never, ever forget how these Games touched my soul.

All the planning. All the parties. All the announcements, hoopla and happenstance. Below is a video “Thank You” I composed using the footage I grabbed with my iPhone while on duty and little camera during my free times.

I kept my participation out on the edges and I think it was a truly wonderful vantage point to soak in everything that was so right about the WEG. And while I may have been just a rake and pitchfork wielding extra let me tell you, these duties gained me access to everything I could have hoped to have been a part of and gotten to witness firsthand and so up close I would find the bits of dropped carrots the competitor horses accidentally dropped from their groom’s, rider’s and trainer’s hands as they made their way out of the arena.

This one was painted with a sort of equine topographic map of some of the noteworthy farms of the Bluegrass region.

One of MANY painted ponies in the Alltech pavilion

The final tally had well over 60 countries represented as competitors or visitors to the Commonwealth of Kentucky an honor indeed.

So many participating countries!

Fuego XII enters the practice ring

One of my favorite equine athletes was the Spanish horse Fuego XII who danced and pranced under the worthy guidance of his capable rider, Juan Munoz Diaz. Maybe not as technically accomplished as Edward Gal and his stallion Moorlands Totilas but as accomplished and joyful as any horse and rider ever was.

One of the Entryways

So Now Kentucky — and I — are getting back into our normal routines. We miss everyone who gave of themselves during these amazing Games. We thank the sponsors, the athletes, their retinues, the volunteers, the clinicians, the exhibitors, the breed demonstrators and everyone else who played a role in making these such a memorable, fulfilling and happy experience. Well done to everyone and Thank you WEG!



Eventing Jumps are Wicked Wide + Tall

Posted in Events, Kentucky, Rolex, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , , , on October 5, 2010 by martimu

From the all day vantage point of crowd control at the midway point of the Eventing Cross Country course I was able to sneak some video footage collection in between closing the gallop lanes to onlooker and golf cart traffic. I went back the next day to shoot these same jumps from eye level so you can start to appreciate what these horses are being asked to do. I know I posted some photos – but have a look as my camera sort of ‘takes’ the jumps from about horse whither height or so. They are the “Land Between the Lakes” series.

Ssome reminders. The course:

  • is 3.98 miles long
  • has 28 jumps as deep and as wide as standards allow
  • designed by “Michael Etherington-SmithMaximum Mike
  • said to be a ‘true four star‘ design ****

When you see the pairs negotiate the jumps in this video they are about 2/3 of the way through the course – so an underlying question is “How much horse has the rider got left?” at this point. As it turns out a lot of the riders had a lot of horse left and only one fell suffering a bruised ego and instant elimination. Both horse and rider walked away.

Some say these courses are too tough. There is controversy surrounding this discipline because of that. Lots of different points of view are registered. For me I have a pokey paint and a mini with no aspirations towards flight. Well not purposeful flight anyway. So what do I know? And I have to remind myself that the 14.2 hand Connemara pony, Eventing Champ Theodore O’Connor ridden by Karen O’Connor* successfully jumped jumps just like this throughout his career at the Kentucky Rolex 3 Day Event and WON! So they are doable for the right combo.

* I think Teddie and Karen are related somehow via their common Irish ancestry but the details never seem to be posted exactly what the lineage is.

NBC Affiliates to show select WEG events

Posted in Events, Kentucky, Special Events, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , , on September 24, 2010 by martimu

Daily TV schedule – Lexington NBC Affiliate – Local Channel 18

10.5 hours scheduled for free access

Saturday, Sept. 25

7-9 p.m. (NBC-18) — Opening ceremonies (live).

Sunday, Sept. 26

Noon-1:30 p.m. (NBC-18) — Reining team competition (live); opening ceremonies highlights (taped).

Monday, Sept. 27

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Insight-565) — Reining team competition (taped).

Sunday, Oct. 3

1-6 p.m. (NBC-18) — Eventing cross country and jumping competitions; Dressage freestyle and reining individual competitions (taped).

Monday, Oct. 4

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-5 p.m. (Insight-565) — Jumping speed competition (live).

Tuesday, Oct. 5

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-5 p.m. (Insight-565) — Jumping team competition (live).

Wednesday, Oct. 6

7-9:30 p.m. (Insight-565) — Jumping team competition finals (live).

Thursday, Oct. 7

11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. (Insight-565) — Eventing stadium jumping (taped); Dressage freestyle and reining individual competitions (taped).

Friday, Oct. 8

5:30-7 p.m. (Insight-565) — Jumping individual competition (live).

Saturday, Oct. 9

8-9:30 p.m. (Insight-565) — Jumping Rolex Top Four (live).

Sunday, Oct. 10

4-6 p.m. (NBC-18) — Coverage of jumping, vaulting and driving (taped); closing ceremonies (live).

Monday, Oct. 11

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Insight-565) — Coverage of jumping, vaulting, driving and closing ceremonies (taped).

Thursday, Oct. 14

6-7 p.m. (Insight-565) — Driving finals (taped)

Friday, Oct. 15

6-7 p.m. (Insight-565) — Vaulting finals (taped)

Read more

9 Lexington Area Insider Gems

Posted in Equine Rescue, Events, Kentucky, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , on September 24, 2010 by martimu

If you’re attending the World Equestrian Games in Lexington you’ll have access to a lot of information about some of the more commercially established places and sites to see. Those folks have the resources to place ads where you can easily see them. The places I’m about to tell you about are off the tourist path and known to the locals for being specifically wonderful in their area of expertise. So in no particular order:

  1. The Parkette Drive In
    1216 E New Circle Rd
    Lexington, KY 40505
    (859) 254-8723
    A traditionally styled old fashioned diner – and hey the food’s good too! It came close to being a has-been but was brought back to life a year ago by two brothers. If you’ve ever wanted to experience an authentic American drive in – this is your place.
  2. Cornerstone Pharmacy
    100 S Main St
    Versailles, KY 40383-1214
    (859) 873-3007
    Here’s another American classic – a luncheonette inside an old style drug store. Get an egg salad sandwich while you watch area horse farm managers come in and get their equine’s prescriptions filled.
  3. Addie’s Creekside Cafe
    5711 McCracken Pike

    Frankfort, KY, 40601
    In a little enclave called Millville this adorable little restaurant serves up some tasty + imaginative sandwiches you can enjoy with a beer on their comfortable porch. The drive here is about as gorgeous as you can get. You’ll go past some of the fanciest thoroughbred farms the region has to offer and through hill and dale in beautiful Kentucky style. Two mile up the road from the Woodford Reserve bourbon distillery (also worth a gander – but already well advertised).
  4. The Valleyview Ferry
    Ever wanted to experience an old fashioned boat ferry that crosses a river with one or two cars at a time? Of course you have – who wouldn’t? Now you can!
    Hours of Operation
    Monday-Friday 6:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
    Saturday 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
    Sunday 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
    It operate at no charge and connect southern Nicholasville to Richmond – and is a perfect side trip for anyone headed south back to Interstate 75 with a more adventurous spirit.
  5. Third Street Stuff
    Third Street Stuff
    257 N. Limestone
    Lexington, KY 40507
    (859) 255-5301
    Chock full of wacky and unusual trinkets you didn’t know you needed. They’ve also got a coffee shop. Absolutely adorable and unique!
  6. The Tack Rack
    1045 Georgetown Road , Suite A1
    Lexington, KY 40511 (Map)
    Got equine tack and apparel stuff to sell? Looking for a gently used something? Chances are they’ll have  it here. Some really great deals on some high quality stuff. It’s in a little strip mall that’s not much to look at next to Wise Choice tack. Another great local business. Dave, the owner just couldn’t bring himself to buy a booth at WEG ($$$)- but has awesome deals and an excellent selection for all you English riders.
  7. Seldom Scene Farm Llama Treks
    3605 Watts Ferry Rd.
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    Have you ever been curious about hiking with beautiful friendly llamas on some of the more perfectly inspirational trails the bluegrass region has to offer? This is a wonderful way to see the land and meet some locals. Seldom Scene Farm specializes in alpacas and using their ultra wonderful fiber in knit and felted goods. Lindy Huber, your hostess is also horsey, knowledgeable on the flora and fauna and an excellent baker – so don’t be surprised if your trek includes a delectable offering or two.
  8. The Kentucky Equine Humane Center
    1713 Catnip Hill Rd
    Nicholasville, KY 40356-9769
    (859) 881-5849
    Hey! How about bringing home THE ultimate souvenir! The KyEHC has horses of all breeds and manner. Their adoption fee is reasonable and you will get a friend for life.
  9. Iota McHippus
    Maybe you’ll be in the right place at the right time to meet the world’s snarkiest miniature horse. He lives here in the bluegrass and maintains a Facebook presence (so you can at least friend him). He will be insinuating himself into public venues if the authorities let him that is. Otherwise just look for his comments on his fan page they’re sure to be rude. It’s his specialty!

WEG Scuttlebutt #1

Posted in Events, Horse Park, Kentucky, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on September 8, 2010 by martimu

There will a ton of ways to spend $ at the WEG

Attending the official events is expensive. It just is. You need to pay park admission, parking and then have a ticket for each individual competition event.

They’re experiencing a gap between projections and actual ticket sales. The title sponsor, Alltech, found itself handing over another million buckS last week to help pay for the non-volunteer staff needed to run the event. They had expected pre-event ticket sales to have generated that money. Hasn’t happened. This is a Major Event! Where’s the hoopla? So far most of what we’ve heard is about the pain, the price and the products.

Our Official friends at the WEG haven’t leveraged the FREE social media available to us all to create meaningful buzz. Oh they’re tweeting marketing and consumer activities – but there’s been precious little fun and interesting information to accompany the barrage of advertisements. You know how when the Olympics are coming we get access to the personal stories of the competitors? Their struggles and the obstacles they’ve overcome? I thought we’d be getting some of that by now with who’s coming to Lexington. But I’m not seeing it. I love inspirational stories and I’m sure these Games are filled with them – but where are they being told?

So me and the rest of the general public are left thinking all who are coming to play in these Games are a bunch of rich people with no problems on very expensive horses. I don’t think that’s altogether true – because I follow some of the back stories of the annual Three Day Eventing competitors and some of them drive up in their own bedraggled trailers and sleep in friend’s houses during their three day run. You know what? Those are the people I can most relate to. I want to hear about them. I want to know what they’ve gone through to get here. I want to root for them and their horses meaningfully!

Well for all this bellyachin’ I still think once they start up – excitement will grow and this whole shebang will be a success despite itself. Why? Beause we horse lovers will make it so. 🙂

WEG News Update

Posted in Events, Horse Park, Kentucky, Trainers/Clinicians, World Equestrian Games on September 3, 2010 by martimu

2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games News:
Safeguards for International Shipment of Horses

Tick Took its Toll on World Equestrian Games’ Timing

Top Eventing Rider Townend Opts Out of WEG

Meet the Horses of the United States Para-Equestrian Team

WEG Cuts Budget; Alltech Steps in

Horse Enthusiasts Needed for WEG’s Opening Ceremony

Equine Village at the Kentucky Horse Park to Host Largest Gathering of World-Class Equine Clinicians and Entertainers in U.S.

The Equine Village will showcase the largest gathering of the best known equine entertainers, clinicians and breed representatives ever assembled in the US. There are five different venues for the Equine Village with each providing its own unique entertainment.
The Equine Village will host many of our country’s most recognized breed associations. Each of these associations will have an opportunity to showcase what makes their breed unique. Whether it’s flying over jumps, pulling carriages or performing elegant dressage tests, these many breed associations are sure to impress with a multitude of presentations. Breed demonstrations will be held throughout the 16 days of the Games in two central arenas in the Equine Village.
Competition tickets and Grounds Passes will include the Equine Village and the following presenters:
Clinician’s Corral
Hosted by Rick Lamb, of RFD’s “Horse Show,” the Clinicians Corral will be the place to find America’s top name clinicians. Lamb will introduce the clinicians who will be demonstrating their training methods and philosophies throughout the Games. With seating along all four sides of the arena, there is not a bad seat in the house. Clinicians will be scheduled from 10am to 7pm every day of the Games. Clinicians are:
Aaron Ralston
Asbury University Police Mounts
ASVH Sport Horse Short-Course
Certified Horsemanship Association with Julie Goodnight
Clinton Anderson
Craig Cameron
Dan Grunewald
J.P. Giacomini
Jo-Ann Wilson, Equine Sports Massage
John Lyons
Lynn Palm
Mary Midkiff
Pat Parelli
Peak Performance Mental Coaching
Richard Shrake
Schleese Saddlery Service
Stacy Westfall
The Harness Horse Youth Foundation
Two as One Horsemanship

Parade of Breeds (Cavalcade of Breeds) and World of Horses
Horses of all colors, shapes and sizes will parade every morning through the Village Arena. This will be a good opportunity to have an “all at once” look at the wide variety of breeds represented in the Equine Village. Audience members can return to see their favorite breed’s feature presentation, which will be scheduled during the 16 days. Jumping demonstrations, equestrian entertainers, precision drill teams and much more will all be part of the World of Horses, including:
Arizona Mini Mystique Driving Drill Team
California Cowgirls Drill Team
Culver Academies Lancers and Equestriennes
Easy Riders Drill Team
United States Pony Club
Wells Fargo Stage Coach
Horses on Stage

These daily two-hour shows will be filled with fast-paced equestrian entertainment and will include America’s best professional performers. Dancing horses, stagecoaches and trick riders will all join together to perform:
Dan James
Dancing Morgans
Dianne Olds Rossi and “Fire Magic”
Eitan Beth-Halachmy
El Brio Vanner, LLC with Odd Job Bob
Erik Martonovich
Gudmar Petursson Icelandic Horses
Lizzy Traband
Mario Contreras Equestrian Fiesta
Mary Alice Malone
National Cutting Horse Association
Ramon Becerra
Tommie Turvey, Equine Extremist
United States Hunter Jumper Association
Field Sports
Those who have never had the opportunity to see some of the best equestrian field sports such as Polocrosse, Horse Ball, Tent Pegging or Mounted Games will do just that in the Field Sports demonstration. These sports are popular all over the world:
Federation International Horse Ball
Francesca Kelly, Marwari Breed – tent pegging
United States Mounted Games Association

Breed Organizations
American Connemara Pony Society
American Driving Society
American Hackney Horse Society
American Morgan Horse Association
American Paint Horse Association
American Saddlebred Horse Association
American Shetland Pony & Miniature Horse Registry
Arabian Horse Association
KFPS–Friesian Horse Association of Northern America
International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association
International Saddle Seat World Cup
International Saddleseat Equitation
Francesca Kelly-Marwari Breed
National Walking Horse Association
Nokota Horse
Paso Fino Horse Association
Rocky Mountain Horse Association
Spotted Saddle Horse Association
Swedish Warmblood ASVH Sport Horse
U.S. Trotting Association
Walkin’ on Ranch, Tennessee Walking Horses
Educational Booths
Akhal-Teke Breeder’s Co-op
American Association of Equine Practitioners
American Connemara Pony Society
American Driving Society
American Farriers Association
American Saddlebred Horse Association
American Shetland Pony and Miniature Horse Registry
BLM, Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program
Continental Studbook
Culver Academy
El Brio, LLC-ZipLine Entertainment
Friesian Horse Association of North America
Harness Museum
International Andalusion and Lusitano Association
International Equine Body Workers Association
Irish Draught Horse Society
J.P. Giacomini
Jo Ellard at EE Ranches
John Lyons
Kentucky Equine Education Project
Kentucky Equine Higher Education Consortium
Kentucky Horse Council
Lynn Palm and APHA
Mary Midkiff, Women and Horses
National Cutting Horse Association
National Reining Horse Association
National Walking Horse Association
Pat Parelli
Rocky Mountain Horse Association
Swedish Warmblood Association
T & N Custom Steel Buildings LLC
U.S. Eventing
U.S. Polo
United States Hunter Jumper Association
United States Mounted Games Association
United States Pony Club
Virginia Horse Industry Board
World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses
Irish Village
American Connemara Pony Society
B.W.Furlong & Associates, Equine Veterinarian
Goresbridge Horse Sales
Horse Sport, Ireland
Irish Draught Horse Association
Kids Appeal
American Vaulting Association
Haflinger Owners of Wisconsin
Molly the Pony
The Bandit and Melissa

In addition, the Kentucky Horse Park will feature A Gift from the Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse international blockbuster exhibition in the International Museum of the Horse.  A Gift from the Desert is a collection of 400 pieces of Arabian art and artifacts assembled from museums and private lenders around the world.  Admission to this world-exclusive exhibition is only an additional $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 7-12 during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Admission to the Equine Village is included with the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games tickets, including the Grounds Pass (only $25 most days).  Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free of charge except on Endurance, Cross Country and Driving Marathon days.
For ticket information go to

WEG Info Released!

Posted in Events, Kentucky, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on August 5, 2010 by martimu

The leadership over at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) headquarters have finally let loose with some information for how to negotiate your way around the event as it unfolds at the Kentucky Horse Park for 16 days beginning late September. It’s officially entitled “Spectator Guide”.

I love attending an event where I need a 27 page handbook to help me get to where I’m going, don’t you? I’ve gone through it and have found some highlights:

more cowbellPage 10: “Restricted Items and Activities: (note: they don’t say NO, so if English is your second or third language you may not understand what ‘restricted’ means. They didn’t include the red circle “NO” graphic anywhere on the list either.
Bags larger than 12 x 12 x 18 (No saddle or boot buying will be allowed apparently – or at least no returning them)
Fireworks and pyrotechnics (whew!)
• Frisbees, balls, cowbells, etc (what? No cowbells? Wait a second, this isn’t the World Bovine Games?)

Page 13: “Kentucky Ale, the official beer of the 2010 Games (…) must be consumed in designated areas.”
Don’t even think of not finishing your glass, amigo.

better be vaccinatedPage 14: “It is recommended that visitors become current with all necessary vaccinations prior to your arrival in Kentucky.” So, um, there’s a vaccination needed for visiting Kentucky?  To inoculate against, oh, I don’t know, sloppy English?

Page 20: “There will be no currency conversion in Lexington“. Yep. Uh huh. You betcha. ‘Cause this is really the American Equestrian Games, then, is it? The world can buck up so to speak? No, no, I’m being mean they do say you can exchange your funny money at your international point of arrival – one even being Louisville, but you better be prepared to pronounce that right or we’re only gonna give you improperly rolled quarters.

Page 21: “The United States does not have an official language…”. Hey I never thought of it that way. Seriously? That’s kind of forward thinking of us rednecks isn’t it. Cool.

Page 22: “Most major credit cards are accepted at retailers and vendors throughout Kentucky….”. Except in the WEG parking lot that’s a cash-only deal. Oh no, I don’t see any problems with that. Until  the poor German with nothing but Euros and expensive tickets in his pocket trying to see his equestrian freestyle dressage finals ties up the parking line for a half an hour doing his best to absorb this inconvenient truth.

dirty waterAlso on Page 22: “Kentucky water is considered safe to drink straight from the tap.”. That’s your opinion. And you know what? Folks in Papua New Guinea would say the same about their water. So would Guatemalans, and Tongans, etc.

Page 23: “For a poison control emergency call…..” Wait, what? First of all what is a poison control emergency? Second, is Kentucky Ale that bad? No wait, they mean the tap water.

on Pages 24 and 25 they’ve given us a whole bunch of definitions for dirty rotten scams that dirty rotten scoundrels may try to pull off ostensibly to warn us off of scammers misusing the the 2010 Games for their benefit – except our dear authors don’t really let on that’s what they saying. They just list ’em all and let us connect the dots on this one. Just plain weird. I think they were running out of steam and tired of proofing this crazy thing.

They finish up with a bunch of emergency numbers, bless their thoughtful little hearts.

Oh I know, I’m being mean. But some of this stuff truly is funny. And I hope the word gets out about needing American dinero for parking your rented car on the Horse Park Grounds. That detail is beyond nutty to me.

Click on the link below for your very own copy!

Spectator Guide-final

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