Equestrian Events, Inc., Announces Changes for 2009 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event
RELEASE: February 19, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Marty Bauman
As a result of construction projects at the Kentucky Horse Park, Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), is announcing some major changes for the 2009 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the only annual four-star three-day event in the Americas. Scheduled for April 23-26, the event draws over 100,000 spectators and is seen by millions more on worldwide telecasts, including a one-hour special on NBC in the United States.
Honored with the 2008 Best of Lexington Award in the Special Events category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA), Equestrian Events continues to move forward and adapt to the changes at the Horse Park that will be fully completed by the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Even before it is the Test Event in 2010 for the Eventing World Championships, Rolex Kentucky 2009 will be the first time some of the Park changes come into play. The Stadium
The arena where the dressage and jumping tests for Rolex Kentucky were previously held is being totally rebuilt to create a new stadium. This new facility, in the same location as the previous arena, will be a whole new experience for spectators, as well as horses and riders, and is leading to some sweeping changes for 2009 and beyond.
Prior to the start of construction, the Lake Grandstand—constructed from funds donated by Equestrian Events, Inc., the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and legions of supporters of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event—was carefully and painstakingly dismantled. Located on the south side of the arena with the Park's picturesque lake behind it, each piece of the Lake Grandstand was numbered and coded and is being stored for re-assembly at a later date at one of the Park's other outdoor arenas. The Lake Grandstand has 2,325 bench seats, 1,883 of them covered and 24 spaces for disabled seating.New Permanent Grandstand
A new permanent grandstand structure, with 7,289 chair seats, 4,630 of which will be covered, plus 102 spaces for disabled seating, is being constructed on the north side of the stadium where the Patron Club and Equestrian Club tents and their temporary grandstand seating were located. The Park Grandstand also houses restrooms and concession areas underneath the second tier of seating. There will be three entrances to the grandstand. The entry level goes directly to the uppermost row of the first tier of seating and disabled seating is on that level. Stairs at the entry level go up to the first row of the second tier of seating.Temporary Uncovered Grandstand Seating
Equestrian Events, Inc., is renting uncovered grandstands to provide a total of 15,000 seats in the new stadium. These stands will be located on the south side of the arena by the Park's lake and on the west side of the arena.New Arena Surface
A new arena surface will greet horses and riders at Rolex Kentucky 2009, but the surface isn't new to the Horse Park or to the horses and riders that competed in the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. The German company OTTO Sport-und Reitplatz GMBH is installing its state-of-the-art riding surface on the stadium arena and the attached warm-up area and will have its inaugural use at the 2009 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. However, the same surface was installed in 2008 in the Park's Walnut Ring and used extensively last year, to wide acclaim, for jumper classes at various A- and AA-rated hunter/jumper shows at the Park. Patron Club and Equestrian Club Tents Moved
Due to its size, the Park Grandstand utilizes all the ground from the edge of the original arena back to Nina Bonnie Boulevard, ground where the Patron Club and Equestrian Club tents and uncovered grandstand seating were previously located. The Patron Club and Equestrian Club tents are being relocated across Nina Bonnie Boulevard to the fence line surrounding the High Hope Steeplechase Course. The tents will