Kentucky Horse Shows' Outstanding Facility and Top of the Line Footing Produce Stellar Results
RELEASE: August 12, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jenny Ross Koning
Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, the management company for many of the hunter/jumper competitions held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, recently hosted the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows and the 2009 USEF Pony Finals National Championships. In addition, the first week of the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows ran concurrently with the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC), presented by Gotham North, a separate event that was organized by the United States Equestrian Federation. In upcoming weeks, Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, will host the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the Kentucky Hunter Jumper Association Horse Show.
In addition to the building of the new outdoor stadium, the Kentucky Horse Park has undergone many improvements for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and future events at the park. Recently Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, resurfaced the footing in the main hunter ring and the large hunter schooling ring. The new state-of-the-art footing is a high-tech surface designed by the German company OTTO Sport- und Reitplatz GmbH.
Last year, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation installed the OTTO Sport footing in the Walnut Ring and its warm-up area, which significantly improved the competition for jumper riders. With top-of-the-line footing in the hunter and jumper rings, Kentucky Horse Shows provide exhibitors with a stellar show experience regardless of weather conditions.
Hugh Kincannon, Manager of Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, commented, "I think our summer shows have been great, with the exception of the fact that we've had a lot of rain. Fortunately, we are able to cope with that because of the OTTO Sport footing, which is in about 70% of the rings here. Basically, we never missed a beat. I heard that a lot of venues throughout the world had trouble with weather and were not able to continue to show; I'm very happy to say that we didn't have that problem."
He added, "Last week, during Pony Finals, we had the worst storm I have ever seen come through here. It was terrible and actually quite scary. Even though it flooded the original indoor arena with about six inches of water, our crew was able to put everything back together and resume competition. We were able to have a client auction in there the next day, and the pony jumper divisions showed in there for the rest of the week. The OTTO Sport rings obviously had no problem with the rain, and they held up as they always do."
"As a whole, the Pony Finals were extremely successful. We were up about 15% in entries, which is startling to me in this economy," he related. "Even with the number of entries and the rain, we adjusted the schedule and everything worked out really well. I think it was the best Pony Finals we've had yet."
After many recent improvements at the park, Kincannon is pleased with the positive feedback he receives from competitors. Some areas, such as road construction and parking, are currently under construction. He smiled, "I think, when people look at what we have here now and think of what it will be when it's done, after the World Equestrian Games have finished, it will be the best horse show facility in the world."
Earlier this month, the $40,000 Kentucky Classic Grand Prix sponsored by Air 51 and Audi of Lexington welcomed a large crowd of spectators. "I think that was the best grand prix we've ever had here," Kincannon noted. "We had about 2,500 people here watching, and it was a very enthusiastic crowd under the lights. Fortunately we are able to have a number of grand prix classes under lights, which is something I love to do. It gives other exhibitors the opportunity to finish their day and come up and watch the show jumping. Here it really is on the big stage at this venue. Performances of the horses and the riders seem to improve in the big stadium, especially at night."
Recently the newly built indoor arena,