Frequently asked questions about the Games

September 19, 2010 

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, is president of the Fédération Equestre Internationale.

What is the FEI, who leads it and what do they do? The Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation, but it's in French because that's the traditional language of the Olympic Games), is the worldwide authority for all international events in dressage, para-equestrian dressage, jumping, eventing, driving, para-equestrian driving, endurance, vaulting and reining. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the FEI works with the national federations of each member country to regulate and govern equestrian disciplines. FEI's current president is Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, who is sometimes seen at the Keeneland sales with her husband, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Where have previous Games been held, and where will they be in the future? The first World Games were in 1990 in Stockholm, Sweden. Following that, the Games were held every four years in the following locations:

1994: The Hague, Netherlands

1998: Rome, Italy

2002: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

2006: Aachen, Germany

2010: Lexington (the first time in the United States)

In 2014, the Games will be in Normandy, France.

How much public money will be spent on the Games? About $107 million will have been spent directly on projects associated with the Games, such as new facilities at the Kentucky Horse Park and road projects. Another $151 million has been spent on projects that may have already been planned, but were put on a faster timetable because of the Games.

How many countries will be represented? 58 countries have nominated riders and teams to compete.

What do you get for winning at the Games? The winners of both team and individual competitions get medals, a crystal trophy and part of $1.6 million in prize money.

How many horses are involved in WEG? There were 1,300 horses initially nominated to compete at the Games. That number will go down as countries finalize their teams.

What kinds of horses are involved in the Games? There are no rules as to what breeds of horses can compete, although some are more popular than others. For example, most reining horses are quarter horses, and many show jumpers are called warmbloods — mostly European breeds that originally combined "hotbloods" such as Thoroughbreds or Arabians with larger "coolbloods," such as draft horses. However, there will be a wide range of breeds at the Games, including Thoroughbreds.

Linda B. Blackford,

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