After the opening ceremony of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, some people felt a shimmying kind of movement in some of the temporary stands built at the Rolex Stadium.
In an e-mail statement, Games spokeswoman Amy Walker said organizers had not gotten formal complaints, but they heard from a few patrons that they felt some movement.
In response, Games officials hired a third-party firm to evaluate the stands' structural engineering. The firm said the stands are secure.
"The stands are designed to have minimal movement as a key component of their structural integrity," Walker said in a statement. "All precautions have been taken with the seating contractor and structural engineers to ensure the safety of all spectators."
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The next sell-out crowd at the Rolex Stadium is expected Friday for the dressage grand prix freestyle competition.
The Games set an attendance record Wednesday with 31,026 visitors at the Kentucky Horse Park. Total attendance is now a little more than 102,000, a number that includes paid ticket holders, and schoolchildren, media representatives and others with free passes.
Ill performer upgraded
The performer who fell ill at the opening ceremony Saturday night has been upgraded from critical to serious condition, according to a University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital spokesperson.
Eitan Beth-Halachmy, known worldwide for his particular brand of cowboy dressage, remains in the hospital.
Beth-Halachmy slumped off his horse, Santa Fe Renegade, as they left the Alltech Arena Saturday night. Medical personnel performed CPR as he lay on the ground.
Family spokeswoman Bonnie Glasgow said Wednesday that Beth-Halachmy is improving. The family is keeping well-wishers updated at Caringbridge.org/visit/cowboy8.
On the Web site, Glasgow said Beth-Halachmy's heart stopped beating at the end of the opening ceremony. He has a history of abnormal heart rhythm, she said.
Beth-Halachmy's spleen was injured when he fell from the horse, and it was removed, she said. He also suffered a broken sternum and multiple broken ribs due to the CPR that saved his life.
Talk about devotion
Sister Beth Howe of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia is a full-time emergency room doctor and a horse lover. So she used a week of vacation to volunteer at the Games taking tickets, giving directions and talking to lots of folks.
"I like to volunteer," she said, adding that she also has some tickets for events.
The trip is very expensive, but "I love horses, and it's my trip to Rome."
She's enjoying Lexington, with special praise for Mass at St. Paul Parish and for LexTran.
"I rode the bus out here and met the nicest people," Howe said. "It was the nicest experience."
An injured joker
Mark Todd, an event rider from New Zealand, was clowning behind the scenes at the morning vet check, putting on joke glasses and fake teeth "on a dare," he said.
Not as funny: Todd wasn't able to jog his own horse, Grass Valley, because Todd injured his Achilles' tendon training for the New York Marathon, he said. No more jogging for now, but "riding's OK," he said.
Teammate Andrew Nicholson did the honors for Todd on Wednesday morning.
WEG by the numbers
Here are some interesting numbers from the Horse Park. There are:
■ More than 40,000 linear feet of fencing (nearly 8 miles).
■ 80 office trailers.
■ Nearly 400 temporary structures.
■ 70 temporary power generators.
■ More than 20,000 temporary seats.
■ Nearly 4,000 signs.
■ 725 competition horses.
■ 500 horses for demonstration at the Equine Village.