The promise the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Foundation made to the Kentucky Horse Park five years ago was that, after the festivities ended, they would return the park to its original good condition.
They are trying.
The last horse left Wednesday. Now they have until Oct. 25, to clear the park of every temporary pansy, plank and portable potty for other events scheduled for late October.
"For security reasons," said WEG spokeswoman Amy Walker, "we don't want anything on the property any longer than it needs to be."
On Wednesday, the Games' 16 days worth of temporary finery was either being rapidly torn down and trashed or painstakingly dismantled to be reused.
Where's it all going?
The temporary white pagoda-like tents will soon either go back to their rental warehouses or to their next event, she said.
Deirdre Lyons, director of Alltech's corporate design and wife of Alltech founder and president Pearse Lyons, is more specific. On Wednesday morning, she had already overseen artist Mark Payton taking apart the glass-and-aluminum horse sculpture hanging in the center of the Alltech Experience pavilion. Untying the scientific-grade glass from the frame, piece by piece, Payton said he is thrilled the work will live on.
Asked if she was taking the horse home, Lyons smiled and replied, "we don't have the ceiling height" in the family home for the life-sized piece, but said it will be modified to be two horses facing away from one another, joined by a DNA helix. It will be displayed in the Alltech headquarters by mid-November.
Lyons said the rest of the Alltech exhibit, which includes massive test tubes and a waterfall set-up, has been packed up and stored in two Nicholasville warehouses and will be used for the more than 400 trade shows the company is part of annually.
The landscaping outside the Alltech pavilion that is salvagable will be replanted around the new Alltech distillery and the Alltech-owned Connemara Golf Course, as well as along the city's Legacy Trail.
Even the outdoor decking is being taking apart, screw by screw, by Donnie Gentry, who built it four weeks ago. That lumber, said Gentry, is being put back in Alltech's Nicholasville warehouse and will be reused.
Where the Maker's Mark Barn once stood is an outline of mulch and hay that's already back home at the distillery in Loretto, waiting for its next annual Bourbon Festival appearance, said Maker's Mark spokesperson KirbyAdams.
Next door, Kentucky State Parks Department trucks lined up six-deep to load the native Kentucky trees that were part of the outdoor garden of the Kentucky Experience. River birch, sunset and sugar maple, bur and red oak, all set to head to Central Kentucky state parks such as My Old Kentucky Home, Waveland, Whitehall, Perryville or Old Fort Harrod.
"We tried to keep the travel short," said Sam Devine, director for the parks' department's Central Region, "to cut down on wind burn."
Devine explained that the parks people are also taking all the mulch, all the mums, the cone flowers and the black-eyed Susans in the Kentucky Experience outdoor containers "to enhance our curb appeal, given the restraints of our budgets."
Garden designer Jon Carloftis confessed he's thinking of buying the tobacco-stick and barnwood arbors that he designed and Longwood Antique Woods built for the exhibit.
The Carloftis-designed Children's Garden at the Alltech pavilion will likely show up in Lexington in coming months. For the time being, they are being warehoused.
A Stephen Hillenmeyer nursery crew is reclaiming mums from in front of the National Dressage Federation, while Paul Jaime, an independent floor installer from Lexington, is taking 2,000 square feet of laminate flooring from the Maker's Mark Bourbon Village.
No, he said, the thousands of feet of carpeting is probably not escaping the landfill.
While he talks, 34 laborers from Hargrove Inc. are tearing down the area where food was served. The inexpensive laminate and plywood had already been used before, said Brian Detmer of Raleigh, N.C. "But this is going to the garbage," he said. "It would cost too much to store."
Detmer is the supervisor on a traveling crew of men who go from event to event, building to suit the needs of each client, then returning to dismantle what they built.
With that, the large bar in the Bourbon Village comes down with a crash. The 20-by-20 foot banner behind the bar is also set to come unmoored.
"It's quick work," Detmer says. "It has to be."
They are expected in Minnesota next week.