Lexington and state tourism officials in Germany on Thursday announced a new event at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Equitana, a giant horse-centric trade fair and exhibition, will debut Equitana USA at the park in the fall of 2020, according to Laura Prewitt, Kentucky Horse Park executive director .
The fair will begin a three-year run that Prewitt said park leaders hope will become a permanent signature event.
Tourism and park officials are entering into a unique arrangement. Rather than renting the park as a venue, Equitana parent Reed Exhibitions will be a partner with the park. Prewitt confirmed that the state will receive a portion of any profits in exchange for park staff assistance and use of the facilities.
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Reed Exhibitions has established Equitana Germany as a huge event that draws 200,000 people over nine days to Essen. It’s billed as an equestrian sports world trade fair.
But the Kentucky version will start as a much more modest show over three days with a variety of exhibitions, including the popular evening ticketed performances of Hop Top, a kind of equine “Cirque du Soleil,” Prewitt said.
Mary Quinn Ramer, VisitLex president said in a news release, “We are thrilled Equitana USA has selected the Kentucky Horse Park as its home for this annual event. Our designation as Horse Capital of the World makes Lexington the perfect backdrop ... and we look forward to showcasing the area’s rich equestrian heritage.”
Reed Exhibitions is behind many industry and entertainment events, including the New York Comic Con, London Book Fair and Cannes Yachting Festival.