Parking too far away from Horse Park events
I want to go to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games — all of it. I want to see the best of the best in every discipline, right in my own backyard. I have come to grips with the ticket prices (reasonable for some events, high for others), and I understand there will be crowds, lines and traffic issues.
I cannot, however, accept that anyone thinks it is reasonable to expect patrons to walk a distance of one to three miles to the venues from outrageously priced parking at Spycoast Farm. What was wrong with the original plan of shuttles from Coldstream? Why no shuttles from Spycoast?
And let's not forget the need to bring a large backpack to lug all the gear and clothing items required to walk outside in October's wildly fluctuating weather.
I am a fit 50-year old, and it sounds abhorrent to me. I know it is completely out of the realm of possibility for my 77-year-old mother. Nor do I believe the current parking plan provides any better situation for volunteers.
I sincerely hope that those in charge will rethink this issue quickly. What a disaster for everyone if both spectators and volunteers failed to show up because of poor planning and unreasonable expectations on the part of the organizers.
Why expect free help?
Let's see if I've got this correct: Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the Kentucky Horse Park — both profit-making operations charging hefty ticket prices as well as what might be called exorbitant fees for parking, etc. — consider it proper that the vast majority of staff for the Games should work as volunteers? And people are lining up to do so?
I realize a couple of shirts and a ball cap might constitute an amazing compensation package in our current economic situation, but I'm still amazed. Perhaps I shouldn't be.
After all, we live in a region where local governments regularly defer taxes on large businesses, only to impose them on low-end wage earners employed by those businesses, then convince us that we should be thankful.
How'd that quote from Lincoln go? Oh, yes something like: "A house divided against itself keeps some of the people fooled all of the time."
Fixing flashing light
If the left-turn lights on Sir Barton in Hamburg are still in "flash" mode when the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games begin, there will many visitors returning to their homes telling how Americans have absolutely no sense of traffic flow.
Obviously, whoever came up with this genius idea never drives there to be caught in the long lines behind those vehicles whose confused and intimidated drivers dare not turn across two lanes of oncoming traffic.
I hope this doesn't require a death to correct.
Use for CentrePointe
Instead of just an empty stand of grass (or a tacky bunch of food vendors), I wonder if the public might be best entertained, as well as educated, by demonstrations of horses being trained in the CentrePointe area during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Just watching one person with a lead, teaching a horse to jump fences, or one rider weaving between barrels would be interesting to passersby and would give more of a feel of "Horse Capital of the World" to our town.
As long as the animals were treated as humanely as they would be at any other training facility, I see no reason why this could not be put to good use.
Surely more people would mingle downtown just to see these beautiful animals, not to mention that such a demonstration could be a class act.
Let's not gouge visitors
I realize in this age of glorifying bad behavior, good manners are considered unnecessary.
I, however, have a difficult time with the concept of inviting the world to our doorstep and then financially gouging them.
Gouging them for a place to sleep, gouging them for food and drink, even making it extremely difficult for them to get to the events, and then gouging them to park.
I am afraid that, despite big smiles and Southern hospitality, our guests will leave with a very bitter taste in their mouths.
Alltech's Haitian connection
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will offer an unprecedented opportunity for some children in Haiti. Pearse Lyons of Alltech is working to enable these students to experience a once-in-a lifetime trip to Kentucky to participate in the opening ceremonies.
As a lifelong Kentucky resident and horseman, I recognize the importance of equestrian sport. Yet I realized another facet of these games as I traveled to Haiti with Lyons.
He has identified a school of 60 students and is exploring ways to help. The children attend school in a one-room concrete building. Lyons is sending essential supplies, rudimentary basics we take for granted, pencils, small chairs and a generator. Plans are underway for a playground and medical facility.
Furthermore, Lyons, Everett McCorvey of the University of Kentucky and UK students are teaching them songs, providing a basic music education.
I was touched by the smiling faces and welcoming spirit as the children sang for our group. The surrounding town: indescribable abject poverty.
I truly feel a seed is being planted that will inspire. Hopefully, experiencing a new culture and being given a better education, these young minds will return to Haiti and create a better life for themselves.
The philosophy of "pass it on" is alive and well in Alltech, Lyons, McCorvey and our UK music students.