Arenas, shopping part of 2010 Horse Park

Cranes and construction trucks are still buzzing around the Kentucky Horse Park, but a new map shows exactly what the park will look like when it hosts the Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games.

The new design boasts hundreds of thousands of feet in new construction, including a new indoor arena, a new outdoor stadium, a new main entry, and lots of space for exhibitions and shopping.

”While these venue plans may experience some changes between now and 2010, these tentative layouts already illustrate the magnitude and scale of this event, as well as the breadth and scope of our planning,“ said Rob Hinkle, vice-president of operations for the World Games 2010 Foundation.

Hinkle is expected to take a leading role in directing the Games since the resignation of foundation director Jack Kelly last week.

The new map shows plenty of temporary structures, including approximately 400 trade show booths, an International Pavilion, an Equine Pavilion to showcase breeds and exhibitions, and the Kentucky Experience, a 25,000-square-foot exhibition highlighting the state's culture, economy, and tourism.

The new 6,000-seat climate controlled arena will host the reining competitions during the Games, but is already scheduled for several different events starting in 2009, including the National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championships and the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Championships. The state provided $49 million for the arena; the Horse Park Foundation will raise money for at least 300 new stalls to be attached to the ring.

”This is unquestionably an unprecedented period of growth for the Kentucky Horse Park,“ said Park Executive Director John Nicholson. ”These permanent facilities have been long-desired and much-needed, and their completion in time for the largest equestrian event to ever be held in the United States will help ensure a legacy for the Kentucky Horse Park long after 2010.“

The new $24 million outdoor stadium will be built in roughly the same place as the former one; the permanent structure will feature as many as 10,000 permanent stadium seats, while the WEG Foundation will add about 22,000 temporary seats for the Games. The new stadium will have more than 91,000 square-feet of competition space.

The General Assembly funded the stadium, along with $10 million in new roads around the park.

The Games will be held Sept. 25-Oct. 10, 2010, are the world championships of the eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), and are held every four years. The eight disciplines are show jumping, eventing, carriage driving, dressage, endurance, reining, vaulting, and for the first time para-equestrian competition for riders with disabilities.

The Games have never before been held outside of Europe; nor have all eight disciplines ever previously been held together at a single site.

It is anticipated that more than 600,000 tickets will be sold for the 16-day competition and as many as 300,000 to 400,000 spectators will attend.

Reach Linda Blackford at (859) 231-1359 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1359.