WEG ticket sales heat up

Ticket sales are heating up in these final weeks before the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Organizers announced that tickets to the reining individual final have sold out, as have general admission tickets for Oct. 1.

In addition, hospitality on the cross-country course for three-day eventing Oct. 2 has sold out. Only a few hospitality passes to the Maker's Mark Bourbon Village remain for Oct. 1. Champions Club tables, which are set up in the stadiums for the opening ceremonies and driving and dressage competitions, are nearly sold out.

Fewer than 500 tickets remain for the male and female individual vaulting finals Oct. 9 and for the driving obstacle/cones competition Oct. 10. Grounds passes, the general admission tickets of the Games, are available for 12 of the 16 days for $25. Children 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult, except on Sept. 26, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9. Tickets on those days cost $45 because visitors will be able to see events such as the cross-country phase of eventing from many vantage points in the park.

Overall ticket sales have reached the 325,000 mark.

■ Actress Ashley Judd is known as a fan of University of Kentucky basketball, but now she's cheering on the Games. In a recent radio ad, Judd told listeners the Games would be even bigger than the annual UK- University of Louisville football game. The spot was put together by Louisville's Red7e, a marketing partner of the Games.

■ In 2½ weeks, Alltech has raised nearly $1 million with its new Commonwealth Club for groups and companies. For $10,000, members get top-level tickets and hospitality. Another big-ticket choice at the Games, the Champions Club, allows people to watch some events at their own, specially catered tables set up in the Main Stadium and the driving stadium.

As a perk for spending $8,000 to nearly $50,000, patrons of the Champions Club will be feted at a party at Keene land put on by Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan, president of the Fédération Equestre Internationale, or FEI. Princess Haya knows Keeneland well; she's spent plenty of time at the sales there with her husband, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, one of Keeneland's leading buyers. WEG officials said some celebrities might attend, but they won't be confirmed until the last minute. Sheikh Mohammed is expected to compete at the Games as part of the United Arab Emirates endurance team.

■ The University of Kentucky will be the primary health care partner for the Games, providing medical staff at an on-site medical complex and at stationary and mobile first aid units throughout the Horse Park.

■ The Kentucky Horse Park is changing its schedule as the World Games approaches.

The campground is closed as it is transformed into the Grooms Village. It will reopen Oct. 15.

Through Sept. 19, the park will be open with reduced rates: $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 7 to12 (children 6 and younger are admitted free). All of the museums and grounds will be open, but horse activities and the number of horses will taper off prior to the move-in of Games horses. Horseback riding ends Labor Day.

From Tuesday through Oct. 20, dogs will not be allowed on parks grounds by order of the state veterinarian. Only working service animals will be permitted during this time, including the entire run of the Games. Therapy dogs and dogs in training for service will not be allowed. Depending on the departure of horses after the Games, the state veterinarian's office might allow dogs to return before Oct. 20. Call before bringing a dog to the park that week.

The park will be closed to visitors Sept. 20 through 24 for the final Games move-in. Starting Sept. 25, the park will be open only with Games admission tickets.

A Gift from the Desert, the exhibition at the Museum of the Horse, will close Oct. 15. On Oct. 16, the park will return to its normal operating schedule of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and its regular rates. From Nov. 1 through March 14, it is open Wednesday through Sunday.

For additional information, call (859) 233-4303 or 1-800-678-8813.