If you subscribe to e-newsletters from any equestrian breed or discipline organizations, or you read any horse publications, chances are that you have seen some talk of the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games (WEG) coming to Lexington, KY this fall.
So, what the heck is the big deal? I mean, people compete in Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) disciplines internationally all the time, right? Well, yes, but it isn’t very often that the United States hosts this kind of event.
In fact, for the first time in the history of the WEG, this year’s games are hosted by a country outside of Europe….in our very own horsey hotspot of Lexington, KY. Here is some info about WEG at a glance:
- The Games are held every 4 years, 2 years before the Olympics
- The games are administered by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) which has affiliations with over 130 national organizations
- The disciplines represented consist of eight (8) FEI internationally governed events over 16 days: Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, Vaulting, Combined Driving, Endurance, Reining, and for the first time in 2010, Para-Dressage
- This year’s games have attracted entries from 60 countries
- Organizers are expecting 600,000 people will flock to Lexington during the 16 day event
Is this a big deal? As a rider and fan of one of the disciplines represented, I happen to think so. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ll have another opportunity to see the caliber of horses and athletes with my own eyes, this close to home (that is to say, NOT after a 12+ hour flight).
Will it be expensive to attend? Well, compared to heading to my regional championships, you bet it will be expensive. But will the experience become more fuel for reaching my dreams? I have no doubt I’ll be saddling up the day I land back home…..well, maybe the day after.