Tina Konyot, member of the USA’s Dressage Team, competes in a recent competition at the World Equestrian Games.
As many of you know, I hail from the fine Commonwealth of Kentucky. I cheer for the Big Blue, I tear-up when I hear “My Old Kentucky Home,” I like a good bourbon and a fast racehorse (preferably, one I have money on). Any chance I have to brag on my home state, I take it. So, I’d like to share with you the happenings in our little piece of heaven over the next few weeks.
The World Equestrian Games are taking place in Lexington Sept. 25 to Oct. 10. This is the first time the international event has been held in the continental United States. It’s big stuff and our little state is hosting. But, then again, this is horse country, so where else would it take place?
The U.S. Equestrian Team entered the stadium during the opening ceremony Sept. 25, for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
Lexington is abuzz with activity as equestrian teams, equine enthusiasts, celebrities and royals from around the world have descended upon Kentucky. The WEG features such equine events as Reining, Endurance, Dressage, Eventing, Jumping, Para Dressage, Vaulting and Driving.
As the week goes on, I’m hearing more and more amazing stories from the games. Sunday, reigning Endurance World champion Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton of Spain won the individual gold medal after riding 100 miles in a little more than 7.5 hours. Oh, yeah, and she gave birth to a baby girl seven weeks ago. She beat Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the gold; he’s the Emir of Dubai, don’t ya know. Girl power.
Endurance World champion Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton of Spain won the individual gold medal after riding 100 miles in a little more than 7.5 hours. She also gave birth seven weeks ago to a baby girl.
So, if you are lucky enough to score a ticket to one of the events (I’m still hoping I can get the family down there – I think it would be a great experience), it’s bound to be a good time. And, you may see some big names. I’ve heard from my spotters in Lexington that Bruce Springsteen was there (his daughter rides); Lyle Lovett, Carson Kressley and William Shatner were there with their horses; and a number of royals whose names don’t ring a bell. (If it’s not William or Harry, I don’t have a clue.)
The Boss's daughter, Jessica Springsteen, has been competing at the games. Dad, Bruce, has been there supporting his little girl.
Lyle Lovett and his fiance are attending the games. Lovett shows horses and will perform at the closing ceremonies.
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, president of the International Equestrian Federation rode in a carriage during the opening ceremony.
Oh, yeah, and part of the festivities included the Vienna Philharmonic performing Monday night at my husband’s alma mater, nearby Centre College, led by guest conductor Gustavo Dudamel. I’ve been told by a reliable source that during the rehearsal, Kentucky boy George Clooney was hanging around backstage. That’s what I’ve heard. Maybe he was on his way to Maysville for a home cooked meal. You never know.
For more information about the games, visit http://www.alltechfeigames.com/.
Images courtesy of The Lexington Herald-Leader and www.alltechfeigames.com.