Competition begins for 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Jeannie Blancq Putney

September 27, 2010



Lexington, KY – It’s been years in the making, but the wait is over. The competition began
today for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and all members of USA’s Jumping team
were on hand in Lexington to support the rest of Team USA. Although the Jumping World
Championship presented by Rolex will not start until Monday, October 4, Team USA is excited
about hosting their first WEG.

“My hope is that this is a very special event and it comes across to be as impressive as we hope
it will be to the rest of the world, as well as to the people within the United States,” said Laura
Kraut. “I think we’ll have more viewers on television and in person that have never really
experienced equestrian sport before. Hopefully it will be exciting and interesting for them.”

This, the sixth WEG is the first being held outside of Europe, the first to be held all on one site,
the first to include Para-Equestrian and the first to name a title sponsor. Fifty-eight countries
will compete here along with 800 athletes and nearly 900 horses. Tickets have been sold in
55 countries and in all 50 states. More than 1,000 journalists are expected from more than 30
countries, and 5,000 volunteers are working during the WEG.

The Games officially began this evening with the opening ceremonies including a cast of 1,500
people and 200 horses from around the world. Forty different acts were featured including
Kentuckian Wynonna Judd; opera stars Denyce Graves, Cynthia Lawrence and Ronan Tynan;
Sara Lee Guthrie; Cherryholmes; and Jazz at Lincoln Center among other notables. World-
renowned boxing legend, humanitarian, global icon and Kentucky native Muhammad Ali also
made a special appearance that ignited the crowd.

The U.S. athletes are especially excited about showing their home off to the world in the coming
days.

“I think it is very nice,” said McLain Ward. “It’s not the home field advantage, but it is home
field. As George [Morris] always says, we are a little bit of an island in the sport and we do have
to travel abroad most of the time for international competitions and championships in particular.
I think to be at home with our home crowd in familiar territory is something that we’re not
accustomed to and is a great plus.”

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