Anyone else been to the WEG?


10 Years
Mar 17, 2009
SW Indiana
I took my 9 yo grandson to the World Equestrian Games this weekend and it was AWESOME! I was amazed at how many spectators from the different nations were there. 58 nations total and as you walked around all languages could be heard. He likened it to "eating at a 4 star restaurant" but he's never been to a 5 star so I think he really enjoyed it. Anyone else go?
x2 I would of loved to see the Games, I've got so many things I need to do when I visit America one day.
x2 I would of loved to see the Games, I've got so many things I need to do when I visit America one day.

This is the first time its ever been in America so I thought by the time it comes around again I may not be here or too old to go.
But it was fun! I think we must have walked 20 miles! My hips are really feeling old today. We can't get local channels here in the cornfields so I couldn't watch it on NBC
The WEGs are being held about 20mi S of my farm. In the *two years* leading up to it, we've had scores and scores of road construction projects and stuff like that which everybody knew was WEG-related, so lots of folks kinda got a little...fed up, I guess?...with the games before they even happened. Nobody wants to sit in a sea of orange cones as they add a lane to a road that really doesn't need a new lane.. People also sorta resented the idea that nobody ever bothered to use our tax dollars to fix potholes and bottlenecks for us, but jumped all over it so the WEG people wouldn't see how we "really lived" down here.. That was the general concensus about what was going on, anyway..
Plus, with all the projected attendance, people just *knew* the whole central KY area was gonna be a traffic nightmare for 2-weeks or so.. And that's all on top of endless local news coverage, local political bickering (Lexington is in the middle of a very heated Mayoral race right now, and handling of the WEGs is one of the hot topics), talk of it being a waste of taxpayer dollars, how it would never pan out to be the economic boon it was predicted to be, blah blah blah..

Needless to say, I didn't know of one single person in the area was looking forward to it.. Most people I know were looking forward to it being OVER WITH. I guess you could kinda liken it to having the in-laws over for dinner or's a noble thing to do, but don't expect to have a good time.

It was only in the last...I dunno...two months or so that they really began to advertise it toward locals. Up till then, it was all just kinda being thrown at us as an event that would bring in "international spectators" and "people from around the world," etc. We were sorta left out of the whole thing and/or expected to just deal with it right up until reports of slow ticket sales started to make the local news.. That may be purely coincidental, or simply my perception, but the WEG people recruited the wildly popular UK men's basketball head coach John Calipari to promote it, as well as other Kentucky darlings like Ashley Judd, etc. in an effort to get the locals out to the games.

I know a whole two people who have gone, and one more who's planning. The two who have gone have both said it's AMAZING and that anyone -- horse lover or not -- should go see it.. And, ya know what?...the traffic impact so far has been negligable. I drive by the Kentucky Horse Park every single morning on my way to work and I haven't seen the first slowdown -- despite the portable traffic signs they put out several weeks ago warning drivers of potential slowdowns (which was stupid...only served to needlessly enforce the sense of DREAD.)

Instead of being happy that things appear to be running smoothly, though, the locals -- myself included, frankly -- are now beginning to wonder just how big a FLOP this thing is turning out to be!?!?
I mean, we were supposed to have all this traffic and all this local impact, but when I stop at a restaurant or gas station and ask if they've been busier, the answer is always...meh...not really. And, like I said, I haven't really seen any increased traffic at all..

What's worrisome is that when they first announced the thing, the local paper ran a story where they'd talked to city leaders where the WEGs had been held in the past to see if it turned out to have a positive economic impact...nope. Historically, it's a money pit. By and large, what they were left with was a huge, single-purpose equestrian arena that ended up being largely abondoned in the aftermath.. The good news here is that the arena is at the Kentucky Horse Park, and we have other equestrian organizations who I suspect will put it to use...but I still think it's going to be an economic bummer in the long run.

On a lighter note, I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to the Bluegrass State!
Wow sorry, I guess that has been a nightmare for the local people.

On Saturday, there were over 50,000 people in the park and 11,000 parking spaces (in the fields). It cost $100 for the two of us to get in no matter how old or young and $20 to park. Now that's alot of money and I don't know who's getting it but I hope the people of KY will reap the benefits. Friday tickets were sold out.
We arrived at 8am Sat and it was bumper to bumper on Iron Works Pkwy but it moved very quickly. Getting out of the parking lot at 6pm was a different story. We were one hour in the lot with very little movement but again, once we hit the road it was smooth sailing. I would have to attribute that to the local law enforcement that were on traffic detail. Very smooth.
I don't know how all these people can't impact the area, as I said before there were sooo many people from all over the world as spectators. You'd think they'd have to stay at least a week to make it worth the trip, so hotels, food, car rentals, gas etc. Not to mention the cars in the parking lot were from MA to CA, FL and anywhere in between.
But thanks, we had a blast. Next time I'll try that Kentucky Bourbon Ale. (When I have a designated driver)!
I would have loved to have gone. A good friend of mine loves dressage and I do endurance, so it would be something we could both go to!

I was at a qualifying ride for the 2006 WEG, one of the endurance qualifiers was in Rapid River, MI, a tiny town on Lake Michigan in MI's Upper Peninsula (their big claim to fame was that the motel was used in the filming of Escanaba in da Moonlight) that was held in conjunction with the Grand Island Ride.

So, I did get to rub elbows with the Canadian and US bigwigs then.
Valerie Kanavy is not a nice person though
I had hoped to go, but work interfered.

Hosting international events is always tough on any area as it is a lot of logistics and people all of a sudden. They are always very, very expensive to put on, and sales of tickets are usually over-estimated to start with. Tickets for all similar horse events are expensive, but horse people were really griping about the WEG ticket prices this time. They started out a little more reasonably. They might have done better if they had given those who already bought tickets so they're not hopping mad that tickets went down after they bought, some type of a bonus feature, and then also cut current sale prices.

World Equestrian games will impact Kentucky differently as Kentucky Horse Park is a very, very different sort of operation - a popular destination already for horse fans of all types and has a lot of activities there alll the time.

Kentucky is arguably the most beautiful state in the U.S. It has the very best food, and - bourbon barrel beer! We love going there.

At least local people should know that there were a great many comments from the participants from other countries about the GREAT local hospitality and the - bourbon barrel beer!!!
When we decided we were moving from Oregon to Kentucky, I started looking at tickets...I wanted to watch the Free style Dressage Finals...$160.00 per seat so I decided to treat myself for my BD so I called in March and that even had been sold at for MONTHS...but there were $140.00 seats available but they had no backs on the ummmm no.

I would have loved to seen all of the endurance race...the Sheik's race is 100 miles and they went through some local farms and such...*sigh* The traffic has not been affected too horribly and I am saddened that I did not just go ahead and is something that will probably not happen again in my lifetime....afterall this was the first time it was ever held in the US.

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