See Blue at the
2010 Alltech FEI
World Equestrian Games
Sept. 25 to Oct. 10 | Kentucky Horse Park
by Holly Wiemers
“As Kentucky prepares to showcase its signature industry to a world audience, the College of Agriculture is proud to be a part of that effort and will continue to devote its land-grant programs to enhancing all aspects of the equine industry,” said College of Agriculture Associate Dean Nancy Cox, administrative leader for the Equine Initiative.
Advise and Consult
In the planning phases of the Games, the College served a variety of roles.
Planners turned to the College’s scientists to ensure the 600 horses participating in the Games have a healthy environment for their stay in Kentucky. College specialists and researchers from multiple disciplines advised on turfgrass issues; animal waste management; regulatory aspects of hay and feed; quarantine protocols; and tick-borne piroplasmosis issues. The College also instituted a greening initiative, and the Solar Decathalon House, in whose design and construction the College partnered, will be the first exhibit spectators will see as they enter the Kentucky Horse Park. A plant and soil scientist with an affinity for roses developed a “First Lady Jane Beshear” rose variety, and College environmental experts teamed up with the Kentucky Horse Park to restore vegetation along stream banks through a statewide environmental stream restoration grant.
Opportunities, with an Eye to the Future
The Equine Initiative has developed a collaborative student volunteer program with the World Equestrian Games. The program’s objective is to place UK Ag students in their areas of interest during the Games, which may help them achieve personal and professional goals after graduation.
The Maine Chance Equine Campus, UK’s research and teaching horse farm in north Lexington, will host several legs of the one-day, 100-mile endurance event. The race is expected to cross over the farm several times as horses complete loops across Central Kentucky horse farms then travel back to the Kentucky Horse Park for mandated vet checks.
It Takes a Village
UK is a major partner of the Games, with the College of Agriculture’s Equine Initiative as the official equine university program and UK HealthCare as the official medical provider. The College, UK HealthCare, and UK Public Relations will be the three anchors in the UK Village, a 3,229-square-foot tent that will be located in the trade fair area. Many other programs and UK colleges will rotate in and out of the village during theevent. Visitors who purchase a $25 general admission ticket will have access to the UK Village.
The State’s the Place
UK, along with eight other equine higher education programs recognized by the Council of Postsecondary Education, has taken a leading role in creating a consortium display in the Equine Village. Themed “Where else for an equine education?” the exhibit promotes Kentucky as the place for an equine higher education. It will also serve as a legacy effort; representatives from the schools can use it to promote Kentucky’s horse education opportunities at other events in the years ahead.
Big Blue to Greet the World
As part of the lead-in to the games, the College purchased and “syndicated” Big Blue, part of Horse Mania 2010. Horse Mania is a public arts project of LexArts, a nonprofit community arts organization in Central Kentucky. Proceeds from Big Blue’s syndication will benefit UK equine-related student clubs and organizations. Big Blue and the other HorseMania art horses are on display around Lexington this summer and will be displayed prominently throughout the Games. Big Blue will be front and center greeting visitors to the UK Village. ◆