Having The World In Your Backyard

by: Erin Shea

The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games have come and gone. The crazy three weeks of WEG were worth the hard work for this once in a lifetime experience to show the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center to the world.

So what was MMSC doing? Our volunteers and staff worked our two booths in the trade fair and equine village, which we shared with Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. We sold tons of merchandise and spread the word about the work we do.

While working at the booth, I heard heartwarming stories from WEG-goers about the horses in their lives, and about how many of these horses were rescued horses. I was overjoyed to hear that so many people around the world share our goal in rescuing ex-racehorses.

Our trade fair booth was always crowded with the help from some celebrity appearances, which included: Ron Turcotte, Pat Day, Joe Fargis, Calvin Borel, Kate Tweedy and Leeanne Ladin - authors of Secretariat’s Meadow - The Land, The Family, The Legend, and Heather Henson - author of Dream of Night.

Besides just the booths, we had potential adopters stop by our center and look at our horses almost every day during WEG. At the end of the games, six of our horses had found new homes.

Not only did we have visitors at our Center, we also had world class athletes riding through our property. Both the athletic endurance horses and the strong driving teams came thundering through the back of our fields. I also got to watch the individual jumping competition, my favorite event. Having the chance to watch the people that you idolized your whole riding career is breathtaking. It’s spectacular to see horse and rider come together so beautifully and jump the huge obstacles without trouble. As a jumper rider myself, I was inspired to watch the many, different techniques that world class riders used to communicate with the 1,500 lbs. of pure athlete underneath them.

I can’t believe the three weeks of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, that I had waited over eight hundred days for, are over. All of the anticipation and excitement is gone, and as the visitors go back home life in Lexington will soon return back to normal.
I’m glad that Kentucky had the opportunity to show off everything that we have to offer and that Lexington proved that it really is “the horse capital of the world.”

The games have arrived!

Equine Village Booth

Back of Equine Village Booth

Trade Fair Booth

Videos being shown at Trade Fair Booth

Individual Jumping Course - First Round

Individual Jumping Course - Second Round

Driving team riding through our back yard