3:58pm

Mon June 27, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Games Economic Impact and Beyond

Some nine months after Kentucky played host to a major international horse competition, comes a final report on its economic impact on the commonwealth.  Now all eyes are looking forward for new opportunities.

The total economic impact of the World Equestrian Games held last fall at the Kentucky Horse Park is placed at just over 200 million dollars.  Now attention turns to the National Horse Show this November at the horse park.  Park executive director John Nicholson says tens of thousands of spectators will be on hand this fall.

“This is a shorter event and the scope is more limited than the world equestrian games so it won’t be like those 16 days, but it certainly is going to have a significant affect on our local economy,” said Nicholson.

Nicholson says the national horse show, held for decades in New York, will be a five day event this year.  Kentucky Tourism Secretary Marcheta Sparrow hopes some of the world equestrian games visitors will return to the state and take a look around.

“All of the things that people experienced a taste of while they were here through the Kentucky experience, we feel that they will come back and want to see more out in the state,” added Sparrow.

The World games experience has helped spawn interest in holding other horse competitions at the horse park.  Park executive director John Nicholson realizes it will, over time, mean more upkeep…

“I think that having them utilize as much as they are presents a challenge, but at the same time presents a great opportunity for us.  Hopefully the revenue that is produced will help us attract more and help us maintain these facilities,” explained Nicholson.

On the heels of the World Equestrian Games, Nicholson says the number of additional events at the horse park has increased by about a third this year.