Vendors are readying their displays and decorators are setting out the finishing touches at the Kentucky Horse Park's Alltech Arena. This Wednesday, the National Horse Show will open for the first time in Lexington. For decades the event was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City before moving to Wellington, Florida and Syracuse, New York.
National Horse Show President Mason Phelps says hundreds of the best hunters and jumpers in the U.S. will be competing for a total of $600,000 in prizes.
"Big jumps high and wide, thrills and spills - we hope not but it's part of the game. Sunday is what we call the ASPCA Maclay, which is a junior competition. Two hundred of the best junior riders in the United States coast to coast will spend all day competing and judges will put them through their paces. And at the end of the day we'll have one national champion."
Some priceless silver trophies were unveiled Monday, including one that was awarded to the winner of the first National Horse Show in 1883.
"We've got 120 trophies in our collection and they've been in the vaults at Cartier at Tiffany and other places in New York City. They actually went to Louisville because there's a hand engraver there and they did the engraving and put all of last year's winners on them."
Two central Kentucky businesses are getting involved with the National Horse Show, reprising their roles from 2010 World Equestrian Games. L.V. Harkness & Co. will provide glass trophies for the winners to take home, and Alltech is serving as title sponsor of the event.
The National Horse starts Wednesday and runs through Sunday.