Going Shopping at the World Equestrian Games

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Shopping at the World Equestrian GamesMost equestrians love a good trade fair, and I’m no exception. Today I decided to go out and get the lay of the land among the vendor booths and other tents at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Whether you’re coming out later on, or just living vicariously, here’s a rundown of the offerings.

My parents, who are not horse people, bought grounds passes and came along to see what the hoopla was all about. The first area we visited contained the Kentucky Experience, a courtyard of tents (but more similar to permanent structures) surrounding a scenic garden area. One of them held live performances from local musicians, while another held Kentucky beer, wine and bourbon tastings and sold work such as jewelry and glass sculptures made by regional artists. The final tent contained floor-to-ceiling posterboards and displays of famous Kentucky locales.

Breyer model horses, Rolex watches, Ariat clothing and Maker’s Mark bourbon also had intricate display tents in this area that were fun to investigate. Some cutting-edge tall boots on display at Ariat caught my dad’s eye, and he asked me, “how much are these, $275?” This nearly caused a riot as horsewomen started swarming from every direction, saying, “Those are only $275?!” Unfortunately we had to crush their dreams of owning the boots (there was no price on them, but I’m sure it was more than that!).

The next several rows of tents housed the tack shops and other vendors, including our Horse Illustrated booth. I was content to jump into every French calfskin saddle set out on the sidewalk and drool over it. I’m currently on a saddle hunt, and it’s nice to fantasize about the top-of-the-line! A man working at the Antares saddlery booth proudly showed me their new helmets, which have washable liners and come in every combination of colors and materials imaginable. One last indoor area contained another wide variety of products on display, such as beautiful custom stalls.

Trade Fair at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian GamesSurely the Alltech Experience was the single largest pavilion on site, covering four acres. The main building led to halls showcasing Alltech’s various global initiatives. Behind the main building was a large courtyard with live music, decorative horse sculptures, and more temporary buildings hosting displays, such as Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital.

If you come out, be sure to bring your most comfortable shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking! There are a lot of fun things to see and try out–the things listed above are only the tip of the iceberg. I didn’t even see the shark-petting tank or clinician’s area, but check your newsletter daily for more information on other WEG happenings.

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Holly Caccamise
Holly Caccamise has been with Horse Illustrated and Young Rider since 2007, and in August 2019, she took over as head editor. She’s been instrumental in the production of both magazines and helped Horse Illustrated win a 2018 American Horse Publications Media Award in the General Excellence Self-Supported Publication (circulation 15,000 and over) category. Before getting involved in the editorial side of print media, she worked as an award-winning ad copywriter for Thoroughbred Times magazine. Caccamise has her MS in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky, where she studied equine nutrition and exercise physiology, and her Bachelor’s from UCLA in Biology. Caccamise has also worked as a research assistant, horse camp counselor teaching riding and vaulting, and as a top-level show groom in the eventing world, where she continues to compete her horse, Artie, at the lower levels.

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