U.S. Equestrian’s new headquarters were celebrated with an official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly-completed, state-of-the-art headquarters located at the Kentucky Horse Park. U.S. Equestrian is the national governing body for equestrian sport in the United States. The new building will provide a collaborative work space for more than 155 employees and service the organization’s 145,000 members, 11 breeds, 18 disciplines and 20 affiliates. As part of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee family, the building proudly displays the official designation of the Olympic rings and the Paralympic symbol, and is located directly inside the main entrance at the iconic Kentucky Horse Park.
The design and construction process was a two-year undertaking. The final product highlights the history and heritage of equestrian sport while promoting the overarching vision of U.S. Equestrian to bring the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible. The interactive and educational lobby, which also includes a ShopUSEF retail and merchandise space, provides a unique display of the diverse activities encompassed by equestrian sport in the United States.
“Our new headquarters provides a space where you can see the productivity happening,” continued Kessler. “When you have a building like this, where people can interact and you put the right departments together, the ideas flow and great things happen. We’re passionate about our vision, and our vision is to bring the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible. I truly believe this building will help us do that better than ever before.”
The Importance of U.S. Equestrian’s New Headquarters
The decision to construct a new building was the result of a thorough cost analysis by the U.S. Equestrian Board of Directors and executive staff, leading up to the expiration of the long-term lease on the former office site within the Kentucky Horse Park. The new headquarters is estimated to generate more than $200,000 in annual savings, which will be repurposed to better serve the needs of the organization’s membership and re-assert U.S. Equestrian’s commitment to preserve its location at the horse park.
“This day is monumental in that not only does it talk about our relationship, but the commitment the U.S. Equestrian Federation has made to the horse park, to our state, to our sport, and to our city,” said Laura Prewitt, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park.
U.S. Equestrian has worked closely with both state and local government officials to support the organization’s desire to have their key operational space continue to be located in the state of Kentucky. Lexington’s Mayor Linda Gorton spoke to the impact of the equine and agricultural industry on the Central Kentucky region, and the importance of ensuring a successful future here for U.S. Equestrian.
“The Kentucky Horse Park is home to dozens of equine-related associations,” said Mayor Gorton. “Organizations that represent different breeds, different professions, different activities, and we are so proud to say that one of these organizations is the United States Equestrian Federation, which has now built what we hope will be a permanent home at the horse park. I’m a strong supporter of our equine industry – it’s a key part of our signature brand here in Fayette County and Central Kentucky, as is the horse park. The farms that surround our city sustain our economic health and quality of life.”
Secretary Don Parkinson of the Kentucky Tourism, Art & Heritage Cabinet also spoke to the profound importance the presence of U.S. Equestrian’s headquarters has for the tourism industry and for the other associations and businesses that reside at the Kentucky Horse Park.
“This organization is so important to all of us here in Kentucky, as well as here at the horse park,” commented Secretary Parkinson. “Having this anchor all of the horse industry here is so very important to everyone at the horse park. We have over 30 organizations that are officed here, and it was really important that we have the big capstone with U.S. Equestrian.”
U.S. Equestrian extended its sincerest thanks to the following contractors, individuals and partners for their continued support and dedication to this project, as well as to the U.S. Equestrian staff for their flexibility and patience as construction completed.
- DW Wilburn: Doug Wilburn, Kim Blethen, Kevin Taylor & Mitchell Roe
- Integrity Architecture: Joey Nolasco, Joe Rasnick, Aaron Bivens, Adam Gillett and Carrie Hendrickson
- ID&A: Jessica Hardin, Abby Hall, Alicia Hester and Jordan Hope
- PNC: John Gohmann and David Kidd
- Nomi Design: Matthew Brooks, Melody Jackson and Jeremy Clements
- Kentucky Horse Park: Laura Prewitt and Jonathan Lang
- Kentucky State Department: Don Parkinson, Secretary of Tourism, Arts, and Heritage; and Regina Stivers, Deputy Secretary of Tourism, Arts, and Heritage
- Sarah Lockwood-Taylor
- U.S. Equestrian Staff – David Harris, Vicki Lowell, Jessica Strayer, Ian Thornton, Ryan Hays, Josh Talboo and Will JUSohnson
To learn more about U.S. Equestrian, please visit www.usef.org.