First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear receives “Waters of Kentucky” as part of 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games countdown

Press Release Date:  Friday, August 20, 2010  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Roach

LEXINGTON, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear today presided over a ceremonial event symbolizing Kentucky’s welcome of the Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG), which officially begin in 36 days.

Called “The Welcoming Waters of Kentucky,” this event united the waters of the Commonwealth with water received as a gift from Aachen, Germany. Known as the City of Water and the locale of the previous World Equestrian Games, Aachen shared the water with Kentucky when the state was awarded the Games in 2006.

“Combining the waters of Aachen with the waters of Kentucky reflects the unity and shared pride in hosting the World Equestrian Games,” said Mrs. Beshear. “The Games, the equine equivalent of the Olympics, will begin with water instead of a flame. Kentucky is extremely honored to preside over the passing of this vibrant resource.”

The nine tourism districts of the state that contributed native waters to the event are as unique as the regional names given them, including Western Waterlands; Bluegrass, Blues and Barbeque; Caves, Lakes and Corvettes; Derby; Southern Lakes; Northern Kentucky; Bluegrass; Kentucky Appalachians; and Daniel Boone.  Artisans from each region designed and created vessels for water of their area to be brought via horse and rider to the First Lady. Mrs. Beshear recognized and accepted the waters, which were then placed into a “gathering vessel” crafted by a Kentucky artisan.

“We are overjoyed at the opportunity that this event has given to the talented artists of Kentucky,” said Lori Meadows, executive director of the Kentucky Arts Council.

The Welcoming Waters will remain in Frankfort until the Opening Ceremony of the WEG on Sept. 25, when Governor and Mrs. Beshear will welcome visitors from across the globe for the official start of the Games.

“It is an honor and delight to make the Welcoming Waters part of the Opening Ceremonies program,” remarked Everett McCorvey, executive producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.  “This is the kind of moment that symbolically closes the loop from Aachen to Kentucky allowing us to look back ever so briefly as we then move forward with a new chapter of the Games.”

After the Opening Ceremonies, the nine tourism district vessels and the gathering vessel will be on display in the Kentucky Experience Pavilion throughout the entirety of the Games.

“It has always been our goal to make each visitor’s experience of the Games a Kentucky experience,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow.  “With all of the other exciting things to see in the Pavilion, attendees to the Games can now look on these Welcoming Waters vessels as a part of history – when the Games were first held on American soil.”

The ceremony was held at the Kentucky Horse Park’s New Indoor Arena during the World Cup Qualifier and the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.