Kentucky Horse Park
Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Discipline Comes to Kentucky Horse Park

Press Release Date:  Monday, October 01, 2007  
Contact Information:  Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209 ext 209, crullman@kyhorsepark.com  


LEXINGTON, KY (September 27, 2007)  The thrilling sport of combined driving will take place during the Lexington Combined Driving Classic, October 5–7 at the Kentucky Horse Park.  

 

The three distinct phases of combined driving—driven dressage, cross-country marathon, and obstacle (cones) driving—were originally modeled after the ridden sport of three-day eventing (such as the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event).

 

John Nicholson, executive director of the park stated, “This is a dream event for the Kentucky Horse Park.  We have desired and worked toward this for several years.  Competitive driving is very popular elsewhere, and particularly in Europe, so we’re very pleased to have the opportunity to host this event and introduce yet another fantastic equine sport in the Horse Capital of the World.”   He continued, “It has a lot of the same adrenalin surges of the chariot race in ‘Ben Hur,’ without the danger to horse and driver.”

 

Three years from now, also at the Kentucky Horse Park, the world championships in four-in-hand driving and seven other horse sports will be contested at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

 

Each phase of combined driving offers something unique. On the first day, you’ll see the beauty of traditional carriages, top hats, and formally dressed grooms while the horses and ponies are put through their paces in the dressage test. On Saturday, witness the thrilling speed and daring of the horses and drivers as they navigate the maze of each marathon obstacle. On the final day, precision matters most as each competitor must navigate an obstacle course with mere centimeters of clearance between each set of cones.

 

This year’s event will feature all six combined driving divisions—single horses, single ponies, pairs of both horses and ponies, and four-in-hand teams of horses and ponies. The competition will be divided into three levels—preliminary, intermediate, and advanced.

 

The international panel of officials includes Klaus Christ (president of the jury) of Germany, Diana Brownlie (judge) of Great Britain, Martha Nicoll (judge) of the U.S., Philip Bateman of Great Britain, and Richard Nicoll (course designer) of the U.S.  

 

The Lexington Combined Driving Classic  is included with park admission.  To learn more about combined driving, click on www.americandrivingsociety.org/combined.asp.  For more information about this event, contact Susan Gilliland, at 352-489-6586 or s_gilliland@msn.com.  

 

Park Hours and Rates: From March 15 through October 31, the park is open seven days a week.  Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for children 7-12.  Children six and under are always admitted free of charge.  Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse – In Association with the Smithsonian Institution - and the American Saddlebred Museum.

 

Editor’s Note:  The media is invited to learn more about the sport of combined driving by visiting the park on Friday, Oct 5 at 10:30am for a private, behind-the-scenes introduction conducted by the Carriage Association of America.  Please let us know you’re coming by emailing Cindy Rullman, crullman@kyhorsepark.com, Jill Ryder or Jennifer Singleton at the Carriage Association of America, 859-231-0971 or caa_jill@windstream.net.  Meet in the lobby of the Visitor Information Center.

High-res photos are available for use with this release in your publication by emailing crullman@kyhorsepark.com.

 

 

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The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse.  The park is an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet that hosted nearly 900,000 visitors and campers, as well as 15,000 competition horses in more than 100 special events and horse shows in 2006.  The park is home to the National Horse Center which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations.   Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is The place to get close to horses.   Open daily March 15 to October 31, and Wednesday through Sunday, November 1 to March 14.