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Press Release


ANHS - Lillie Keenan, SJHOF Classic champion

ANHS - McLain Ward - Press Conference

Dr Pearse Lyons following $250,000 ANHS GP

Kent Farrington and Up Chiqui

Mason Phelps with Taylor Harris Club hostess, Kiki Umla

Richard Spooner, winner of the $250,000 ANHS GP

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Rave Reviews for Inaugural Alltech National Horse Show

Written by: Kenneth Kraus /
Client: National Horse Show
Release Date: 2011-11-11

Lexington, KY – November 11, 2011 - - The final competitive ride has been ridden, all of beautiful trophies and ribbons have been awarded, the hundreds of vendors have packed up and moved on and the thousands of equestrians that called Lexington, Kentucky home for one exciting week in November are competing elsewhere, but the excitement of the debut of the Alltech National Horse Show is something that will long be remembered. When all is said and done, the show’s debut will go down in the record books as one of the most successful in the history of equestrian events in the United States.

The Alltech National Horse Show, 128th edition, closed with great excitement, receiving unanimous approval from the horse show community. The Show was a great success with the thousands of attendees, in addition to nearly half a million viewers who watched the events unfold online.

Each ticket sold contributed to a large donation given to each of the nine charities highlighted at this year’s show.

The Alltech National Horse Show found a new home in Kentucky and found a new sponsor in Alltech. With more than 560 horses and 350 riders from nine countries, including nine Olympic veterans, they converged in Lexington, Kentucky over the five days.

The reviews were universally positive and upbeat, including the comments of $250,000 Alltech National Horse Show Grand Prix champion Richard Spooner, who journeyed all the way from California for this year’s show. “I loved the National Horse Show, I was lucky enough to do it one year at Madison Square Garden in New York. They have done a fabulous job to bring that excitement here to Lexington. There is a lot of prize money, the facility here is phenomenal and the management is excellent. The prize money is a big factor. Whenever you are planning a trip, you have to think of the risk-reward, and there’s a lot of reward coming here,” he smiled.

“They really did a fabulous job with this year’s Alltech National Horse Show, it was really on par with any indoor horse show in Europe or anywhere in the world. There’s a great atmosphere here.” said Former FEI Secretary General, Michael Stone, and now President of Equestrian Sports Productions in Wellington, Florida.

“This move to the Kentucky Horse Park for the Alltech National Horse Show is what I have been begging for, it is finally in a place that is horse friendly and somewhere where everyone can enjoy it. We are loving it! They have really gone overboard for hospitality and have bent over backwards to make this a special show,” said Don Stewart, Jr., who, along with Joey Brumbaugh, trained this year’s ASPCA Maclay National Champion, Sarah Millirin.

Double Olympic Gold medalist McLain Ward agreed with Stewart’s assessment, saying, “What an incredible venue this is. There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm from sponsors, athletes, and people involved in the support of this event. That’s very exciting to see. The show is offering incredible prize money.”

Legendary United States Chef d’Equipe, George Morris, who has attended the world’s greatest indoor horse shows over the course of his stellar career noted, “The Alltech Arena is an ideal location for the National Horse Show, it is perfect for all the horsemen and horses, and it really captured the feel of Madison Square Garden. The Alltech National Horse Show has brought back class, something that has been lacking in horse shows today.”

“I think the Kentucky Horse Park is a great venue, a beautiful arena, I think that they could host a World Cup here one day,” agreed Kent Farrington, who won the $60,000 Spy Coast Farm Open Jumper Speed Stake aboard Up Chiqui. “The Alltech National Horse is putting a huge effort into making it a success. I love that all of the classes have big money; it makes everyone try. With the huge money, you’re going to bring more top riders bringing their best horses and they’re going to go out there and try to win.”

Trainer, Jack Towell, whose daughter Elizabeth Boyd captured the Pony Lane Farm High Performance Hunter Championship, said, “The show is beautiful, it’s the best place you can do it and they have made it look so nice. All the press, front page of the newspaper two days in a row, the excitement is back. I’m really excited to be champion here, but more than anything, the excitement is back for the show. It’s the way it should be; everything is perfect!”

“For me this is a really special place, I love the Kentucky Horse Park, and it’s a lot of fun to be here,” noted junior rider Lillie Keenan, winner of the $50,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship. “I also don’t worry about the footing because it is great. They’ve really gone all out to make it special. I think that the Alltech National Horse Show definitely has found a home.”

“I think this a natural place for our National Horse Show, it is such a lovely facility,” said top jumper rider Todd Minikus, who claimed the top prize in the $50,000 Sasco Creek Farm Welcome Stake, the first jumper class of this year’s show. “I was lucky enough to be coming to the Horse Park way back in the 80s and it’s quite lovely to see how the park has progressed, and certainly this is something that adds to the beauty and the overall theme, and probably bodes well for a fantastic future for the Alltech National Horse Show.”

Five-time Olympian for Great Britain, Nick Skelton, who attended the National during the glory days in New York City, also had high praise for this year’s show. “I think it is very nice here, you have a lot more room than you had in New York and the other venues. I hope that after this year it will take off a little bit more. There was a good crowd here tonight and I think that it will only get better with time.”

Next year’s show, scheduled for October 31 through November 5th, will build on the success generated during this inaugural run. Alltech President and Founder Dr. Pearse Lyons, was absolutely delighted and plans to sign a long term commitment for continued sponsorship in the days ahead. “It’s been fantastic. It’s been amazing. It’s been wonderful. And when you consider that this was the first year for the event,” Lyons stated, “that adds an entire new dimension to it. People have said to me, ‘We didn’t expect this, we didn’t expect the fantastic welcome we received, we didn’t expect the glamour, so there’s been that level of disbelief. Well, next year, there will be so much more. This inaugural event was a good beginning, but it was only the beginning. This show will continue to grow and next time around the city of Lexington will embrace this show more and we, in fact, will go all out to create a super experience for all who attend.”

“We certainly will be back next year and it will be bigger and better,” concluded Mason Phelps, Jr., President of the National Horse Show Association. “I am getting together with the people at Alltech to brainstorm what we’re going to do to give exhibitors more prize money, more classes, and more days in the schedule. We are going to look at more options for next year. I promise you that we are bringing back all of the parts of the National Horse Show that we saw at Madison Square Garden years ago, they’re all coming back little by little: the saddle horses, the coaches, and of course the best jumping, and if the FEI looks at us favorably, hopefully a Nation’s Cup!”

The 2012 Alltech National Horse will be held at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park on October 31 through November 5, 2012.


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