2010 Kentucky Equine Youth Festival
Published 04-15-2010 11:52 AM
We hosted, on March 19, the Kentucky Equine Youth Festival. The Festival showcased the 8 sports that are part of the World Equestrian Games, coming to the Kentucky Horse Park in September of 2010. The 8 sports are: endurance, reining, vaulting, para-equestrian, jumping, eventing, dressage and driving.
The organizing committee for the Youth Festival included people from the University of Kentucky Equine Initiative, University of Louisville Equine Industry Program, Kentucky 4-H Horse Program, Kentucky Equine Education Project, United States Equestrian Federation, Kentucky Horse Council, United States Pony Clubs and the Kentucky Department of Education.
We had 5500 people attending the festival at the new indoor arena of the Horse Park. These people included youth from schools from over 30 different counties, 4-H Horse Clubs, Pony Clubs, and individuals who wanted to attend this magnificent festival! The arena was packed to its capacity! We also had 37 sponsors who filled out the concourse of the arena and were bombarded with the huge crowd asking questions and wanting to be involved in their programs! In a nutshell, the festival was a huge success! It exposed Kentucky's youth and adults to world class equestrians and gave them a glimpse of what the World Equestrian Games will be.
In addition to the 8 live demonstrations, we also had 8 educational demonstrations that taught the crowd about horse health, safety and care.
The Saddle Up Safely Program was the sponsor of the Para Equestrian demonstration, demonstration which brought tears to everyone present. Jennifer Baker rode Quintero, and Andalusian horse owned by Heidi Coombe. Jennifer was in a life changing Harley Davidson accident about 8 years ago, which left her unable to walk for several years. She was told by her doctors that she'd never be able to ride horses again. Since horses were her passion, she chose to not believe her doctor's prognosis and worked hard to get back on her feet. A few years later she started walking and riding a horse again, a horse which pretty much re-taught her how to ride with his gentle, quiet and cooperative spirit. This amazing horse gave her self confidence back and changed her life once again! And to top it all off his name was Harley! With the help of Harley, Jennifer became more and more confident with riding and is now a para-equestrian olympian!!!!! What an awesome story!!!!
And the Saddle Up Safely Program was so proud to sponsor Jeniffer's demonstration!!! She did an excellent job!!!!
If any of you were present at the Kentucky Equine Youth Festival, leave us a comment about what you liked the most!!!!!