You know you’ve been gone from home too long when your own dogs growl at you and you can’t even find the silverware drawer in your own kitchen. That’s what my homecoming was like after nearly three weeks in Lexington KY, site of the WEG. After 16 straight days of doing two and sometimes three presentations a day to a crowd as diverse as the different competitions at this Olympic-level event, I was ready for some down time. Driving into our valley, the snow capped peaks never looked so beautiful and arriving home to a lovely bouquet of flowers from my patient husband and a barn full of content horses, a home-coming never felt so good.
The WEG was certainly an exciting time to be in Lexington—a city abuzz with the excitement that comes with a prestigious international event. Even in a town like Lexington, where the horse industry is a huge part of life, people of all persuasions were excited about the influx of visitors. The town was decked out in its finest, with beautiful horse statues and sculptures everywhere and welcome signs in abundance. And although all predictions indicated there would be total mayhem and confusion, the long lines and sold-out hotels never really materialized. Getting around was actually pretty easy and there were plenty of hotel rooms to be had at reasonable rates (unless you made your reservations in advance in which case you may have been stuck with really high rates).
During my stay in Lexington, I did presentations out at the KY Horse Park (site of the WEG), representing both the Certified Horsemanship Association and AQHA. I also did two presentations daily at the Convention Center downtown, for the International Equestrian Festival. I enjoyed meeting and talking to people from Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, UK, Germany, Austria, South Africa, Venezuela, Australia, from just about every state in the US plus many, many Kentuckians. Over the course of games, I rekindled many old friendships, networked with colleagues and made lots of new friends.
Although most of the time I was hustling between presentation venues, I did manage to catch glimpses here and there of the incredible competitions going on at the WEG. It was amazing to see some of the finest horses and trainers in the world and all the machinations involved in getting them to this competition, keeping them healthy and content. Our reining team swept the podium and showed off some of the most talented horses and riders in the world. There were many other incredible stories in all of the disciplines—with over 600 horses competing—every day brought some new excitement.
I’ll admit to being exhausted at the end of it all—19 days away from home is a long time! I am still working to get caught up on my life and some rest, but it won’t be long until I am home for an eight week break in travel and some eagerly-awaited skiing!
Enjoy the ride!