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Report: WEG's Impact In Excess Of $200-Million

By Alan Lytle

Lexington, KY – $201.5 million. That's the bottom line number a third party research and analysis firm has determined was the overall economic impact of Kentucky's hosting of the World Equestrian Games last fall. Governor Steve Beshear made that announcement during a press conference at the Kentucky Horse Park Monday morning.

The study, commissioned by the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, says $128.2 million of the total comprised direct spending on things like event tickets, lodging, restaurants, shopping centers, and retail outlets. The games also generated some $73.3 million in indirect spending; on things such as food suppliers, professional services, and other support activity. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says the state now has "tangible proof" that the games were a success for the Commonwealth.

"Kentucky is the Horse Capital of the World. Others would like to dethrone us. But with this event, we established that this title is based not only on history or heritage, but also on current reality."

The report, conducted by Certec Incorporated of Versailles, shows that visitors from 63 countries and all fifty states attended the games last fall at the Kentucky Horse Park. Executive Director John Nicholson says, because of the success of WEG, the Horse Park has been able to land many other prestigious equine events including the National Horse Show, which will relocate from Madison Square Garden this coming November.