The first-ever Kentucky Gathering was a resounding success. There was something for everyone at the Alltech Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park, and Kentuckians from all walks of life stopped by.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- Trick-or-treaters swarmed the Alltech Arena on Halloween after storms drove many children inside. More than 4,000 kids spent the evening taking pictures with costumed characters and grabbing as much candy as they could while staying safe from the weather outside.
- British rider Tim Gredley defended his title in the LIFEFORCE Elite™ Puissance on Friday evening, clearing a jump of more than 7 feet while aboard Unex Valente. He beat five other competitors, including runner-up Aaron Vale and his mount, Smartie. Gredley took home $12,500 for his win. Here’s a stunning slow motion video of the winning jump.
- Gredley wasn’t the only winner on Friday night. Sadie Boschert of the Midway College Equestrian Team won a trip for four to attend the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy as part of Barn Night in the Bluegrass, sponsored by Group C. Young equestrians dressed up, cheered and showed their enthusiasm for the Alltech National Horse Show. Other winners walked away with prizes like a golf cart, a one-year supply of LIFEFORCE Elite™, a one-year subscription to Sidelines magazine and much more.
- Human athletes got their chance to compete on Saturday morning during The Biggest Loser RunWalk. Thomas Morgan and Allison Morgan won the men’s and women’s division of the 15k race, respectively, while Petr Julianov and Makenna Lambert won their divisions in the 5k. Over 1,500 runners participated in the races, which were held in Kentucky for the first time.
- Katie Dinan of Wellington, Fla. won the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix on Saturday in a close competition before a crowd of more than 3,000. She edged out Nicola Philippaerts of Belgium and Ljubov Kochetova of Russia in the jump off round. Defending champion McLain Ward had the fastest time in the jump off round, but knocked down a rail on the final jump. Ward is also Dinan’s trainer.
- Savor Kentucky kicked off on Friday afternoon and continued through Saturday, as thousands of Kentuckians came out to sample food and drink. With five food vendors, 27 craft beers on tap and 39 bourbons available, there was plenty to go around.
- Kids also had plenty to do at the Kentucky Gathering. They found a giant inflatable slide and bouncy castle, face painting, exhibits from the Pony Club and many more activities to engage children of all ages.
It’s hard to believe so much happened in just the first year of the Kentucky Gathering. Thank you to everyone who helped to make it a success. We’re already looking forward to an even bigger Gathering next year, and we hope you’ll be there!