NoD: National Horse Show, Kentucky edition

2011 Alltech National Horse Show - Lexington, Ky.
Juniors' event at the Nationals - Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Ky.
You want proof that the 2010 World Equestrian Games was a boost for Kentucky's economy, bringing in tourists and their pocketbooks? Look no further than the National Horse Show. The pedigree of the NHS is long and mighty.

The first NHS was held in 1883 at the original Madison Square Gardens in New York City, where it remained (through various versions of MSG) until about eight years ago. It was too cost prohibitive to hold the event in Manhattan, so it was moved to Syracuse. That was a losing proposition.

In January of this year, it was announced that the Kentucky Horse Park's $40 million indoor arena, Alltech Arena, would host the 2011 Alltech National Horse Show. For the past few days, Nov. 2-6, competitors from around the country have gathered in Lexington show their jumping skills aboard their noble steeds.

By all accounts, the show is a success. It is anticipated that additional breeds will be added next year and that discussions are underway with the world equestrian sports body, FEI, to bring a Nations Cup back to the NHS. In a Nations Cup, national teams bid for top bidding.

Inside the Alltech Arena, a trade show circled the concourse with trade vendors and a small-scale experience of the Alltech Experience and the Kentucky Experience - both tremendous educational opportunities that premiered at WEG. Early on Saturday afternoon, the lil' Kaintuckeean and I witnessed juniors Maclay and jumping competitions. Though attendance was small, these were not the featured events. It was still a great opportunity for the lil' Kaintuck to see some horses, though!

More photographs from the National Horse Show are available on flickr.