LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2013) — Nearly 20,000 people from across the country gathered at the inaugural six-day Kentucky Gathering for the grandeur of the Alltech National Horse Show, the delectable tastes of Savor Kentucky and plenty of family fun. The weeklong festival celebrating the horses, heritage and hops of the Bluegrass took place at the Alltech Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park from Oct. 29 through Nov. 3.
The Alltech National Horse Show continued a tradition of equestrian excellence while celebrating its 130th year – the longest run of any indoor horse show in America. More than 500 horse-and-rider combinations competed in various events during the week, with a total estimated attendance of more than 18,500 spectators, riders and event organizers throughout the week.
For the second year in a row, British rider Tim Gredley captured the $50,000 LIFEFORCE Elite Puissance title on Friday, Nov. 1, and American Katie Dinan distinguished herself among a class of 36 international competitors as the winner of the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix on Saturday, Nov. 2. Sadie Boschert of Midway College won a trip for four to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy on Friday, Nov. 1, as part of Alltech’s first Barn Night in the Bluegrass. The event, which drew 400 participants, invited local youth horse enthusiasts to show spirit for their respective barns by donning festive attire and creating banners.
The first year of Savor Kentucky brought in more than 1,000 attendees, often standing elbow to elbow as they talked and sipped from commemorative pilsner glasses, discussing which of the more than 25 local brews were their favorites. Bourbon fans lined up around the 360-degree wood bar, conversing with representatives of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and garnering samples from more than 35 bourbons. Five local food vendors rolled up their sleeves and hustled to keep up with the throngs of people interested in trying the samples of beer cheese grits, bourbon smoked paprika popcorn, mint julep brownies, and other treats.
Other attendees huddled near the stage, enjoying the smooth baritone of country singers like Dillon Carmichael, as well as a multitude of Bluegrass artists. The nearby Pearse’s Place restaurant constantly hummed with attendees enjoying sandwiches, soup, and fish and chips.
On a rainy and windy Halloween night, a record 4,800 trick-or-treaters took refuge in the Alltech Arena to enjoy free indoor trick-or-treating. Vehicles were backed up outside of the Kentucky Horse Park entrance as throngs of parents and children sought out the opportunity to trick-or-treat because of inclement weather cancellations across Central Kentucky. Children circled the concourse excitedly, collecting candy and posing for photos with characters including Cinderella, Spider-Man, and Toy Story’s Woody and Jessie.
On Saturday, Nov. 2, more than 1,400 runners and walkers crossed the finish line of the Biggest Loser RunWalk in its first time in Kentucky. The race series inspired by the hit NBC weight-loss show was emceed by Dan Evans, a contestant from Season 5 of the show. Families also flocked to a children’s activities area with bouncy castles, swings, face painting and pony rides during the weekend.
The inaugural Dine Lexington! Restaurant Week brought increased traffic to participating restaurants from Oct. 25 through Nov. 3, as Lexington visitors and locals alike visited 37 participating restaurants around town to enjoy special $25 fixed price menus. A wide array of restaurants participated, including Alfalfa, Natasha’s Bistro & Bar, Bangkok House, Portofino, The Ketch Seafood Grill, Sutton’s Restaurant, Azur and more.