WEG Reports on Attendance by Top States, Countries

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LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Oct. 20–World Equestrian Games organizers on Wednesday released the top U.S. states and nations that made up the 507,022 people who attended the 16-day event.

The World Games 2010 Foundation, a non-profit organization, listed the top five states for attendees as Kentucky, California, Ohio, Illinois and Florida.

The top 10 nations were Canada, Switzerland, Australia, England, Mexico, Germany, South Africa, France, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

The attendance total of 507,022 included 62,707 school children admitted under a program implemented by title sponsor Alltech and up to 6,000 volunteers daily, hundreds of athletes and hundreds of media admitted each day.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that its analysis showed $107 million (€76.6 million) in state, local and federal tax dollars spent on improvements at the Kentucky Horse Park and other infrastructure projects and another $151 million (€108 million) for projects already planned but expedited for WEG. The Horse Park say the improvements that included completely new indoor and outdoor arenas have led to a big increase in commitments for use of the facility that should recoup the costs.

At least another $80 million (€57.3 million) was spent by the WEG organization, much of it by title sponsor Alltech.

At the previous WEG, in Aachen, Germany, in 2006, there were 570,000 spectators and the combined capital and organizing budget was €39.3 million that at the time was the equivalent of about US$50 million.

Some Kentucky political and civic leaders say they are considering applying for the Games to return to Lexington in 2018. The 2014 WEG has been awarded to Normandy, France.

Other figures for WEG showed 632 athletes and 752 horses from 58 countries.