KHC Travels to France, Works with Normandy Horse Council

Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) representatives joined a group of more than 30 Kentucky delegates for a cultural and economic development tour sponsored by Alltech, traveling through Normandy, France, and concluding at the Alltech European Bioscience Centre in Dunboyne, Ireland. The tour was in conjunction with the July 2011 announcement of Alltech's sponsorship of the Alltech Fédéraion Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games 2014, in Normandy.

Anna Zinkhon, KHC board president, and Ginny Grulke, KHC executive director, joined Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear; Secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Marcheta Sparrow; and Secretary Larry Hayes of the Cabinet for Economic Development, among others, in exchanging ideas during a series of workshops hosted by the Normandy council. The Kentucky Horse Council delegates participated in a workshop with the Normandy Horse Council to discuss partnership opportunities focused on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, in Normandy.

Pearse Lyons, PhD, hosted the delegation, engaging in exploratory conversations about both economic and equestrian opportunities, as well as the cultural bond between the countries.

The equine industry provides a strong link between Ireland; Caen, France; and Lexington, Ky. (host city of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games). Each community is renowned for top-quality horse breeding programs and elite equestrian competition. The economic impact is also significant in each region, with the thoroughbred industry contributing upwards of €600 million to the Basse-Normandie region, and €900 million in Ireland in 2010.

"This trip represents a vision for the future," Zinkhon said. "In the equine industry as in other industries, our business is becoming more global. By teaming with the exceptional horsemen in Normandy and Ireland, we can accelerate Kentucky's international equine growth while examining new equestrian support programs from the European model."

In 2013, The KHC will announce shared projects with the Normandy Horse Council, which will be implemented in time for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

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