Tickets on sale for 2010 World Equestrian Games
September 25 - Tickets today went on sale for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) exactly a year before the start of the event in Kentucky where Britain's Zara Phillips (pictured) hopes to be defending the title she won in 2006.
The world’s most prestigious equestrian competition will be held at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington beginning next September 25.
As the clock reached noon, when tickets officially went on sale, a cheer went up among those gathered on the concourse of Rupp Arena.
Today's one year out celebration was used to jump start an effort to sell 600,000 tickets for the 16 day event.
The WEG bring together eight equestrian disciplines for their individual world championships.
Jamie Link, the chief executive of the World Games 2010 Foundation, said: "I really like where we stand right now."
Ticket sales are a "significant" part of the WEG $76 million (£47 million) operating budget.
Link said: "They're probably in the neighborhood of 40 to 45 per cent of our overall budget."
He was pleased with first day's sales.
Link said: "By the end of this first day of public sales, more than 20 per cent of tickets for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be reserved."
Sessions for final rounds of competition are showing particularly strong interest, as well as opening and closing ceremonies and the reining freestyle exhibition.
Prices depend upon the event and range from $25 (£15) to $150 (£94) for the opening ceremonies
Link says potential sponsors have been "a bit hesitant" but interest in corporate sponsorships is beginning to increase.
He said: "We'll adjust our budget according to economic situations."
It is the first WEG to be held outside of Europe.
The WEG was last held in Aachen in 2006 when Phillips, the Queen's granddaughter, rode Toytown to a brilliant victory, a performance which led to her being crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Among those at today's ticket launch was Kai Vorberg of Germany, the vaulting champion at the 2006 games.
He said: "I really want to feel it and soak the spirit in."
December 2006: Top BBC award for Zara Phillips
August 2006: Gold for Zara as she adds world gold medal to European title