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Kentucky Spring Horse Shows Welcome Girl Scouts for SPEAKS Program

Lexington, KY - May 16, 2007 - This past weekend, Girl Scouts from the Lexington community enjoyed a day of educational fun at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Over 750 Girl Scouts and their families spent the day learning about horses and the sport of show jumping. The hands-on program "Supporting and Promoting Equine Awareness in Kentucky's Schools" (SPEAKS) educates elementary schools and designated groups about horses, general equine care and equestrian competitions.

Bobby Murphy, the assistant manager of the Kentucky Horse Shows, and Betsy Fishback, the director of community relations, created SPEAKS to educate the community about the horse industry. The Kentucky Horse Park is the future site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and is home to the United States Equestrian Federation, and SPEAKS helps generate interest in the upcoming games and international sport horse competitions.

Before watching the $15,000 Bluegrass Derby on Saturday, May 12, the children spent time at informative stations that are part of the SPEAKS program. The scouts observed horses during competition and enjoyed first-hand interaction with riders, horses and equine experts. They also learned about equine nutrition and safety equipment, and grand prix rider Georgina Bloomberg signed autographs and answered their many questions.

"We had a fun week with the kids," commented Fishback. "They really enjoyed the stations, which taught them about all of the different breeds and disciplines. I think it's great that they can meet the riders, see the horses close up and even watch them show. The autograph signing with Georgina [Bloomberg] was a lot of fun too."

Competitions continue at the horse park this week at the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show, held from May 16 through 20. In addition to the groups who attended SPEAKS last week, more elementary schools are scheduled to visit this week's show.

The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows features the exciting summer-long Hagyard Challenge Jumper Series, which is a series of major show jumping competitions. The Hagyard Challenge Jumper Series features $170,000 in prize money and kicked off last week with the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix. The second Hagyard grand prix will be held on Thursday, May 17. In addition to jumper action, the horse show hosts the 2007 Legacy Cup in the indoor arena.

To learn more about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts watch the $15,000 Bluegrass Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo(C) 2007 Jennifer Wood.


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