Amarillo, Texas – For the past 10 days, the equestrian world has been focused on Lexington, Kentucky, and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, since this is the first time for the event to be held in the United States. It’s also the first time that WEG has been featured on national U.S. television with an amazing 8.5 hours of coverage on NBC Sports, the largest commitment ever made by a network to equestrian sports.
AQHA and the National Reining Horse Association have worked for more than 20 years to have the sport of reining be recognized by the Federation Equestre Internationale and included in the World Equestrian Games.
With the World Equestrian Games on U.S. soil for the first time, NRHA and AQHA teamed with corporate partner Johne Deere to highlight reining and American Quarter Horses during the Games in a special demonstration arena. AQHA and NRHA officials also served as media advisers for the national broadcast.
Reining has enjoyed 2.5 hours of coverage and according to recent Nielsen ratings, the U.S. audience also has enjoyed watching the only western event in the Games. Nearly six million total viewers have watched both shows, the first of which debuted September 26 featuring the team reining competition and the second on October 3, which featured the individual reining competition.
AQHA, who is the official reining breed sponsor of the Games, received national commercials in both broadcasts that also had an influence on website traffic – there was an increase in visitors to aqha.com and its WEG coverage. AQHA’s WEG-related pages on aqha.com, which include a 15-page microsite and numerous press releases, were viewed more than 22,000 times. WEG-related blog posts on America’s Horse Daily had an additional 3,500 views.
Visitors to aqha.com have until October 10 to sign up to win a Shorty’s Caboy Hattery felt hat signed by members of the gold medal winning Team USA.
NBC’s coverage of the Games concludes Sunday, October 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. Eastern with reining included as part of the overall WEG recap.
Complete coverage of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be in the November issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.