Lextington, KY — 97 Days to go—A collaboration of equine entertainers and roping experts are bringing their talents to the Opening Ceremonies at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games on Sept. 25. This group will represent the many traditions of Western riding in the United States.
The performers include Vince Bruce, Eitan Beth-Halachmy, Double Dan Horsemanship, Tommie Turvey, the California Cowgirls and the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls. Together the group shares a common theme, but they will each add their own flair to this section of the Opening Ceremonies.
Vince Bruce, also known as the “Wizard of Whips and Ropes,” has been twirling ropes in front of audiences since he was 12 years old. Bruce has been in circuses, performed with the Harlem Globetrotters and starred in the Broadway show “The Will Rogers’ Follies.”
Bruce said he is excited about performing with friends and creating something spectacular for the Opening Ceremonies. A native of England, Bruce said “This (the U.S.) is the home of Western entertainment!”
Eitan Beth-Halachmy will add to the performance with his Cowboy Dressage style of riding. Beth-Halachmy developed Cowboy Dressage from a mixture of several training styles including Dressage, which he calls his discipline and Western, which he calls his fun.
“I am going to have the opportunity to entertain, give others an idea of what I do, and show them how to have fun riding a horse,” Beth-Halachmy said about coming to the Games.
Dan James of Australia is one of the two “Dans” behind Double Dan Horsemanship. James, who grew up riding horses Down Under eventually partnered with Dan Steers to create a powerhouse of entertainment and equine training that includes clinics and performances across the globe.
Also known for entertaining is Tommie Turvey, an equine extremist who performs tricks and stunts for audiences across America. Turvey grew up with a passion for horses but never really wanted to compete. Instead, he followed in his father’s footsteps and used his natural riding abilities and class clown tendencies to create a niche in equine entertainment.
“It is nice to have people from around the world come to the United States,” Turvey said about the Games. “I can represent what we do here and say ‘Hey! American cowboys are pretty good horse trainers too.’”
And it’s not just cowboys; there are plenty of female riding entertainers in the mix. The California Cowgirls, an equestrian drill team from Wilton, California, will perform complex drill routines while decked out in their signature costumes. They ride American Paints, Appaloosas and Quarter Horses.
“We always love to perform,” said Sara Curtis, captain of the California Cowgirls. “We are looking forward to the grandeur and magnitude of the whole event.”
And last, but certainly not least, are the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls, a group of ladies known around the world for their roping and trick riding. Jennifer Welch Nicholson, executive director of Riata Ranch, conducts clinics to not only teach people about western riding but also about life skills such as confidence, physical fitness and self expression.
“This group of talented equine performers, precision riders, and western roping professionals will have the audience on their feet,” said Dr. Everett McCorvey, executive director of the Opening Ceremonies. “It's a producer's dream to present ‘wow’ moments throughout a show, and create something that the audience won't soon forget.”
This group represents just one part of the Opening Ceremonies, which will include over 200 horses. In addition to the equine component, the “human” component includes orchestra, choir, dancers, headline musicians, movement corps of hundreds of adults and children, as well as local and international celebrities and dignitaries.
About the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games:
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). The Games are held every four years and this will be the first occurrence in the United States. Tickets to the 2010 Games are still available and can be purchased at www.alltechfeigames.com/tickets, at www.ticketmaster.com, through the Ticketmaster hotline at 1-800-745-3000, or at your local Ticketmaster outlet.
The Games will be broadcast on NBC Sports, which marks the largest commitment to network coverage of equestrian sport in U.S. television history. The 2010 Games are expected to have a statewide economic impact of $167 million, and current sponsors include Alltech, Rolex, John Deere, Ariat International, Inc., Meydan and the American Quarter Horse Association. For more information on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games please visit, www.alltechfeigames.com.
Photos: California Cowgirls and Vince Bruce, also known as the “Wizard of Whips and Ropes"