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OT Handicapped Access at Kentucky Horse Park

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  • OT Handicapped Access at Kentucky Horse Park

    I have tickets for the WEG at the Kentucky Horse Park. I've never been there and I'm wondering what kind of handicapped provisions they have. I've emailed the Park to find out what they have, but haven't received an answer. I'm hoping they'll have motorized scooters and power chairs for rent as they do at Disney World, Busch Gardens, et. al. I'm sure some of you have been there and can give me some tips. Thanks in advance. I'm thrilled that riders with disabilities have been included on this board.

  • #2
    I was just there in September in a wheelchair. Weather was horrible, the arenas we used were VERY far apart, in the evenings getting around was scary in the dark with no lighting. Construction was a huge mess...mud, water, piles of rubble, broken glass, nails...ugh.

    With construction finished by WEG, I expect it will be better. Getting into the two indoors wasn't too bad. Didn't get to the outdoor stadium. Barns were large stone and difficult to push around in.

    KHP was not good about answering phones, returning messages etc. when I called for weeks in advance to ask questions.


    • #3
      I have tickets also for the Driving. I have not been able to get good answers at all for how they are going to handle wheelchair access for the cross-country marathon. I was at the KHP in 2007 and did a demonstration on Para-Equestrian driving at Rolex. It was very difficult to get around in a wheelchair. I had friends that just competed at the Driving test event in Oct. They have said it is going to be very difficutl. I haven't been able to get answers on parking. Most parking is going to be away from the park and they are shuttleing people in from hotels etc. But they won't tell me if anything is wheelchair accesible, i won't even get into trying to find a wheelchair accesible hotel room:-)



      • #4
        I stayed at Extended Stay America in Patchett Village. $60 a night and a large studio type condo with handicapped features in the bathroom.

        I tried to rent a power chair for getting around easier, but despite reservations 3 months in advance, when I got there, it wasn't available. Nice.


        • Original Poster

          Have any of you ever flown into a city (not your own) and been able to rent a scooter or chair at or near the airport and return it when you fly out? I wonder if that would work. When you fly, are you allowed to take your own chair or scooter on the plane with you? That would work if it is allowed. I'm surprised that the Park hasn't responded to my inquiries. Maybe bringing our own equipment is the answer. I wonder if a chair/scooter would be considered extra luggage or a "carry on". I'll call the airline. They'll be more responsive than the Park. I'll post on here if I get some information.


          • #6
            I actually take my own chair when I fly. They let you load first (request the bulkhead seat), stow it for you at no charge and bring it back to you in your seat when everyone else is off the plane. Be sure to tell them ahead of time.

            If you take a power chair, they will transfer you to a narrow aisle-width chair to take you on and off the plane, then meet you with yours when you deplane.

            I don't trust rental companies enough to be positive to get the chair you need when you need it. (Plus your own FITS you.) I reserved one for KHP and it never came back off rental for me to use. Not good!


            • #7
              Dear “chizmom,”

              On behalf of the Kentucky Horse Park, please know how sorry I am that you did not receive a reply to your inquiry. Although I do not oversee the areas you mention, I will do my best to answer your questions or concerns.

              During the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, there will be free handicapped-accessible shuttle service provided from free parking lots and partner hotels to the park, and internal accessible shuttles. I do not know if there will be vendors contracted with the World Games 2010 Foundation, organizers of the 2010 Games, to provide a rental service for motorized chairs or scooters to their ticket holders, but the park itself has only very limited service available.

              As a small state government agency under the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, we do not have the resources to provide extensive wheelchairs or motorized chairs. Currently, the park has only one motorized chair and several regular wheelchairs that are available on a first-come, first serve basis, free of charge. The park has never had a vendor on site, nor do we have a relationship with any vendor, that rents motorized chairs or scooters, although I do believe that several local businesses have provided such chairs in the past to Lexington visitors through direct pick-up or hotel drop-off.

              The park’s buildings, barns and competition venues are spread out over 1,200 acres of famous Bluegrass countryside. All sidewalks, pedways, roadways and buildings meet federal ADA requirements. While there is still plenty of green space for horses and people, all areas built for people are accessible as appropriate.

              You are welcome to contact the World Games 2010 Foundation (859/255-2010) for specific information, although I believe that those details may not yet be finalized. You may want to check their Web site regularly for more detailed information as the Games get closer (www.alltechfeigames.com.) You may also contact me directly with your concerns or questions and I will do my best to answer them, or get them answered for you.

              I will share this thread with the park’s upper management and with the upper management of the World Games 2010 Foundation so that they will both be aware of the response issues and the physical experiences mentioned here. It is our goal that all visitors and competitors on the park have a safe and enjoyable experience to remember for a lifetime.


              Lisa Jackson
              Director of Marketing and PR
              Kentucky Horse Park


              • #8
                Perhaps KHP should rethink the number of handicapped parking spaces near the buildings. I could never get one of the only THREE available in front of the new kazillion seat indoor, and our event was small.

                Getting from the barn area into the indoor required jumping a 3-4 inch concrete step OR going all the way around to the front of the building. Wonder if they could fix that?


                • Original Poster

                  I'm happy that Ms. Jackson responded in such a positive way. Perhaps if we all send our suggestions to event organizers, they will be able to implement them. I know when I was involved in efforts to add horse trails in the State Parks, educating the Park personnel to our needs was a very important component. If the planners weren't riders, they had no idea of some of the challenges. The planners might design a regular paved parking lot for the staging area with no idea how much space each rig needs, why paving is so dangerous for horses and riders, etc. As I'm learning, the challenges for those with disabilities are huge, and the "planners" need input and education on those challenges. I don't want to miss a moment of the WEG, so I'm going to bring my own supplies.


                  • #10
                    Thank you Lisa Jackson. I have been reading this thread with interest as I have someone coming to stay with me to see the Driving, and while she is not in a wheelchair, her walking is restricted. I had been able to find nothing on the WEG site about anything to do with handicap access. I will keep checking.
                    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lisa Jackson View Post
                      During the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, there will be free handicapped-accessible shuttle service provided from free parking lots and partner hotels to the park, and internal accessible shuttles. [/url]
                      Lisa, thanks for that information. Could you please elaborate on the "internal accessible shuttles"? Would these be like they are during Rolex, where we need to obtain a special pass to be able to have access to these shuttles to be driven around? If so, how do we go about getting one of these passes (I already have my tickets), or getting access to the internal shuttes to get back and forth to the various venues, etc. while actually inside the park?
                      Founder & Donor/Account Advisor
                      Brennan Equine Welfare Fund


                      • Original Poster

                        Update from Lisa Jackson About WEG

                        I wrote to Lisa Jackson about my concerns regarding the lack of any updates on handicapped access at the Kentucky Horse Park. She promptly replied that there will be much more info available as the WEG gets closer. There will be handicapped parking at the Coldstream parking facility. All of the shuttles will be handicapped-friendly and will be able to accomodate any of the needed mobility equipment. Be sure to remember your handicapped parking plackard. Many thanks to Lisa for all her help.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for sharing that info.

                          I'll be accompanying/head gopher for someone with a bad hip replacement... I actually just emailed her when you bumped this as she was talking about trying to rent or lease a seated-scooter type thingy. She's in charge of the All Breeds Display for the Iberians... and we have tickets to many events... so we'll be all over the place, and after a certain point, her leg gets *done* even if she isn't...

                          She was there not too long ago... and really had concerns about handicapped seating.

                          I'll be looking forward to updates.
                          InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                          Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                          • #14
                            Okay, so I'm a b***h, but the handicapped services for the Kentucky Cup test events last week were non-existent for the evening events. The Rolex services were a little better, but the shuttles shut down long before anything else.

                            The handicapped seating in the main outdoor arena (Grandstand) is not under cover and, IIRC, access is down steps, not by way of ramps. Handicapped access was not a main priority in the design--but neither was unobstructed viewing from the "covered" seats, which really don't provide much cover until you're in the nosebleed seats. From my point of view, the new facility was very poorly designed. Don't know about the new indoor.

                            A LOT of work needs to be done to make the WEGs truly handicapped friendly.
                            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                            Thread killer Extraordinaire


                            • #15

                              I decided not to go to the games or visit the horse Park after reading about how inaccessible the Horse Park is for people with disabilities. I don't use a chair but have limited ability to walk distances or stand up for very long. There are many people who need assistance but don't use a chair. I have been to other equestrian events and golf carts were available or at least were used to transport people from one arena to another venue . There are often inexpensive solutions to accessibility .
                              I wonder how many other people or families are not going because of these problems!


                              • #16
                                Has anyone contacted one of the ADA groups?
                                Above is the NE US website.
                                In my area horse shows claimed there were exempt from the act.
                                Of course they aren't and a call to the regional ADA center produced copies of regulations and info on who to call to report them for non compliance.