Kentucky Horse Park Director Receives Vision Award

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Pfizer Animal Health and American Horse Publications (AHP) presented John Nicholson with the ninth annual Equine Industry Vision Award at a ceremonial breakfast held during the AHP 2010 40th Anniversary Seminar in Lexington, KY. Established in 2002, the Equine Industry Vision Award was the first of its kind to showcase innovation and recognize ingenuity and service across the entire equine market.

John has earned this honor for his vision and determination to make unimaginable dreams a reality. Best known for his work as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park and the President of the World Games 2010 Foundation, John’s leadership has been pivotal in bringing the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to the United States.

More than 14 years ago, John had the foresight to begin the process of bringing the World Equestrian Games from Europe to the United States for the first time. In September, the games, featuring 16 events, will be the largest sporting event of any kind in the U.S. in 2010 and will introduce equine sports to a whole new audience across the country.

“When we host the 2010 Games, it will be the largest sporting event ever held in Kentucky. The eyes of the world will be on our state as the games will be televised to an international audience of 500 million viewers, and our region will offer its hospitality to 300,000 visitors (700,000 tickets sold), including 2,000 journalists,” said John Nicholson. “This is going to be Kentucky’s ‘day in the sun,’ and with the help of the people of our city and state, we’ll be ready to introduce the world to our unique Bluegrass culture.”

Born on September 23, 1959, John grew up in Winchester, KY, with his two older brothers, Joe Browne, president of Nicholson Insurance, and Nick, president of the Keeneland Association.

“I am very fortunate to know that I’m where I am supposed to be. When I walk the fields of the Kentucky Horse Park, I know I’m on hallowed ground,” said John. “The intangible takes on the shape of the tangible when horses and humans connect. There is something very soulful about this place and the relationships between man and horse that are experienced every day. You can’t be on the park and not feel it; it’s other-worldly.”