Friday, September 03, 2010

US Endurance Team finds a home at Shaker Village - Full Article

September 2 2010

By Greg Kocher -

harrodsburg — They were industrious and famous for woodworking and animal husbandry, but the 1800s religious sect known as the Shakers weren't known for their athleticism.

However, for the next three weeks, a restored historic settlement in Mercer County, will host some of the top equestrian riders in the world. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is where the U.S. Endurance Team will train for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Shaker Village has hosted everything from craft shows to education-reform roundtables for years. But "we have never been a training camp before, so this is a new experience for us," said Madge Adams, president and CEO of the site.

Endurance is essentially a 100-mile horse race with five compulsory stops for veterinarians to check the horses' fitness to continue. The competitor who finishes the ride in the shortest time wins.

Shaker Village was selected as a training site because it was close to the Kentucky Horse Park, where the Games will be held Sept. 25 to Oct. 10, said Vonita Bowers, director of endurance for the U.S. Equestrian Federation. She and endurance coach Becky Hart — called a chef d'equipe in the endurance world — visited several sites last year...

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