In preparation for next year’s World Equestrian Games, construction of several new marathon obstacles is underway here at the Kentucky Horse Park. This one (below, from several angles) has a large hill at one end and will have a ditch filled with water at the base of the hill. According to the course designer, Richard Nicoll, the “splash” will make this particular obstacle one of three (!) with water.

Five of the marathon obstacles being used for this October’s Lexington Combined Driving Classic & WEG Test Event will be used again next year for the World Equestrian Games. Two of these (the “head of the lake” and the “hollow”) will be used jointly by the driving and eventing competitors, for their respective marathon and cross-country phases.

one of the three water obstacles planned for the WEG driving marathon, currently under construction at the Kentucky Horse Park

one of the three water obstacles planned for the WEG driving marathon, currently under construction at the Kentucky Horse Park

at the lower left, you can see the ditch that will be filled with water to give this obstacle a "splash"

at the lower left is the ditch that will be filled with water to give this obstacle a “splash”

a close up of the hill at the new marathon obstacle

a close up of the hill at the new marathon obstacle

the polo field where the driving dressage and cones arena will be situated for this year's Lexington Combined Driving Classic and next year's World Equestrian Games

the polo field where the driving dressage and cones arena will be situated for this year’s Lexington Combined Driving Classic and next year’s World Equestrian Games

The course designer is not only planning for the competitors but is also considering the spectators’ needs. Several of the marathon obstacles are (or will be) situated in low areas of the horse park’s rolling fields. With higher ground near the obstacles, spectators will be able to stand or sit to watch one or more from a bit of distance, for a good view of all the action.

We’ll have more photos … of more new obstacles during their various phases of construction and as the horse park prepares for the WEG test event and the WEG itself.