We’ve seen a lot of Pearse Lyons, the owner of Alltech, over the past two weeks – so much so that if someone were looking in and didn’t know who was who, they would think that he was running the whole show. Maybe that’s not so far from the truth. Back last winter when I wrote my first of a series of WEG previews for Gaitpost, I failed to identify WEG at the start of my article as the ‘Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games’. An email was sent within a couple of weeks from someone here – maybe a WEG person, maybe an Alltech person, I don’t remember. The email brought this oversight to the attention of the editor, and requested (it was a request in the same way a parent requests that a child brush his teeth) that the name with Alltech at the front be used in any future articles. Personally, I was dumbfounded that anyone cared about this to such a degree. Now that I’ve had the Alltech Experience I understand better. Dr. Lyons was not capable of finishing a single utterance (and believe me, he made many to the media in press conferences, speeches and countless informal conversations) without finishing it as if this event existed primarily for the aggrandizement of Alltech and not as an eight-fold world equestrian championship.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I can move onto a description of the closing ceremonies. It won’t take long. I’ve seen some anticlimactic closing ceremonies before, but this one absolutely takes the cake. The only decoration on the stadium floor besides rows of chairs for staff (or volunteers – I never did figure out the difference in their uniforms) to sit on for the Lyle Lovett concert is a bunch of convertible cars whose presence makes no sense to me. The speechifying has already begun with not even a minute of entertainment, so I guess they blew the entire budget on Lyle. I hope everyone enjoys his music. I won’t be sticking around for that. I need to pack my stuff and prepare to vacate the hillbilly love shack well before dawn tomorrow.
It’s election season in hillbilly land, where they exercise extreme democracy: lawns are decorated with signs to vote for so-and-so for everything from magistrate to sherrif – to jailer.