Rolex Merchants Prepare for WEG

Along with the horses, riders and crowds at the Kentucky Horse Park this week, merchants are a major part of the landscape at the Rolex Three-Day Event.

Booths inside the tin-roofed Trade Fair building and rows of white tents offer everything from custom saddles and shoes to crafts and high-end jewelry.

And even before noon on Thursday, the first day of the event, shoppers were browsing, trying on riding boots and hats, and carrying bags sporting the names of stores from all over the United States and Europe.

For many of the merchants, this week is something of a retail trial run before the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games next year.

Of the 180 or so businesses at Rolex, 44 have put down $2,500 deposits for space at the Games, according to Terry Johnson, a spokesman for the Games. The total price for a vendor space will range from $10,000 to $20,000….

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Date: 4-24-2009