I ran into Margie Engle the other day. You know, the show jumper rider? Yes, that Margie Engle. It was in Cincinnati, in the airport. I was running to catch a flight and I ran into her. Literally.
It was hard to miss her, she must have been twelve feet wide. And glossy. Very, very glossy.
The Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport will probably be the port of entry for both four-legged and two-legged WEG visitors and participants. They’ll touch down here and either catch a small plane to Lexington or drive the 70 or so miles to the Bluegrass.
So I shouldn?t have been surprised to see huge murals of sport horses in the terminal, but these did bear some closer inspection.
First of all, the photography, especially of Margie, is first-class. The murals show one jumper, two eventers, and a driving team. They are razor sharp and you can see the details from two gates away. But when you look closer…Margie?s horse has three feet. At least. And lots of shoes.
That’s because the mural maker made it in two sections. The background is one sheet and Margie and her horse are a second sheet. Margie and the horse are raised and they float above the background, giving the entire scene a 3-D effect. It’s a very effective device to enhance the image.
I never thought I?d see USET riders larger than life in any public place, let alone a huge airport like Cincinnati and with 3-D horseshoes on, no less. I can only imagine how many thousand people walk past these murals each day.
The steady flow of horses and people in and out of the Cincinnati, Louisville and Lexington airports is a sidelight of the economic boom that WEG is bringing directly to Lexington’s tourism economy. Louisville and Cincinnati will benefit because travelers need to stay in hotels, rent cars, eat in restaurants and they like to go shopping right before they go home.
Still, the WEG travelers are only a fraction of the hordes that pass through Cincinnati. And the murals have been up for a while.
These murals are advertising something much more than just the World Equestrian Games. They?re promoting the whole horse world.
Thank you, CVG.