Defending champion Oliver Townend of Great Britain and Cooley Master Class head a list of 54 horse-and-rider combinations representing eight nations entered for the 41st annual Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Mars Equestrian, which returns to the Kentucky Horse Park April 25-28, 2019.
Known as "The Best Weekend All Year," the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Mars Equestrian (LRK3DE) is a thrilling multi-day competition featuring Olympic-level riders and horses from across the nation and around the world in what can best be described as an equestrian triathlon. Riders compete for $400,000 prize money and a shot at the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, which is awarded to any rider who wins the LRK3DE, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton, and Land Rover Burghley five-star events in succession. Only two riders (Pippa Funnel of Great Britain in 2003 and Michael Jung of Germany in 2016) have ever accomplished this feat in the 19-year history of the Grand Slam.
LRK3DE recently received the new five-star status from the FEI (International Equestrian Federation) after having been a four-star event since 1998. As of January 1, 2019, the Kentucky event is now one of only six annual five-star three-day events in the world along with Badminton and Burghley in England; Luhmuhlen in Germany; Pau in France; and Adelaide in Australia. LRK3DE is the only annual five-star event in the Americas and as the United States' premier event, it also serves as the Land Rover/USEF CCI-5*-L Eventing National Championship Presented by Mars Equestrian for the U.S. athletes.
Last year's winners, Oliver Townend of Great Britain and Cooley Master Class, are returning to defend their title. A three-time European Championship gold medalist, Townend is ranked number one on the FEI World Eventing Rider Rankings and has been Great Britain's leading event rider for the past five years. He will be joined by countrymen Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo, team gold medalists at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), and Olympic gold and silver medalist Leslie Law and his mount, Voltaire de Tre.
Other top names entered include New Zealand Olympic veterans Joe Meyer and Tim Price. Price is currently ranked third in the World Rankings and he will be looking to keep his Rolex Grand Slam hopes alive after winning Burghley last year. Also on the list are two-time Canadian Olympic veterans Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jessica Phoenix, who is also a Pan American Games gold, silver, and bronze medalist and a WEG veteran.
Several U.S. Olympic veterans are entered including Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, Lauren Kieffer, William Coleman, and Mara Depuy. Dutton, who was the last American rider to win the LRK3DE in 2008, has entered his 2018 WEG mount Z, while Martin has also entered his 2018 WEG mount Tsetserleg as well as two other horses. Other top U.S. riders include Buck Davidson, Will Faudree, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp, Caroline Martin, and Lynn Symansky, to name a few.
"We can't wait to welcome so many of the world's top eventing riders and horses back to the Kentucky Horse Park," said Lee Carter, executive director of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), organizer of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Mars Equestrian. "This year's event will be captivating to say the least, and we can't wait to see who will take center stage in the winner's circle after the final phase!"
The list of world-class riders entered to compete in the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Mars Equestrian includes:
The full list of entries is available online at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event website.
The Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge will be featured again this year, awarding $20,000 in prize money to the winning nation. The exciting second annual $225,000 Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute will take place on Saturday afternoon, April 27, after the cross-country portion of the LRK3DE. Stadium seating tickets for the Grand Prix are only $5 each - with $1 going to Land Rover Kentucky's 2019 Official Charity, Bluegrass Land Conservancy. As part of the competition there will also be a $36,000 Welcome Speed Cup Ranking Class on Friday in the Rolex Stadium, after the day's LRK3DE dressage competition. No stadium seat ticket is required for Friday's Ranking Class. Grand Prix tickets are available here.
Tickets to the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Mars Equestrian are available here. All grounds admission tickets to the LRK3DE include general parking and admission to the Kentucky Horse Park and International Trade Fair, but do not include seats for the competition in Rolex Stadium. Reserved stadium seating is sold separately from grounds admission. Traditionally the best seats sell out, so everyone is encouraged to place orders as early as possible. For a unique world-class Kentucky experience, special Ringside Hospitality packages are also available.
Further information on the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Mars Equestrian is available at www.KentuckyThreeDayEvent.com.
EEI is a non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation that was established initially to produce the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the success of those championships, EEI established an annual event that evolved into the world-renowned Kentucky Three-Day Event, which draws more than 80,000 spectators to the Kentucky Horse Park each year. For more information, please visit www.eq-events.com.
Founded in 1948, Land Rover designs, engineers, and manufactures its vehicles in the United Kingdom. For almost 70 years the brand has built a reputation for providing its clientele with some of the most luxurious and capable vehicles in the world; whether driving through the heart of the city or traversing the countryside on- and off-road. Today's Land Rover lineup includes the Discovery and Discovery Sport; Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar, and Range Rover Evoque. Land Rover is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs. For more information, visit the official Land Rover website at www.landroverusa.com.
Jaguar Land Rover is the UK's largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world's leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world's premier luxury sports sedan and sports car brands.
At Jaguar Land Rover, we are driven by a desire to deliver class-leading vehicles, which will provide experiences our customers will love, for life. Our products are in demand around the globe. In 2017/18 Jaguar Land Rover sold 614,309 vehicles in 129 countries, with more than 80 percent of our vehicles being sold abroad.
We support around 260,000 people through our retailer network, suppliers, and local businesses. Manufacturing is centered in the UK, with additional plants in China, Brazil, Austria, and Slovakia.
Our innovation is continuous: we will spend in the region of £4 billion this year on new product creation and capital expenditure.
From 2020 all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be electrified, giving our customers even more choice. We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid, and mild hybrid vehicles as well as continuing to offer the latest diesel and gasoline engines.
Mars Equestrian, a brand and sponsorship division within Mars, Incorporated, is the link between our iconic brands and the equestrian community. For generations, Mars has celebrated a rich equestrian heritage, and through purposeful partnerships, Mars Equestrian is committed to the sport and building an enduring legacy. From world-class competitions across all equestrian disciplines to stewarding the power of horses on society and sustainability, Mars Equestrian is dedicated to our purpose to improve the lives of horses, pets, and the people who love them.
For more information about Mars Equestrian, please visit www.marsequestrian.com.
In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.
The spring eventing season in the Midwest is always a toss-up due to unpredictable weather. Will it rain, will it be sunny, or will it be a snowstorm? No one knows! Mid-America Combined Training Association’s (MACTA) first cross-country schooling of the season was cancelled in March due to extremely muddy footing conditions and by the time our April dates came around, COVID-19 was in full force and we were unable to host our cross-country schooling and schooling show.
The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting organizers and national federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has approved additional modifications to the qualification period for the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The AEC is scheduled to take place August 25-30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, and the USEA is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and successful Championship, while also ensuring fair opportunities for all.