The #BestWeekendAllYear is finally here! The 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will kick off tomorrow afternoon with the first veterinary inspection on the High Hope Inspection Lane at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Fifty pairs are set to present at tomorrow afternoon’s inspection, the smallest field since 2013, and Buck Davidson and Park Trader will be the first combination down the centerline on Thursday morning.
There are 34 foreign-bred horses competing at Kentucky this year: 14 from Ireland, seven from Germany, three from Australia, two each from the Netherlands, France, and Canada, and one each from Belgium, New Zealand, Poland, and Great Britain. The remaining 16 horses in the field are U.S.-bred.
Of the 50-horse field, 45 are geldings and only 5 are mares: Indy 500, Mettraise, FischerRocana FST, Jollybo, and RF Scandalous.
The most prevalent breed competing at Kentucky this year is the Thoroughbred, 16 in total including U.S., Canadian, New Zealand, Australian, French, and Irish varietals.
The runner-up most common breed at Kentucky this year is the Irish Sport Horse, of which there are 15.
The sole Irish Sport Horse not born in Ireland is Polaris, who was bred by Olympian Phyllis Dawson at her Windchase Farm in Virginia.
The only four-star first timer in the field this year is Polaris’ rider, Sara Gumbiner.
Twenty percent of the horses competing this weekend are running in their first four-star: Z, Tsetserleg, Wembley, Kelecyn Cognac, Polaris, Pebbly Maximus, Carlevo, Johnny Royale, Paddy the Caddy, and Banderas.
This is the fifth consecutive trip to Kentucky for both Luckaun Quality, ridden by Tim Bourke, and Share Option, ridden by Lillian Heard.
There are 12 male riders and 28 female riders. It has been seven years since a woman has won the Kentucky Three-Day Event – will that change this year?
Buck Davidson, Caroline Martin, Phillip Dutton, Lillian Heard, Joe Meyer, Boyd Martin, Erin Sylvester, Oliver Townend, and Lauren Kieffer will all ride multiple horses this weekend.
There are three past Kentucky Three-Day winners competing this year: Michael Jung, Kim Severson, and Phillip Dutton. Jung and Severson both hold three Kentucky titles.
Christian Landlot (SUI) is the President of the Ground Jury alongside Ground Jury members Sue Baxter (GBR) and Jane Hamlin (USA). Philip Surl (GBR) is the Technical Delegate, assisted by Robert Stevenson (USA) and John Williams (USA).
Derek di Grazia (USA) is serving as the cross-country course designer for the seventh year.
Richard Jeffery (GBR) will design his 20th Kentucky Three-Day Event show jumping course this weekend.
The USEA Event College will be in session this week at the Kentucky Horse Park and we'll be sharing virtual lessons on topics from how to combat show nerves to strategies for riding to the optimum time, instructed by top riders including Erin Sylvester, Tamie Smith, Boyd Martin, and more! Click here to view videos from the USEA Event College.
Rolex served as the title sponsor for the Kentucky Three-Day Event from 1981 to 2017. In 2018, Land Rover became the title sponsor.
Many a Kentucky attendee over the years has left the Kentucky Horse Park at the end of the weekend with a considerably lighter wallet after taking a stroll through the Sponsor Village. For a list of trade fair vendors and a map of the sponsor village, click here.
You can sign up for a free US Equestrian Fan Membership to watch the USEF Network Live Stream using the promo code “LRK3DE” by clicking here. The live stream will be available here starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday morning.
Download the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event App to keep everything from schedule and scores to shopping and more right at your fingertips. Click to download for iOS and Android.
Like most professionals, I tend to do gridwork for most of the winter, before transitioning to coursework through the competition season. I find this exercise to be a good middle ground exercise as you have a little bit of a gymnastic combined with two easy bending exercises to set you up well for doing courses.
In 1993, Stephen Bradley had something to prove. It was the year after the Barcelona Olympic Games where Bradley had two unexpected refusals at the water complex. “It was very disappointing and a huge learning curve for me,” said Bradley. Little did he know, his path to redemption would result in winning the Burghley Horse Trials CCI4* (now CCI5*-L) – a victory so great that only two Americans have achieved: Bruce Davidson Sr. in 1974 and Bradley in 1993.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has approved additional modifications to the USEF Rules For Eventing in accordance with a resolution approved by the Board of Directors to address issues related to the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The full listing of rule modifications related to COVID-19 impacts can be viewed by clicking here.