While the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian will look very different this year with spectators not allowed under the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, fans will still be able to tune into every minute of action via the live stream and wall-to-wall coverage on the USEA’s website and social media. The 2021 LRK3DE gets underway this afternoon at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.
Here’s what you need to know:
The CCI5*-L Field:
63 horses are set to present at the first horse inspection this afternoon – 23 more than came forward in 2019.
Eight countries are represented this year with pairs from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, and the U.S.
U.S. riders make up 62% of the field, but we haven’t had a home-side victory since 2008. Do you think this is the year that the title will stay in America?
There are four previous Kentucky winners entered this year: Oliver Townend, Phillip Dutton, William Fox-Pitt, and Clayton Fredericks. Fox-Pitt has won the event three times (2010, 2012, and 2014) and Townend is looking to match that figure as he brought back his two-time winner Cooley Master Class.
There are six riders making their five-star debut: Emily Hamel, Michael Pendleton, Fylicia Barr, Zoe Crawford, Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride, and Ema Klugman.
The average age of the 2021 Kentucky field is 39 with Phillip Dutton the oldest at 57 and Ema Klugman the youngest at 23.
A female rider hasn’t stood atop the podium since 2011 when Mary King won with Kings Temptress. With 22 males and 27 females entered, will a woman best the boys this year?
Germany and Ireland tied for breeding the most horses with 14 each and the U.S. with 13.
There are nine mares entered this year: Stella Artois, Jollybo, On Cue, Classic Moet, K.E.C. Zara, RF Scandalous, Galloway Sunrise, Cecelia, and Grappa Nera.
There are 10 Thoroughbreds in the field hailing from six different countries: U.S., New Zealand, Australia, France, Great Britain, and Canada.
The most popular breed in the field is the Irish Sport Horse.
44% of the horses competing this weekend are making their five-star debuts.
Gretchen Butts is the technical delegate for the CCI5*-L and Andrew Temkin is the technical delegate for the CCI4*-S. They will be assisted by Karen Winn.
Christina Klingspor is the president of the CCI5*-L ground jury along with members Robert Stevenson and Peter Gray. Mark Weissbecker will preside over the CCI4*-S with Helen Brettell as member.
The cross-country course is designed by Derek di Grazia.
The show jumping course will be designed by Steve Stephens.
How To Watch:
Within North America, the event is streaming on the USEF Network. You can sign up for a free US Equestrian Fan Membership to watch using the promo code “LRK3DE21” by clicking here. The live stream will be available here starting at 7:45 a.m. ET on Thursday morning. Find the full schedule here.
Outside of North America, the event is streaming on Horse & Country TV+. A subscription is required.
The event will be broadcast on NBC on Sunday, May 2 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET and on NBCSN on Saturday, May 15 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET.
We’re nearly there! Olympic mania has taken over the world, and we’re in the final countdown to the Olympic eventing competition in Tokyo, which starts with the first horse inspection on Thursday. Our USA riders are raring to go, but let’s remind ourselves of the history that precedes them. Just how well has the US team done in past Olympics?
After Germany’s Michael Jung won the second of his two consecutive Individual Olympic Equestrian Eventing titles at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he was asked what he had next in his sights. “Tokyo 2020, of course, and the Europeans and maybe the world title along the way!" he replied.
Very few stallions compete at the top level in eventing - let alone at the Olympics. Windfall did just that, winning a team bronze medal under Darren Chiacchia for the USA in Athens in 2004. The fact that Windfall now has not one, but two, sons due themselves to compete for the same country as their sire, the USA, in Tokyo really does make him one in a million.
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