I enjoy counting things. I come by this naturally as my mother was a math teacher. Growing up, I would count the number of lights in a room, ceiling tiles, windows, or anything else I could. Then I’d compare my count with those of my dad or siblings to see if they matched (we rarely did).
There are a lot of counts and numbers we talk about in the EEI office. Stall counts, course length, jumping efforts, volunteers, etc. One count we focus on this time of year is how many entries have we received for the CCI5*-L. This year we have the added pleasure of inquiring about the CCI4*-S too! Like many of you, we watch intently as entries are received and talk about how exciting it will be to watch all the competitors compete. It’s like Christmas in April! Since entries just closed, be sure to check the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE) website for the most up-to-date list.
One question we have received often is the reason for adding the Lexington CCI4*-S to our event weekend. Adding multiple levels of eventing back into our weekend has been discussed by the EEI Board of Directors for several years. (Don’t forget that EEI ran multiple levels together in the late 1990s.) Roughly 18 months ago, we began focusing on this in earnest. In fact, we had planned to offer an Advanced Combined Test during the 2020 event as the first step towards adding the CCI4*-S. With the 2020 event cancellation, it just made sense to move forward with the CCI4*-S in 2021.
But why? Two main reasons. First, we think LRK3DE provides an opportunity for those developing horses to compete in a weekend environment that is special and unique. Hearing the applause and celebration from our fans as the horse and rider gallop through the Head of the Lake or jump clean on Sunday is an experience that is difficult to replicate without amazing fan support.
Which brings us to the second reason . . . you . . . our fans. For years EEI has incorporated a variety of events into the last weekend of April to add to your weekend experience. From reining, to concerts, to 5ks, the Grand Prix (which will be back in 2022!), to now a CCI4*-S . . . each of these additions was added to make your weekend better. We know the lengths that many of you go to in order to watch LRK3DE in person, and we want to make sure that when you leave you are excited and can’t wait to return. Adding events like the CCI4*-S continue to make Lexington THE place to be during the last weekend of April.
This year I will count different things at the event . . . like how many thermometers do we have for COVID temperature checks? Or how many people does the CDC allow in a particular room? Or how many COVID compliance team members do we have scheduled? And while these will be important things to count this year, for now I’m excited to think ahead to the thrilling competition that is just around the corner.
P.S. And while we are saddened that you can’t be here to watch the CCI5*-L and CCI4*-S in-person, we hope you’ll join us virtually via the USEF Network and cheer on your favorite riders!
About Letters from Lee
Letters from Lee is a monthly correspondence directly to the fans of the Kentucky Three-Day Event & Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix from Lee Carter, the Executive Director of Equestrian Events, Inc. Especially in the time of COVID-19, transparent and proactive communication is key for the health, logistics, and success of the #BestWeekendAllYear – and what better way to get the information than straight from the horse’s…err, Executive Director’s mouth?? In each month’s Letter, Lee will update fans on a multitude of subjects, ranging anywhere from COVID-19 safety measures, new and exciting enhancements to the event, behind-the-scenes insights, and so much more! You can read previous editions by clicking here.
"Too plain" is not a description that fits today's wire-to-wire winner of the Twin Rivers Spring International's inaugural CCI4*-L. But that's what Amber Levine heard five years ago after importing the now 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) as a sales prospect. So, she kept him. His long-delayed debut at the CCI4*-L level proved the wisdom of that decision.
This year’s pre-Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event USEA Official Podcast isn’t a traditional preview show, but rather Host Nicole Brown and the team of Max Corcoran, Rob Burk, and Diarm Byrne are discussing their favorite Kentucky memories as everyone gets giddy for the 2021 event!
At the second-to-last of 40 efforts, "I thought, 'This is actually happening,'" said Amber Levine of a faultless finish with Cellar Farm's Cinzano today to stay on their 31.5 lead going into show jumping tomorrow morning in the Twin Rivers Spring International CCI4*-L. The Jeffs Hot Tub Waves complex at 19 a/b was the awkward exception to a Hugh Lochore-designed course that otherwise "rode great" for the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) in his long-delayed debut at the level. An entirely new portion of the course around the racetrack featured a series of bright-white painted obstacles, but nothing distracted Cinzano's "tunnel vision for those flags." Levine expects a similar game attitude tomorrow and has a rail to spare.
Black stallion antics after the CCI4*-L jog inspection yesterday were not a preview of Cinzano's dressage test today. "When you are riding and working him, he's all into what you are doing," says Amber Levine, who owns the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) through her Cellar Farm. A 31.5 dressage test puts them atop a field of four, three of which, including Cinzano, are first-timers in the division in Paso Robles, California.