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.
The USEA established the Young Event Horse (YEH) program in 2004 to identify young horses that possess the talent and disposition to, with proper training, excel at the uppermost levels of the sport. While the goal of the YEH program is to identify horses that will be successful at the four- and five-star levels, horses with the potential for lower-level success are also showcased by the program.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
“The Clemson Eventing Team does a fantastic job of creating a community of riders,” said collegiate member, Jackson Dillard. In 2021, Dillard competed his two horses, Elmo a 13-year-old Warmblood gelding bred by James Martin, and Layla Q (Loerke x Ayla Q) an 11-year-old Hanoverian mare bred by Suzanne Quarles. With his two horses, he completed six CCI2* events, he moved up to the Intermediate level with Layla Q, and he was on the winning Area II team of the CCI2*-L USEF Youth Team Challenge East Coast Finals at Tryon International – he did this all while attending Clemson University full-time.
US Equestrian is pleased to announce the dates and location for the 2022 USEF Young Rider Eventing Championship. This championship will take place at the Tryon International Three-Day Event November 10-13 in Mill Spring, N.C.