The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event happens every April in Lexington, Ky., bringing tens of thousands of visitors from North America and around the globe to the Kentucky Horse Park over four days.
Known by its fans as “The Best Weekend All Year,” the longstanding Kentucky Three-Day Event offers something for everyone: the highest-level of equestrian competitors, the thrills of the sport’s three phases of competition (dressage, cross-country and show-jumping), tailgating, course walks with Olympic veterans, shopping, breed demonstrations, even glamping.
Want to know more? Here’s a quick primer on LRK3DE:
- The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE) has received the new Five Star status from the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body of equestrian sport.
- There’s no other event like the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in the United States or this side of the globe. A qualifier for the Olympic Games, World Championships, and the World Equestrian Games, Land Rover Kentucky is an Eventing competition of the highest level on the international stage. Since 1998, the event has been a Four Star event – the pinnacle of the FEI’s system and on par with the Olympics. The new Five-Star designation took effect Jan. 1, 2019, and makes Land Rover Kentucky one of only six annual Five Star three-day events in the world, and the only one in the Western Hemisphere.
- 2018 was the event’s 40th anniversary! In 1978, the then brand-new Kentucky Horse Park hosted the World Three-Day Event Championships (being held in the United States for the first time) which has evolved into the annual Kentucky Three-Day Event. The Kentucky Horse Park’s official opening was a week after the Championships. (The winner of the 1978 Eventing World Championships was a 28-year-old Bruce Davidson on Might Tango.)
- The world’s top Eventing riders head to Kentucky each spring to compete. LRK3DE fans get to experience the riding of incredible athletes like Oliver Townend (GBR), currently the No. 1-ranked Eventer in the world, who won the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. And Germany’s Michael Jung, now ranked No. 4 in the world and is the first Eventing rider to hold the Olympic, World and European titles simultaneously. Jung is Three-Day Eventing’s most decorated rider … ever. He competed – and won – the Kentucky event a record three years in a row (2015, 2016, 2017) all on the same horse, Fischerrocana FST. Jung is also one of only two riders to win the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, which is awarded to any rider who wins the Land Rover Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton and Land Rover Burghley Four-Star Events in succession.
- The world-renowned event has seen nearly 100% growth in spectators since 2013. In 2018, 80,000-plus spectators representing all 50 states and more than a dozen countries headed to the Bluegrass State specifically for the Kentucky Three-Day Event. More than 80% of those who attended were from outside Kentucky and 35% were recurring visitors who had attended the event for more than six years.
A 2013 study conducted by the University of Kentucky, the annual economic impact of a Kentucky Three-Day Event was estimated to be $14.2 million.
- The organizer of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), a non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation initially established to produce the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships. Headquartered on the Kentucky Horse Park grounds, EEI’s formal mission is to create competition opportunities to help prepare the U.S. equestrian team to compete worldwide.In addition to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, EEI produces the Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix and the 2018 and 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships, all to be held a the Kentucky Horse Park.
- Over the years EEI has also made financial contributions to charities that support local human and equine organizations and serve Lexington and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Since 2011 the organization has donated over $900,000 to local charities. The Kentucky Horse Park and Kentucky Horse Park Foundation alone have received more than $1 million in gifts and contributions from EEI over the last 40 years.
- Each year Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event names an official charity and incorporates special fundraising activities into the event schedule. This year’s official charity is Bluegrass Land Conservancy, the largest accredited land trust in the Commonwealth of Kentucky formed to protect the land in Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region through permanent conservation easements. Since 1998, Bluegrass Land Conservancy has protected 95 miles of rivers and streams, 21,600 acres of prime farmland soils and soils of statewide importance, 63 farms that contain historic sites, 10.29 miles of scenic byway frontage and over 27,000 acres of 126 farms in 24 counties across the Greater Bluegrass Region. There will be a special fundraising dinner Thursday evening, April 25, to benefit Bluegrass Land Conservancy.
- In 2018, the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event added the now annual Kentucky CSI3* $225,000 Invitational Grand Prix to the Saturday event schedule, after the completion of the Cross-Country phase of the competition. In addition to the Grand Prix, there will be a $36,000 1.45m FEI ranking class on Friday, following the completion of the CCI’s Dressage competition. Stadium seat tickets for Grand Prix on Saturday are required. Tickets are $5 (with $1 going to the 2019 official charity), plus tax and fees.
- LRK3DE grounds admission tickets also give ticketholders access that weekend to all Kentucky Horse Park attractions.
- It takes 2,000 volunteers working rain or shine to put this world-class event on!
The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event returns to the Kentucky Horse Park April 25-28. Tickets to and more information about the event are available at www.KentuckyThreeDayEvent.com/tickets.