“It was destined for greatness before anyone even knew there would be such an event.”
– Kentucky Three-Day Event, a 25-Year Retrospective
Forty years ago, for the first time in Eventing history, the World Championships of Eventing took place in United States. Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) is the non–profit Kentucky corporation formed initially to stage the 1978 World Championships at the then brand-new Kentucky Horse Park. The event drew people from all over the world to Lexington to witness history in the making.
Those World Championships were an unprecedented success. Individual World Champion Bruce Davidson of Pennsylvania retained the world title riding his young and courageous American Thoroughbred, Might Tango. The popular team of riders and horses from Canada were the winners of the Team Gold Medal.
The remarkable success of that 1978 event – more than 170,000 spectators and $4-plus million added to Kentucky’s economy – spurred the EEI Board of Directors to organize and produce the annual and now beloved Kentucky Three-Day Event. One of only six annual CCI4* competitions in world and the only one in North America, the “Best Weekend All Year” has become an annual pilgrimage for scores of devoted fans.
“If you play any sport on this level, you have to give it all you have.”
– Bruce Davidson, TIME magazine, 1978.
See the full article that appeared in Time magazine in 1978 below.
To commemorate our 40th Anniversary, EEI has curated a quaint walk-through exhibit showcasing historical items and memorabilia in the Master Scoreboard Tent located in Sponsor Village, between Sarah Lynn Richards Fine Art and Voltaire Design USA. Stop in and take a walk with us down memory lane from the 1978 World Eventing Championships to the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.