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 5*-L. This year we have the added pleasure of inquiring about the 4*-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 LRK3DE website for the most up-to-date list.
One question we have received often is the reason for adding the Lexington 4*-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 4*-S. With the 2020 event cancellation, it just made sense to move forward with the 4*-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 4*-S…each of these additions were 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 4*-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 5*-L and 4*-S in-person, we hope you’ll join us virtually via the USEF Network and cheer on your favorite riders!