Equestrian Tailgating Tips - Kentucky Three-Day Event

Equestrian Tailgating Tips

equestrian tailgating tips
Land Rover Tailgate at the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event in Lexington, KY.

When it comes to equestrian events, there are few disciplines that have the opportunity for tailgating. Polo, steeplechase, and cross-country are a few equestrian competitions where tailgating is not only welcome, but a great way to enjoy the event while having a fabulous time! If you’ve never been tailgating at a horse event, we highly recommend it, but how does it all work? What do you do? What do you bring? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with equestrian tailgating tips that will help you plan your legendary tailgate at the Kentucky Three-Day Event or any other equestrian event you plan on attending.


Choosing Your Tailgate Spot

Not all tailgate locations are created equal. How do we know? The tailgate spots at LRK3DE are split up into several types based on location, views, and placement along the course. For example, platinum locations have the best views at some of the most popular jumps along the course while premium tailgates are up front in other locations near jumps. Standard tailgate spots are usually a bit farther out along the course or possibly behind premium locations meaning you may have to walk a little to get closer to the action.

You don’t need to be fancy to enjoy an equestrian tailgate – all you need are friends and somewhere to keep the beverages.

So how do you choose your location? First, it’s important to know that at any equestrian event, the best tailgate locations are usually the ones to sell out first – the early bird gets the worm in this case! Next, it’s also important to know that each location is priced differently so you’ll want to review your options for pricing as well as determine how many tickets you need. Depending on the event, anywhere from 2 or more tickets may be included with each tailgating spot. For LRK3DE, our packages start with 2 entries with the tailgating vehicle but there’s the option to add more Ground Admission tickets if you need. Every event is different so we recommend checking out the event website and reviewing the tailgate map before purchasing your tickets.


Regardless of where you end up on the course, getting your tickets is the first step. Next up…what to bring!


What to Bring to an Equestrian Tailgate

You’ve got your equestrian tailgate tickets, your location has been selected, and it’s time to pack the vehicle and get ready for the event. How exciting! Depending on your setup and how crazy you want to get, you can go from the basics of snacks and drinks to all-out-fabulous with gourmet hors d’oeuvres and craft cocktails complete with silver candlestick holders and maybe even a chandelier?! Yup, we’ve seen it all!


The Essentials

Whatever your goal, there’s a few key essentials you’ll want to bring. For starters, a 10 x 10 foot non-logo pop-up tent is a great way to keep you out of the weather, whether it’s sunny or rainy you never know when it comes to cross-country day and many other equestrian events will go on rain or shine. Be prepared! Next, bring some coolers and plenty of ice. Pack those coolers with soft drinks, beers and other beverages, and of course bring plenty of water so you and your friends can stay hydrated. And don’t forget the snacks! Easy snacks such as chips, cheese and crackers, and anything that doesn’t need to be kept cool does best for equestrian tailgating especially so it doesn’t get soggy on ice.


Going Gourmet

equestrian tailgating with craft cocktails

Smoked Bloody Mary’s made the morning’s cross-country competition even more exciting!

Looking to elevate your equestrian tailgating experience? Go full on gourmet! From themed tailgates to gourmet food and beverages, there’s a ton of options so go ahead and get creative. We mean full on craft cocktails, create a theme for your tailgate and go all-out with decorations and even couches and chairs or hey, how about everyone dressing in matching white with white flowers and a crystal vase on course? Sure, why not?! One of our favorites was smoked Bloody Mary cocktails complete with a hand-held smoker to make those Mary’s extra special. Your imagination is the limit (just make sure you stay within the guidelines of the event so that you are not breaking any rules).

Stay tuned for more information and tailgating tips in upcoming articles, including a Dos & Don’ts of Tailgating, Tailgating Traditions and more. In the meantime, share your photos of great equestrian tailgates and share your equestrian tailgating tips on our social and tag us @KentuckyThreeDayEvent on Facebook and Instagram and use hashtags #LRK3DE and #tailgatetips so we can follow along and maybe you’ll even be featured in an upcoming article. Happy tailgating!

themed equestrian tailgate

All white at an equestrian event? Both bold & beautiful, complete with matching flowers!