Kentucky Three-Day Event History - Kentucky Three Day Event, Equestrian Events Kentucky, Equine Dressage, Equine Jumping
Event Dates: April 26 to 29, 2018.

Kentucky Three-Day Event History

rolex-ky-historyEQUESTRIAN EVENTS, INC. (EEI) – the organizers of the Kentucky Three-Day Event is a non–profit Kentucky corporation formed initially to stage the 1978 World Three–Day Event Championships at the brand new Kentucky Horse Park.

In October 1976, as preparation for the World Championships, EEI organized the first horse trials ever held at the Horse Park. In 1977, the organization coordinated the staging of the national Pony Club Rally in August and produced the North American Junior Three–Day Event Championships in September.

The 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships, held for the first time in the United States September 14–17, were an unprecedented success.  (See the original 1978 Time Magazine story on the event here.) 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.

EEI’s mission is to support the development of riders and horses in one or more of the sports recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). Through the staging of an annual event at the highest level, EEI seeks to ensure the competitiveness of the United States in international competition, and to enhance the equine industry worldwide. EEI is governed by a 28–person Board of Directors and with daily management overseen by their professional staff.

TIME LINE 1976-2012


  • First Horse Trials


  • Organized the World Championship of Eventing


  • U.S. Selection Trial for Fontainebleau, France


  • Rolex Watch U.S.A. becomes Title sponsor of Kentucky
    Horse Trials


  • U.S. Selection Trial for Luhmuhlen, Germany


  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California


  • Intermediate Level Three-Day Event added


  • U.S. Selection Trial for Pan American Games in Indiana


  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea


  • Added Young Riders (16-21) Open Intermediate Horse Trials Division


  • U.S. Selection Trial for the World Championships Team


  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain


  • First FEI Americas Cup Final


  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia


  • Rolex Kentucky becomes the only CCI**** held outside of Europe
  • Kentucky holds both CCI**** and CCI*** Events


  • Last year for Kentucky to host CCI*** event


  • Grand Slam of Eventing introduced offering $250,000 in prize money to any rider winning Kentucky, Badminton, and Burghley in succession


  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia


  • U.S. Selection Trial for World Equestrian Games


  • Bayer Modified Four Star Three-Day Event offered (short format) along with Rolex Kentucky
  • Rolex Kentucky broadcast on NBC for the first Time


  • 25th anniversary of Rolex Watch U.S.A. title sponsorship


  • Rolex Kentucky permanently shifts to short format


  • 10th year for Rolex Kentucky as a CCI****


  • U.S. Selection Trial for World Equestrian Games, to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park
  • Mike Etherington-Smith retires as Cross-Country Course designer after 18 years


  • Derek di Grazia becomes Rolex Kentucky Cross-Country Course Designer


  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympic Games in London, England