Entries have poured in at a record pace for the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover, April 24-27, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Entries have been filed for a record 82 horses, exceeding the previous record of 73 that were entered in 2012 in anticipation of the London Olympic Games.
Among the entries filed to compete in the only four-star Eventing competition in the Western Hemisphere are the world's top riders on the FEI ranking list including:
Andrew Nicholson of New Zealand (currently ranked Number 1), who won last year's Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event on Quimbo while also placing third on Calico Joe;
William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain (currently ranked Number 2), the two-time Rolex Kentucky champion who placed second last year on Seacookie TSF; and
Bruce (Buck) Davidson, Jr. of the United States (currently ranked Number 3), who placed fourth last year on Ballynoe Castle RM to win the Rolex USEF Four Star Championship and USET Foundation Pinnacle Cup as the highest placed American rider while also winning the Land Rover Best Ride of the Day for being the U.S. rider finishing closest to the optimum time on cross country.
In all, riders from seven countries have filed entries including riders from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States. Included is an impressive list of Olympic veterans and past Rolex Kentucky Champions who have their sights set on the coveted Rolex Kentucky title, especially as this year's event will serve as a Selection Trial for the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.
"As always, this year's Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event has an impressive field of world-class horses and riders," said Darren Ripley, President of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. "While the number of horses that will ultimately compete is sure to be a little less than this, it is very exciting that the best riders from around the world have submitted this record number of entries assuring us that this year's Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is going to be the best ever!"
Included among the Olympic veterans and past Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event champions who have filed entries are:
Andrew Nicholson of New Zealand, a six-time Olympic veteran with team Silver (1992) and team Bronze (1996 and 2012) medals and 2013 Rolex Kentucky CCI4* champion
William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain, a four-time Olympic veteran with team Silver (2004 & 2012) and Bronze (2008) medals and the 2010 and 2012 Rolex Kentucky CCI4* champion
Mark Todd of New Zealand, a six-time Olympic veteran with two individual Gold (1984 and 1988), team Silver (1992), individual Bronze (2000) and team Bronze (2012) medals
William Coleman III of the U.S.A., an Olympic veteran (2012)
Boyd Martin of the U.S.A., an Olympic veteran (2012)
Hawley Bennett-Awad of Canada, a two-time Olympic veteran (2004 and 2012)
Selena O'Hanlon of Canada, an Olympic veteran (2008)
Ruy Fonseca of Brazil, an Olympic veteran (2012)
The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is one of the world's most prestigious equestrian competitions and features the world's best horses and riders vying for their share of $250,000 in prize money as well as a shot at the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, which is awarded to any rider who wins the Rolex Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton and Land Rover Burghley Four Star Events in succession. For the first time ever, Rolex Kentucky will include a team challenge. The Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge will award $20,000 in prize money, while helping national teams prepare for the team competition at the 2014 World Equestrian Games this summer. The winning nation will be the nation with the fewest penalties after adding together the final scores of the three highest placed individuals from that nation.
Rolex Kentucky is a fun time for all in attendance. Aside from the competition, the event features exquisite shopping in the Sponsor Village; International Trade Fair with almost 200 booths and tents displaying designer clothing, artwork, gifts, sport clothing, horse-related items, Event souvenir items; and the brand new Kentucky Uncovered, which will highlight products unique to the state of Kentucky. Rolex Kentucky also features a variety of other entertaining attractions. General admission to the Kentucky Horse Park, America's only theme park dedicated to horses, is included with each Rolex Kentucky ticket.
Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) is a non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation that was established initially to produce the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the success of those championships, EEI established an annual event which quickly evolved into what is today the only Four Star three-day event in the western hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. The Kentucky Reining cup was incorporated as part of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event schedule in 2011.
Several ticket options for attending the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event are available, including ringside hospitality packages. For complete information please visit www.RK3DE.org or call 859-254-8123.