New Name for Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Equestrian™

The iconic Defender Head of the Lake complex- Photo: Red Bay Group

Edited Press Release

Lexington, Kentucky – January 25, 2024 –Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the world-renowned Kentucky Three-Day Event, is thrilled to announce a new name for the event in 2024 – the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™. The event returns to the Kentucky Horse Park, April 25-28, 2024.

The Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian features one of only seven annual Five Star three-day events in the world. Known as “The Best Weekend All Year,” the event annually attracts nearly 90,000 spectators who also enjoy extensive shopping, a variety of hospitality experiences and a wide array of demonstrations. In addition to the traditional CCI5*-L, the event also features the Cosequin® Lexington 4* and Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

“We are delighted to announce a new name for our world-class event – the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event,” said Erin Woodall, Executive Director of EEI. “The Kentucky Three-Day Event has a rich history of inspiring people to overcome obstacles on any terrain, a quality that applies equally well to Defender. This year promises to be a great year for our event with many exciting changes in the works, none of which would be possible without the support of Defender and our other generous sponsors.”

Defender was prominently featured during the 2023 event and this year’s event will again highlight the synergy between Defender and the equestrian lifestyle. Representing over 70 years of innovation and improvement, Defender blends extraordinary capability within a reductive, modern and purposeful design. Defender’s distinctive exterior instantly demonstrates the vehicle’s character, while the cabin features advanced, intuitive technologies to ensure full connectivity through modern adventures.

With its expanded support, Defender returns as the Official Luxury Automotive Vehicle of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event and as title sponsor of the Defender/USEF CCI5*-L Eventing National Championship presented by MARS Equestrian for the event’s U.S. athletes. The event’s Sponsor Courtyard will also feature the Defender Experience, Defender Drives and the Defender Junior Drive Experience.

During Saturday’s cross-country phase, the Defender Tailgate will be the best way to experience the day, providing up-close views of horses and riders on course. Popular spots on course will include the iconic Defender Head of the Lake complex, featuring artisan carvings, for the CCI5-L and the Defender Offroad for the CCI4-S.

Charlotte Blank, US Chief Marketing Officer, JLR North America, said, “We are pleased to continue the title sponsorship of one of the premier Equestrian events in the world, the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian™. The Defender is an ideal partner for the equestrian lifestyle, thanks to its purposeful design and exceptional capability. We look forward to continued relationships with the community and showcasing the Defender lifestyle at future events. Lastly, we wish all the competitors the best of luck during this legendary competition.”

Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™

The Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event (K3DE) is a thrilling multi-day competition featuring Olympic-level riders and horses in what can best be described as an equestrian triathlon. Horse and rider pairs compete in three phases of the competition – Dressage, Cross-Country and Show Jumping – for $400,000 in prize money to those competing at the CCI5*-L level. K3DE is the largest and longest-running Five Star event in the Americas and as the United States’ premier event, it also serves as the Defender/USEF CCI5*-L Eventing National Championship presented by MARS Equestrian for the U.S. athletes. Rolex is the Official Timepiece and Event Partner.

Cosequin® Lexington CCI4*-S

Introduced in 2021, the Cosequin® Lexington 4*-S runs concurrently with the CCI5*-L competition, featuring the three phases of eventing – dressage, cross country and show jumping. The Cosequin® Lexington 4*-S offers $25,000 prize money. Tickets for viewing the Cosequin® Lexington 4*-S are included when purchasing the K3DE tickets.

Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute
The $225,000 Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute will take place on Saturday afternoon, April 27, after the cross-country portion of the K3DE. As part of the competition, there will also be a $35,000 Welcome Speed Cup Ranking Class on Friday in the Rolex Stadium, after the day’s K3DE dressage competition. In addition to the new 4* level for the 2024 Grand Prix, there will be a new $35,000 1.45m Two-Phase during the lunch hour on Saturday, April 27. No stadium seat ticket is required for Friday’s Ranking Class. For more Grand Prix information, please visit: https://kentuckythreedayevent.com/grand-prix/.

Further information about the DEFENDER Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™, the Cosequin® Lexington 4*-S, and the Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is available at https://www.kentuckythreedayevent.com/.

About Equestrian Events, Inc.

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 that evolved into the world-renowned Kentucky Three-Day Event, which draws nearly 90,000 spectators to the Kentucky Horse Park each year. EEI added the Kentucky CSI Invitational Grand Prix in 2018, the Lexington CCI4*-S in 2021, and also produces other events. EEI supports several local and equine charities and has donated more than $725,000 to various charities since 2011. For more information, please visit www.eq-events.com.