All Horses Moving Forward at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Equestrian™

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Will Faudree brightened up the first horse inspection with Mama's Magic Way. Photo by Michele Dunn Photography

Edited Press Release

Lexington, Ky., April 24, 2024— All 35 horses who presented to the ground jury at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™ (K3DE) will be moving on to the first phase of competition, the dressage, following the initial horse inspection on Wednesday. Under puffy clouds and blue skies, the competitors in the CCI5*-L put their best and most fashionable feet forward as they demonstrated their horses’ fitness to begin the competition.

One horse-and-rider combination, Matthew Grayling and Trudeau, withdrew before the horse inspection. Two others, Great Britain’s Yasmin Ingham and Banzai Du Loir and the USA’s Doug Payne and Quantum Leap, were held but passed upon re-inspection. Several of the horses were clearly feeling fit and ready to run as they entertained the crowd with their antics.

Organized by Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian (K3DE) 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.

K3DE kicks off Thursday morning with the CCI4*-S competition as the first half of the field struts their stuff in the dressage arena. Thursday afternoon, the first half of the CCI5*-L competitors take their turn in the dressage ring. Competition continues with the second half of dressage on Friday, then the heart of eventing, the cross-country test, on Saturday. Everything culminates on Sunday with another horse inspection followed by the show jumping phase to determine the winners.

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 $50,000 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 Kentucky Invitational CSI4*.

Livestream and TV broadcasts
All competitions held as part of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™ – the CCI5*, Cosequin® Lexington CCI4*-S, and Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute – can be watched live on USEF Network powered by ClipMyHorse.TV. The link is also available through the event website at www.kentuckythreedayevent.com. The livestream is available free of charge worldwide to USEF fans and members. Anyone can become a fan and watch the event free by registering as a “Fan” at www.usef.org/fan. ClipMyHorseTV premium subscribers can also watch the event.

US Equestrian and ESPN have teamed up to broadcast the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™ on Saturday, May 11, 10:00 am-12:00 pm ET on ESPN2.

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 over the last 20 years has donated more than $1.1 million to various charities. For more information, please visit www.eq-events.com.