Equestrian Events, Inc. Selects Derek Braun and Split Rock Jumping Tour to Produce and Manage Kentucky CSI5* Invitational Grand Prix

Lexington, KY – June 20, 2024 – Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), a non-profit, charitable organization that supports the development of equestrian sports through the staging of events at the highest level, has selected Derek Braun and his Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) team to produce and manage the Kentucky CSI5* Invitational Grand Prix for 2025. The Invitational will be held at the 5* level for the first time next year (pending FEI approval), making EEI the only event organizer in the world to host both a CCI5*-L and CSI5* in the same week.

EEI is best known for producing the annual Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian (K3DE), the nation’s premier eventing competition and one of only seven annual 5* three-day events (CCI5*-L) in the world, as well as the Kentucky CSI Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute on the same weekend.

In addition, EEI is hosting the United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships in 2024 and again in 2026-2028.

“This year’s show jumping event was the best yet with its new CSI4* status, expanded schedule, and the most impressive list of entries we’ve ever had,” said EEI Executive Director Erin Woodall. “With the event’s new elevation to 5* status, we are thrilled to renew our partnership with Derek Braun and his Split Rock Jumping Tour team, and we look forward to making the event even better in 2025.”

The idea of holding a CSI in conjunction with the Kentucky Three-Day Event was originally conceived by Braun who brought it to EEI.

He and his Split Rock team have managed the event since its inception as a CSI3* in 2018. In addition to the $225,000 Invitational Grand Prix, which packs Rolex Stadium with thousands of cheering fans and features some 40 international riders on Saturday afternoon following the eventing’s cross-country phase, the 2024 event hosted a $35,000 1.45m Welcome Speed Cup Ranking Class on Friday following the completion of dressage and a $35,000 1.45m Special Two-Phase during the lunch break on Saturday.

“Our goal has always been to make this the best grand prix in America,” Braun said. “With it becoming a CSI5* next year, there is no doubt that it is positioned to do that. We’ve proven that we have a winning formula, combining a world-class show jumping competition with the biggest three-day event in North America. There is absolutely nowhere else that has a crowd and atmosphere like what we get at Kentucky. It gives me chills to see the sell-out crowd and hear the fans stomping and cheering. We are excited about continuing our relationship with EEI and about what the future holds for this event!” 

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