2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Saved by Grassroots Donations

The CCI5*-L three-day event will be held, without spectators, alongside a new CCI4*-S, April 22-25 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

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Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg at the LRK3DE in 2019, where they finished second. Anthony Delgado/Shutterstock.

An unprecedented outpouring of public support and a grassroots fundraising effort have led to a reversal of the announced cancellation of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI Five Star presented by MARS Equestrian™ (LRK3DE).

A new partnership between Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the world-class event, and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation combined with the support of U.S. Equestrian and longstanding sponsors Land Rover, Mars Equestrian, and Rolex will ensure that the CCI Five Star-L (long) three-day event will be held, without spectators, alongside a new CCI Four Star-S (short), April 22-25 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

“The uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic placed us in the financially impossible position of having to run the Five Star event without spectators, a situation that left us no choice but to cancel the Five Star for 2021 in order to preserve it for many years to come,” says Mike Cooper, president of EEI. “We are humbled and honored by the response of the eventing community as they’ve stepped up in a mind-blowing way, enabling us to go forward.”

A fundraising campaign was started by the athletes and fueled by efforts of the broader eventing community, generating more than $550,000 in donations to run the event.

“The Kentucky Three-Day Event is the foremost event held at the Kentucky Horse Park and the lifeblood of the eventing world,” says Clay Green, chairman of the board of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. “The [success of] the annual Kentucky Three-Day Event is responsible for the Park’s position of prominence. Seeing the number of people pleading for the event to happen this year made it very clear that we must do all we can to ensure that it does.”

“This will allow our athletes and horses aiming for Tokyo this summer the best opportunity to qualify and prepare,” adds Bill Moroney, CEO of U.S. Equestrian.

Spectators are not allowed at this time, but USEF will continue to monitor the effects of the pandemic to determine if a limited number of spectators can be permitted at some point closer to the event.

For current information on spectators, visit www.kentuckythreedayevent.com.

Known as “The Best Weekend All Year,” LRK3DE is one of only seven annual five-star three-day events in the world along with Badminton and Burghley in England; Luhmuhlen in Germany; Pau in France; Adelaide in Australia and the new five-star event in Maryland. As the United States’ premier three-day event, LRK3DE serves as the Land Rover/USEF CCI5*-L Eventing National Championship Presented by MARS Equestrian for U.S. athletes. That event was also scheduled to return to the Kentucky Horse Park that same weekend.

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Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation that was established initially to produce the World Three-Day Event Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in 1978. Following the success of those championships, EEI established an annual event that evolved into the world-renowned Kentucky Three-Day Event, which draws more than 80,000 spectators to the Kentucky Horse Park each year. EEI also produces other events and supports several local and equine charities. EEI has donated more than $725,000 to various charities since 2011. Further information about EEI and the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is available at www.eq-events.com.

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