Lexington, KY- Phillip Dutton and Laine Ashker are the winners of the first awards to be presented at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover. At Wednesday evening's welcome reception, they each earned a new pair of Dubarry boots as the best-dressed male and female riders at the first horse inspection, held on Wednesday afternoon. Danny Hulse of Dubarry presented the fashionable waterproof boots to them.
Dutton, 51, of West Grove, Pa., wore an outfit highlighted by a royal blue, linen jacket coordinated with a checked shirt and gold tie. He's riding Mighty Nice, Fernhill Fugitive and Fernhill Cubalawn at Rolex Kentucky. Dutton won the event in 2008 on Connaught.
Ashker, 31, of Richmond, Va., wore a muted white, patterned dress, with a side bow, and neutral pumps. She's riding Anthony Patch at Rolex Kentucky.
This reception, held at historic Spindletop Hall outside of Lexington, also featured the annual drawing among the competitors for a Rolex watch. Rolex rookie John Michael Durr, 27, of Castro Valley, Calif., won the watch. He'll be riding Esprit De La Danse. This Rolex watch is one of two signature watches given each year by the event's title sponsor-the event's winner receives the second watch on Sunday afternoon. No rider has yet won both watches in the same year.
"Rolex Kentucky" is one of the world's most prestigious equestrian competitions, and is one of only six Four-Star Three-Day Events in the world and the only one in the Western Hemisphere. It is a part of the FEI Classics Series, which unites the top four-star Eventing competitions from around the world. It also gives competitors 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.
The Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge is featured again this year, awarding $20,000 in prize money while helping national teams prepare for the team competition at the Pan American 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. The prize money will be split among the top four teams.
Held in conjunction with the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is the $120,000 Kentucky Reining Cup, the crown jewel of the annual FEI Reining schedule, which features an FEI-recognized CRI3* event. The Kentucky Reining Cup also includes the World Freestyle Championship which will award the title of "World Champion" in Freestyle Reining, as well as $20,000 prize money that will mark the largest purse for a Reining Freestyle anywhere in the world.
Known to fans as "The Best Weekend all Year," the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event offers something for everyone: the highest level of equestrian competitors, tailgating, music, shopping, bourbon tastings, and, new this year, a 5K and a Commemorative Maker's Mark Bottle Fundraising Auction and Reception. Visitors also receive general admission to the Kentucky Horse Park, America's only theme park dedicated to horses.
Horses and Hope, a breast cancer initiative of the Office of Kentucky's First Lady and the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP), is the Official Charity of the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover and will be the recipient of the proceeds from the Maker's Mark Commemorative Bottle Auction and Reception. Tickets to this fundraising event are $200 per individual or $300 per couple. A voucher worth $100 will be included with each individual or couple ticket purchased. That voucher can be used during the bottle auction. Tickets will not be available at the door. Limit of one bottle per ticket. Call (859) 254-8123 to order tickets.
Equestrian Events, Inc. has a long history of making financial contributions to charities that support local equine interests and serve the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The mission of Horses and Hope is to work alongside the state's equine industry to provide breast cancer awareness, education, screenings, and treatment referrals. Since the program was founded in 2008, Horses and Hope has reached nearly 1 million race track and horse show attendees, and educated nearly 16,000 equine employees. The program has screened nearly 700 workers and detected breast cancer in three individuals who have received treatment.
For more information about Horses and Hope visit: www.horsesandhope.org.
Equestrian Events, Inc. 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 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover.
Coverage of America's only Four Star Event includes an NBC broadcast - the Rolex Equestrian Championships presented by Land Rover - which will air on Sunday, May 3 at 12:30 pm EDT. All four days of the competition is being streamed online LIVE on USEFNetwork.com, presented by SmartPak, beginning on Thursday, April 23. For equestrian fans throughout the rest of the world, FEI TV is airing LIVE coverage of Saturday's cross-country and Sunday's show jumping competitions.