Lexington, Kentucky, USA – February 9, 2011– Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bridgestone, and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) have announced that the Kentucky Reining Cup, which includes international Reining and the first-ever World Championship Freestyle, will be held in addition to this year’s event at the Kentucky Horse Park, April 28-May 1.
One of the world’s most prestigious equestrian competitions and the only CCI**** in the Western Hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bridgestone, annually attracts 50-100,000 spectators and millions of viewers on international telecasts including a 60-minute domestic broadcast on NBC.
The Kentucky Reining Cup competition, currently pending final approval by the FEI (International Equestrian Federation), will be managed by HorsePower, Inc., Reining’s leading event production firm, and will include a Five Star Reining competition, known as a CRI5* (Concours de Reining International), the sport’s highest level, as well as the first-ever World Championship Freestyle. The CRI5* will offer $50,000US in prize money and will be the only Five Star Reining event in the western hemisphere in 2011.
The World Championship Freestyle, expected to draw competitors from around the world, will mark the first time that the title of “World Champion” will be awarded in Freestyle Reining, a consistent crowd favorite. The event’s $25,000US prize money will also mark the largest purse for a Reining Freestyle anywhere in the world.
“It was always our belief that one of the legacies of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games would be that new international events would come to Kentucky,” said Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear. “It is with great pride that we welcome this elite competition to Kentucky and host it alongside what is already one of our favorite events, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. The long-time international success of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day event opened the door for the Kentucky Horse Park to garner the bid for the 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games and presents us with another opportunity to broaden our international appeal.”
"Lexington has long been recognized as the 'Horse Capital of the World' and the addition of this new elite Reining competition is sure to reinforce that position," Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. "Kentucky's investment in new facilities at the Kentucky Horse Park were excellent venues for last year's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. This investment is paying off in attracting new events here that bring new tourism dollars to our city. This is great news for Lexington.”
“Given the overwhelming success of last year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games which featured World Championships in eight FEI disciplines, it makes perfect sense to host a major competition in another popular discipline during the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event,” said John Long, CEO of the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF). “The chance to see the highest level of Eventing and Reining is sure to draw even more people to Kentucky and add to the excitement of what is already one of the world’s premier equestrian events.”
“The Rolex Stadium and the Alltech Arena were the sites of some of the most exciting equestrian competition the world has witnessed during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games,” said John Nicholson, Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director. “Having them both host major international competitions during April’s Rolex Kentucky event is sure to bring back much of the excitement of last year’s Games.”
“Reining is a tremendous crowd favorite and is sure to be a huge hit with the fans who attend the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event,” said EEI President Lisa Ball. “Reining’s fast-paced action gets the crowd actively involved and the Freestyle is one of the most entertaining events in all of equestrian sport. I think this is the perfect attraction to have at the Kentucky Horse Park during our event.”
Born of the required work of a ranch-type horse, the sport of Reining traces its origins to the American West. Agility, bursts of power and speed, and a gentle and calm demeanor were all essential traits of a preferred ranch horse. Evolved to the confines of a competition arena and developed into a crowd-pleasing and thrilling competition, FEI Reining can now be found in more than 40 nations worldwide and on six continents.
The Reining events during Rolex Kentucky will build on the momentum of two highly-successful Reining events held at the Kentucky Horse Park in the last two years—the 2009 World Equestrian Games (WEG) Test Event and the overwhelmingly successful Reining competition at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Running during what is regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events is sure to help Reining solidify its place as a major FEI discipline on the international scene.
Reining events will be integrated into the schedule of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event at times that will allow equestrian fans to enjoy both Eventing and Reining during a single trip to the Kentucky Horse Park.
Selected to produce the Reining events because of its international reputation and experience, HorsePower, Inc. is the leading event production firm in the Reining industry with a focus on global development for the sport. Based in Denver, Colorado, HorsePower, Inc. is led by veteran FEI Reining show manager, Brad Ettleman, who also served as director for the 2010 FEI Reining World Championships at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
“The 2011 Kentucky Reining Cup will be a major addition to the FEI Reining schedule and we at HorsePower, Inc. are thrilled to be part of this exciting event running concurrently with the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event,” said Ettleman. “After the WEG test event in 2009 and the WEG Championship in 2010, competitors will once again travel to the Kentucky Horse Park to compete in the fantastic Alltech Arena, where so many fond memories were made last year – it is sure to become a long lasting tradition.”
Tickets will be available for the Friday night CRI5* beginning at 6:00 PM for only $10 and the Saturday night freestyle competition set to begin at 5:30 PM for only $20 in advance. A limited number of sponsor and patron opportunities are available for the entire event, each offering international reach into equestrian markets. Tickets may be purchased online beginning at 3:00 PM on Wednesday February 9, 2011 via www.kentuckyreining.com.
The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is part of the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM and features the Rolex USEF CCI**** Championship for the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation Pinnacle Cup. The world’s best horses and riders compete for their share of $250,000 in prize money as well as a shot at the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing which is awarded to any rider who wins theRolex Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton and Land Rover Burghley Four Star Events in succession.
Further information on the 2011 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bridgestone, tailgating and ticket packages are available at the Rolex Kentucky website at www.rk3de.org or Kentucky Reining Cup website at www.kentuckyreining.com. Tickets may also be ordered by calling 859-254-8123. For further information please call 859-254-8123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bridgestone and the Kentucky Reining Cup online at:
Photo: USA Reining Team at 2010 WEG; Brad Ettleman at 2010 WEG by Diana DeRosa