Top international riders to compete for record-high $300,000 in prize money. The 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover, returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., April 23 - 26. This Olympic-level, high-stakes competition draws the world's best riders and horses to Kentucky from all corners of the globe, and this year the stakes are even higher. The prize money has been increased to $300,000 - with $100,000 going to the winner - and it is also an official selection trial for the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), which will help determine which US event riders will be chosen to compete at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, next July. "This year is going to be even more exciting than ever," said Stewart Perry, president of Equestrian Events, Inc., producer of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. "With more prize money being offered, we expect even more of the world's top Eventing competitors to show what they've got in Lexington this 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 international Eventing competitions from around the world, and 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. This year's competition is expected to bring yet another field of elite competitors from around the world, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, France and Ireland. Last year's Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event winner was William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain aboard Bay My Hero. It was Fox-Pitt's third time winning the prestigious four-star event.
The Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge will be 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.
The sport of Eventing consists of three phases of competition: dressage, cross country, and show jumping. All three disciplines are designed to test the horse's athleticism, conditioning and training. The winner is determined by the horse-and-rider combination with the fewest combined penalties from the three phases.
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 also features The Adequan/USEF Open Reining National Championship. The Championship will be an FEI-recognized CRI3* event held in two rounds over two days, April 24-25. The Kentucky Reining Cup will also include 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. Last year Shawn Flarida and Spooks Gotta Whiz won the 2014 Kentucky Reining Cup Championship, while the Kentucky Reining Cup Freestyle World Championship was clinched by Dan James aboard Smart Little Elan. The Freestyle competition is an exciting competition, full of costumes, music and theatrical performances.
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), has been named 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 or how to donate to this very worthwhile charity, please 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.
Tickets for the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event - including tailgating spots and hospitality packages - are on sale now at www.RK3DE.org. Tickets sell quickly, so be sure to go online and order yours now.
For more information on the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, please visit the Rolex Kentucky website at www.RK3DE.org or call (859) 233-2362. Tickets may be ordered on line or by calling (859) 254-8123.