Lexington, KY- Four riders who'll be competing in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover, spent Tuesday afternoon visiting with children undergoing treatment at the Kentucky Children's Hospital in Lexington.
"Rolex Kentucky" returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington on April 28-May 1. Prior to the start of competition, eventers Doug Payne, Jessica Payne, Lauren Kieffer and Allie Knowles, met with the young patients at the children's hospital to bring them souvenirs from the event.
Doug Payne, of New Hill, N.C., found meeting the young patients for the first time especially moving.
"It was just amazing to come here and meet these incredibly brave young children, who are dealing with physical issues that make my worries about competing this weekend seem tiny," said Payne. "I don't know how else to describe it, except that their courage was inspiring. They're amazing kids who we'll all be thinking of from now on. It was an unforgettable experience."
Knowles, of Midway, Ky., visited the children for the first time last year. "I had to come back to see them again, and I hope that I brightened their day and their lives--even if it was just for a moment."
Kristi Lopez, the hospital's director of public relations, believes that the riders' visit meant even more to the children than it did to the riders. "We really appreciate these four riders taking time while they're in town for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event to come lift our children's spirits at Kentucky Children's Hospital," she said.
Known as the "Best Weekend All Year," the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is being held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, April 28-May 1. The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Land Rover, is the nation's premier three-day event and one of the most prestigious equestrian competitions in the world.
The Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation - FEI), the world's governing body of equestrian sports, has designated the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event as a 'Four Star' eventing competition, the highest designation, which is given only to the World Championships and six annual events around the world. "Rolex Kentucky" is the only four-star event in the Western Hemisphere.
The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event will be broadcast on NBC on Sunday, May 8, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. EDT. USEFNetwork.com will livestream the competition in its entirety live as it happens and will also have the coverage available on demand. FEITV.org will also livestream the event internationally.
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.
For more information, or to purchase tickets to the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover, please visit the Rolex Kentucky website at www.RK3DE.org.