8 Things you May Not Know about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event
The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event happens every April in Lexington, Ky., bringing tens of thousands of visitors from North America and around the globe to the Kentucky Horse Park over four days.
Known by its fans as “The Best Weekend All Year,” the longstanding Kentucky Three-Day Event offers something for everyone: the highest-level of equestrian competitors, the thrills of the sport’s three phases of competition (dressage, cross-country and show-jumping), tailgating, music, course walks with Olympic veterans, shopping, breed demonstrations, glamping, even a 5K. Plus, LRK3DE grounds admission tickets also give ticket holders access that weekend to all Kentucky Horse Park attractions.
Want to know more? Here’s a quick primer on LRK3DE:
- There’s no event like the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in the United States or this side of the globe. A qualifier for the Olympic Games, World Championships, and this year’s World Equestrian Games, Land Rover Kentucky is an Eventing competition of the highest level on the international stage and one of only six annual Four-Star equestrian events in the world. And the only one held in the Western Hemisphere.
- This year is the event’s 40th anniversary! In 1978, the then brand-new Kentucky Horse Park hosted the World Three-Day Event Championships (being held in the United States for the first time) which has evolved into the annual Kentucky Three-Day Event. The Kentucky Horse Park’s official opening was a week after the Championships. (The winner of the 1978 Eventing World Championships was a 28-year-old Bruce Davidson on Might Tango.)
- The world’s top Eventing riders head to Kentucky each spring to compete. LRK3DE fans get to experience the riding of incredible athletes like Germany’s Michael Jung. Ranked No. 1 in the world and the first Eventing rider to hold the Olympic, World and European titles simultaneously, Jung is Three-Day Eventing’s most decorated rider … ever. He competed – and won – the Kentucky event a record three years in a row (2015, 2016, 2017) all on the same horse, Fischerrocana FST. Jung is also one of only two riders to win the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, which is awarded to any rider who wins the Land Rover Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton and Land Rover Burghley Four-Star Events in succession.
- The organizer of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), a non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation initially established to produce the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships. Headquartered on the Kentucky Horse Park grounds, EEI’s formal mission is to create competition opportunities to help prepare the U.S. equestrian team to compete worldwide.
Over the years EEI has also made financial contributions to charities that support local human and equine organizations and serve Lexington and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Since 2011 the organization has donated over $900,000 to local charities. The Kentucky Horse Park and Kentucky Horse Park Foundation alone have received more than $1 million in gifts and contributions from EEI over the last 40 years.
- Each year an official Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event charity is named and special fundraising activities are incorporated into the event schedule. This year’s official charity is Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass, which will receive a portion of the proceeds from two fundraising activities: the Barley, Barrels and Bluegrass Dinner and the fourth annual Head Up Heels Down 5K.
The Barley, Barrels, and Bluegrass Dinner will be held on Thursday, April 26, at the Livery in downtown Lexington. Founded in 1868, the Livery was the city’s largest stable for horses and carriages riding in and out of town. The evening includes a long-table dinner featuring a Kentucky Proud-curated menu from local chefs accompanied by music from local musicians, craft cocktails and local beer and wine.
The Head Up Heels Down 5K is a twilight, chip-timed competitive 5K run on the beautiful grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park on Friday, April 27.
- New this year, the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will host a $225,000 Invitational Grand Prix on Saturday, April 28, after the completion of the Cross-Country phase of the competition. In addition to the $225,000 Invitational Grand Prix, there will be a $35,000 1.45m FEI ranking class on Friday, April 27, following the completion of the CCI’s Dressage competition.
- The world-renowned event has seen nearly 100% growth in spectators since 2013. In 2017, 80,000-plus spectators representing all 50 states and more than a dozen countries headed to the Bluegrass State specifically for the Kentucky Three-Day Event. More than 80% of those who attended were from outside Kentucky and 35% were recurring visitors who had attended the event for more than six years.
- It takes 2,000 volunteers working rain or shine to put this world-class event on!
The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event returns to the Kentucky Horse Park April 26-29. Tickets to and more information about the event are available at www.KentuckyThreeDayEvent.com/tickets.
Junior Achievement Named the Official Charity of the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event
Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass (JA), the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs, has been chosen as the Official Charity of the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE).
JA will receive a portion of the proceeds from two fundraising activities at the event: the Barley, Barrels and Bluegrass Dinner and the fourth annual Head Up Heels Down 5K. The Barley, Barrels, and Bluegrass Dinner.
Junior Achievement’s unique volunteer-delivered programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs that make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and help strengthen their communities.
“We are honored to have been chosen as the Official Charity of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event,” says Lynn Hudgins, president of Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass. “We have been involved with this wonderful event since 2006 and recognize the prestige that this distinction brings to Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass.”
Junior Achievement partners with volunteers from the community to teach elementary students about their roles as individuals, workers and consumers, and to prepare middle and high school students for key economic and workforce issues they will face.
Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass serves 36 Kentucky counties.