Top Show Jumping Stars Set to Compete in Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute
11 Olympians Highlight Show Jumping Entries at the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™
Eleven Olympic veterans from four countries highlight the most impressive lineup of riders ever for the $226,000 Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute hosted at the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™ (LRK3DE).
Organized by Equestrian Events Inc. (EEI), the LRK3DE returns to the Kentucky Horse Park, April 27-30, featuring one of only seven annual Five Star three-day events in the world. Known as “The Best Weekend All Year,” the event annually attracts more than 80,000 spectators who also enjoy extensive shopping, a variety of hospitality experiences and a wide array of demonstrations. In addition to its traditional CCI5*-L, the event also features the Cosequin® Lexington CCI4*-S and $226,000 Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.
Introduced at the 2018 LRK3DE, the Kentucky CSI3* Invitational has annually taken place to the cheers of a packed stadium of fans. In addition to the Invitational Grand Prix, which features some 40 international riders on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. after the event’s cross-country phase, there will be a $38,700 purse for the 1.45m Welcome Speed Cup Ranking Class on Friday at 7:00 p.m. after the completion of the dressage competition. There will also be an autograph session with the CSI3* riders in the USHJA Tent on The Hill (#307) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Some of the sport’s biggest stars will challenge the technical tracks designed by course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA), course designer for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, including 2021 U.S. Olympic eventing rider Doug Payne, who won last year’s Land Rover/USEF CCI5*-L Eventing National Championship as the highest-placed American rider at Kentucky (3rd).
Joining Payne in the star-studded U.S. contingent are show jumping Olympians Lauren Hough and Margie Engle, who competed together at the 2000 Sydney Games; 1996 Olympic team Silver medalist Peter Leone; 2008 Olympic team Gold medalist Will Simpson, who finished 10th in the Kentucky CSI3* Invitational last year; and World #4 ranked rider McLain Ward, a five-time Olympic rider with two Gold and two Silver medals who will compete in the Invitational Grand Prix for the first time!
Representing Brazil in the lineup are Santiago Lambre, who competed in the 2000 Olympic Games and finished fourth in the 2022 Kentucky CSI3* Invitational, and six-time Olympian Rodrigo Pessoa, one of the most decorated riders in show jumping history with accolades including individual Gold medals in the Olympic Games and World Championships as well as winning the FEI World Cup Finals three consecutive years.
Other world-class entries include Olympians Scott Keach (AUS), Daniel Bluman (ISR), and Alberto Michan (ISR). Bluman and Michan placed third and 11th in the 2022 Kentucky CSI3* Invitational, respectively, and will be vying for top honors against the defending champion and World #5 ranked rider, Conor Swail of Ireland. Also returning to the field are Swail’s countrymen Shane Sweetnam and Simon McCarthy, who finished sixth and 12th (respectively) last year.