The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY April 26-29, 2018, is set to be the biggest edition yet. After five years as the presenting sponsor of the event, and a principal partner of US Equestrian for the past eight years, Land Rover will assume the role of title sponsor. Tagged as the ‘Best Weekend all Year,’ the Land Rover brand will enhance the Kentucky Three-Day Event with new consumer activations for the entire family.
With the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon taking place in September, this year’s starting line-up is anticipated to be one of the most competitive yet as riders aim to make their mark ahead of team selection.
The renowned equestrian competition, won in 2017 by three-time Olympic gold medalist and current world no. 1, Michael Jung of Germany, will be sure to challenge those striving for their share of the significant $400,000 prize money.
As part of Land Rover’s partnership with the event, the triumphant rider of the inaugural Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will not only claim their share of the prize fund, but also will be presented with the keys to a 12-month lease of a Land Rover Discovery. The keys to the car will be awarded to the winning rider by Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC following the Show Jumping finale.
“We are very excited to be returning to the Kentucky Three-Day Event, one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world. Land Rover’s long-standing affiliation with equestrian sport has been strengthened by taking on the new role as title sponsor, making for an even more exciting year ahead.” said Kim McCullough, Vice President, Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America
The Land Rover brand’s ‘Ultimate Stable Experience’ was created in 2017 to provide attendees insight into the six different Land Rover models, each which encompass their own defining characteristics, personality and positioning. Given the excitement around that first event the program returns in 2018 showcasing the brand’s compact Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV. It will be displayed alongside a range of top equestrian apparel and equipment. As part of the Stable Experience, visitors will have a chance to meet some of the competitors at rider autograph signings; there will even be a miniature pony for younger fans to pose with for photographs.
The seventh annual “Land Rover Tailgate Experience,” which invites participants to showcase their most inspired vision of a quintessential British designed tailgate, is back. The winner will receive an exclusive ticket package and tailgate spot for the 2019 Three-Day Event.
As one of only six annual Four Star Three-Day Events in the world, over 80,000 spectators are predicted to make their way to the Kentucky Horse Park to catch the four days of supreme action. The event will be telecast on the NBC Network on Sunday May 6, 2018 between 2:00-3:00 pm EDT and will re-air on the Olympic Channel on Saturday, May 26, between 3:00-4:00 pm EDT. Go to the USEF Network for livestream details of the competition that will air daily.
Tri-Star Eventing was formed last year, a joining of forces by Musketeer Event Management (MEM) and BEDE Events. Its goal? To promote the sport to a wider range of sponsors and provide opportunites to competitors and followers of eventing.
The initiative has been well received, attracting strong sponsorship support. With Oasby and Burnham Market Horse Trials done and dusted for 2018, the next two Tri-Star events are looming; Belton and Whitfield.
Making their debut this weekend are the cottages.com dressage cabins. Cottages.com is sponsoring the dressage arenas at all Tri-Star events, and Business Development Manager Chris Otty explained: “We are very pleased to be involved in the series. Riders and spectators are sure to notice the special 'holiday cottages' we have supplied to keep the dressage judges comfortable whilst judging the Lycetts Grantham Cup.”
Suzuki ATV is an invaluable sponsor, even more so given the British weather so far this season. Its quad bikes keep information flowing, as scores are brought in from the cross country course and the team can get to where they need to be quickly and efficiently. Harvey Day from Suzuki ATV was even kind enough to brand up a Scottish-themed quad especially for MEMs Alec Lochore - BEDE's Stuart Buntine has a more traditional red one.
The Intermediate, Novice and Grass Roots Leagues are enjoying support from Saracen Horse Feeds and Fairfax Saddles, whilst Kent & Masters are sponsoring the main arena at all Tri-Star grass roots events - they will have a strong presence at Whitfield Horse Trials in two weeks time.
Completing the line up to date is Investec Wealth & Investment, which has added Tri-Star sponsorship to its existing arrangement with BEDE Events. The company will stand out from the crowd at Belton with its very own larger-than-life zebra, competitions for both adults and children, and a hospitality marquee in the centre of the cross country course which will offer complimentary drinks.
With such committed support, the series looks set to go from strength to strength.
More information can be found at tristareventing.co.uk
The final phase of the FEI CIC 3* proved no match for Phillip Dutton (USA) and Z, as the pair maintained their lead following yesterday's cross-country phase to finish competition in top form at The Fork at TIEC Presented by Lucky Clays Farm and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) Eventing Test Event at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The winning pair finished on a score of 28, ahead of Kim Severson (USA) aboard Cooley Cross Border who secured a final score of 32.10, followed by Sharon White (USA), piloting Cooley On Show, to collect third place after the three phases and finishing on a 32.90.
"You never quite know how tight the time is going to be," said Dutton of the show-jumping course. "It's an advantage going at the end and realizing the lines you have to take to shave the time. My guy is not at his best if I open him up too much toward the jump, so I had to cut the turns, shorten him at the jumps, and rock him back just a bit. Everybody said they were worried that I wasn't going to make the time, but here we are."
Dutton competed two other horses throughout the weekend in the FEI CIC 3* division, but it was the 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Bellabouche) owned by T. Tierney, S. Roosevelt, S. Lacy, A. Jones, and C. Moran who ultimately ended the competition in the winner's circle. "Coming here is great experience for him," Dutton explained. "He's an up-and-coming horse and I'm trying to help him understand what to do in every phase, as that's my job to educate him. The cool part of it for me is seeing him produced. Getting to this level and then hopefully the next level, and being confident and having enough skills that he's going to be able to succeed."
Second place finisher Kim Severson, of Charlottesville, VA, went into Sunday's show jumping phase just trailing the top four, but rocketed to second place standing after a clean round on Cooley Cross Border.
Severson's run on cross-country impacted the duo's score slightly, but proved to help their standings after moving back to second place following their show jumping round, a position they held following the first phase of dressage. "He was good yesterday," she noted of the Cross Syndicate owned 2007 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Diamond Roller x Whos Diaz). "He started out jumping pretty high and I was a little careful because I just wanted to make sure that I gave him a good ride. After the water he really picked up and got faster. I didn't give him the greatest ride into that first set of corners. That stride going in makes that two really long, but he fought for it and he was really good. Down there on cross-country, he's so much fun. You can just gallop and he'll do it if he can do it. He's such a nice horse."
The week served as a WEG Test Event and riders caught a glimpse of what is to come this September. Dutton, who has competed successfully at six WEGs, is eyeing a spot on the United States Eventing Team in five short months. He concluded, "I certainly think that there's a home field advantage having the Games here, and for us to be here and know the venue and get comfortable with it. There are some disadvantages with having the Games at home, with distractions and what else, so we might as well make the most of being able to get use out of this venue ahead of time and feel comfortable when the team gets here for September."
The organisers of Horseheath Horse Trials, Cambridgeshire, have developed the XC course for 2018 with a focus on natural fences using wood grown on the estate, in preparation for the first of two British Eventing affiliated Horse Trials taking place on 21/22 April and the second on 12/13 August 2018. Principle sponsors PWC has confirmed ongoing support for the 2018 season.
Horseheath Horse Trials, situated on the Thurlow Estate, just four miles west of Haverhill, off the A1307, take place over two days and attract over 600 competitors, from across the region, who come to compete in classes from BE80 (T) to BE100 in all three disciplines including Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country. New for 2018, and in order to encourage newcomers to Horseheath Horse Trials, there will be prizes and rosettes for the highest place first-timer in each class. Additionally the highest place Wobbleberry will receive a video of their round courtesy of Eventful Life with a helpful critique voiceover from Wobbleberry Patron Andrew Hoy.
The cross country course has been designed by BE Course Designer Tina Ure, a British Eventing Accredited coach and a member of the Eastern regional U18 Coaching team. Commenting on 2018 she said: “The focus for winter development at Horseheath has been on building more fences, so there will be a significant number of new jumping questions. We are very grateful to Thurlow Estates for providing a large quantity of timber from their woodlands for our course builder David Carpenter to work with. The track in April will follow a similar route to Horseheath 1 in 2017, allowing good use to be made of the open land within the racecourse and the undulating terrain. Changes will be made to both the water feature and the ditch fences for this year.”
Horseheath Horse Trials is unique in offering spectators excellent views across the whole XC course from a single vantage point.
Spectators are welcome, as are dogs on leads, over the two days with plenty of catering from Jacks Snacks, Mel’s Magical Crepes, Caffee Mobile and The Honest Food Company, Ooh La Pasta and Pimms served from a specially converted horsebox. The entry fee of £5 per person is donated and split between the Air Ambulance Service and Maggie’s Centre Cambridge. There will be plenty of trade stands to peruse including Tiggas Saddlery and Binder.
In addition to principle sponsor PWC, additional sponsors include Carter Jonas, NFU, Duck Plumbing & Heating, Saffrey Champness, Top Spec, Newmarket Equine Hospital, Taylor Vinters, Raythorns Solicitors, Rossdales, Lockheart Garrett, Andrew Hodge, Ernest Doe, Simple Systems and Binder has agreed to sponsor the Posh Loos – which were a big hit and much admired in the past.