After 4.5 years in development, the team was gleaming with pride to see their hard work paying off as they witnessed the relief wave over owners purchasing a device that will allow them to rest easy at night while away from their horse. These horse enthusiasts came from all types of riding with one common interest: the love of the horse.
A second change marking the Kentucky Horse Park was the transition from Rolex to Land Rover as the title sponsor. For many years, the event was commonly referred to simply as Rolex by equestrians across the country. Leaving these old habits in the past, we were pleasantly surprised by the new, larger Land Rover presence and know Oliver Townend is loving his new Land Rover after winning aboard Cooley Master Class. The equestrian world is grateful to have such wonderful companies stepping up to sponsor events like this that bring so much joy to spectators. After a very close and hard-fought battle throughout the weekend, Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class of Great Britain made an emotional victory, followed closely by the previous three-time consecutive winners Michael Jung and Fischerrocana FST of Germany, and Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous of the United States.
Lastly, the introduction of the Kentucky Invitational CSI3* (powered by the Split Rock Jumping Tour) added one more level of exhilaration to an already jammed-pack weekend of equestrian competition. The Invitational kicked it off with a $35,000 Welcome Speed Cup on Friday night where Andrew Ramsay and California 62 took the lead after a steep lineup. On Saturday night, even after a long day of cross country, the Rolex Stadium was full of spectators ready to see some of the top jumpers in action. The $225,000 Grand Prix was a close race, but ultimately Santiago Lambre on Dingeman took first place, Eve Jobs on Venue D’Fees Des Hazalles came in second, and Conor Swail on Rubens LS La Silla were awarded third place. After such a successful inaugural event, we cannot wait to see what the future holds.
The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day reminds us just how special the equestrian world is. It is a weekend of three distinct types of riding that epitomize the relationship of horse and rider – it takes a special bond to go from the finesse and precision of Dressage, to the exhilaration and stamina of Cross Country, to the speed and technique of Jumping. It is a weekend that attracts spectators from across the nation and reminds us how loyal of a fan base they are. It is a weekend that continues to be the greatest one all year. A weekend our team won’t soon forget.