Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event
The Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event is the only 4* event in America and is also part of the Rolex Grand Slam.
- Dressage - Competitors must ride a series of movements round a 20x60m arena, each movement is marked by a judge and given a score out of ten. Horses must show freedom and regularity of paces, suppleness, elasticity of the steps, engagement of the hindquarters, submission and acceptance of the bridle. The rider is also marked on their position, seat and correct use and effect of the aids.
Some of the dressage movements that have to be performed include shoulder in, half pass, circles transitions, counter canter, flying changes, medium and extended trot.
- Cross Country - Horse and rider must jump around 30 cross country jumps over undulating terrain and within a set time. The course is about 4 miles long and so horses need to be going at a speed of around 570mpm. The cross country phase tests the bravery, accuracy, stamina, speed and athleticism of both horse and rider.
- Show Jumping - The course will have around 16 jumping efforts at a height of approximately 1m30m, with the aim being to jump a clear round which is a round without jumping or time penalties.
It was thanks to Bruce Davidson winning team and Individual Gold at the world Championships in 1974 that gave America the right to hold the next Championships in the US.
- Kentucky Horse park was due to open in 1978 and so it was chosen as the venue for the next championships, the event was a huge success and had over 170,000 spectators. Kentucky still continues to be a major event in the eventing calendar with competitors from all around the world taking part.
- In 1979 Kentucky held and Open Intermediate three day but without the roads and tracks phase.
- 1980 and 1981 Kentucky held a Advanced Three day horse trial, again without the roads and tracks phase.
- 1982 - 1989 Kentucky held Advanced Three Day Event Horse Trials (CCI).
- 1990 Kentucky held an Advanced Three Day Event (CCI**)
- 1991- 1997 Kentucky held Advanced (CCI***) Three Day Event Horse Trials.
- 1998 - 2008 Kentucky held Advanced CCI**** Three Day Event Horse Trials.
The Rolex Grand Slam
In order to win the Rolex Grand Slam a rider must win the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Land Rover Burghly Horse Trials. The winner will also receive $250,000 on top of their winnings. The Rolex Grand Slam has only been won once so far by Pippa Funnel on Primmore's Pride in 2003.
Rolex Kentucky Dates
Thursday 23rd to the Sunday 26th of April 2015
- Wednesday 22nd - First Horse Inspection
- Thursday 23rd - Dressage
- Friday 24th - Dressage
- Saturday 25th - Cross Country
- Sunday 26th - Horse Inspection, Show Jumping and the Prize giving.
Only horses who have gained sufficient experience and have qualified are able to compete. There is a veterinary inspection at the start of the competition that ensures that the horses are fit, sound and healthy and a second inspection on the day after the cross country, any horse who fails the inspection is not permitted to continue on to the show jumping. All horses must also be up together with their vaccinations and passport.
Only experienced riders who have qualified can compete due to the event being a 4* event which is the highest level of Three Day Eventing.
Not only is winning the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event a major achievement and a much sought after trophy, there is also prize money to 20th place, which in the past has been around.
$80,000 for the winner
$37,000 for 2nd Place
for 3rd Place
$25.000 for 4th Place
$20,000 for 5th Place
$10,000 for 6th Place
$8,500 for 7th Place
$7,500 for 8th Place
$6500for 9th Place
$5000 for 10th Place
Kentucky Horse Park is located in Fayette County which is near to the intersection between Interstates 64 and 75
Set Dressage movements are performed in a 20 x 60m arena and given a score out of ten. These marks are added up and converted into the riders score. 2 marks are deducted for the first error and 4 marks for the second error, if the rider makes a third mistake then elimination occurs.
- Cross Country
Horse and rider have to tackle around 30 jumps over undulating terrain of around 4 miles within a set time, penalties are given for run outs, refusal and circling, 40 penalties for a second run out, refusal or circle and elimination occurs if horse or rider fall, miss out a jump, refuse or circle for a third time. 0.4 penalties are awarded for every second over the optimum time.
- Show Jumping
On the final day of competition a course of around 16 jumping efforts at a height of 1.30m has to be jumped. The aim is to obtain a clear round which means to not knock down any fences or incur time penalties. 4 penalties are given for a knockdown, circle or refusal and elimination will happen if there is a second refusal, circle or if a fence is omitted.
Kentucky Three day Event Facts
Bruce Davidson has won at the Kentucky Horse Trials an amazing 6 times, in 1978, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1993.
Kentucky Three day event is the only 4* event held in America.