Kentucky Three Day Event, USA

DATES: 28th APRIL – 1 May 2022

The Kentucky Three Day Event, is an eventing competition held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Kentucky is a 5-star eventing competition and this is the highest level of competition in the sport, and higher than the level of the competition held at the Olympics and the World Equestrian Games. This event is sponsored by Land Rover.

Although the event’s name continues to reflect its roots as a three-day competition, the Kentucky Three-Day Event currently takes place over four days (Thursday through Sunday). Due to a large number of entries, both Thursday and Friday are devoted to the dressage test. Cross-country is on Saturday, and show jumping is on Sunday.

The Kentucky Three-Day Event is held the last weekend of April, the week before the Kentucky Derby. It is one of the three events in the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing.

The very highest level of competition is the CCI**** or 5-star, and with only six such competitions in the world (BadmintonBurghleyKentuckyAdelaideLuhmuhlen Horse Trials, and the Stars of Pau) it is the ultimate aim of many riders. The World Championships are also considered CCI****. Rolex offers a financial prize for any rider who can win three of the biggest competitions in succession. These are Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky. So far, Pippa Funnell (Great Britain) and Michael Jung (Germany) are the only riders to do this. Andrew Hoy did come close, however, and in 2010 Oliver Townend was competing for this coveted “Grand Slam” at Rolex Kentucky when he suffered a fall at obstacle #20 which eliminated him from the competition.

The event also features an extensive trade fair that focuses on everything from horse-riding related items like saddles and boots, to designer clothing and artwork.

In 1974, Bruce Davidson and the United States Equestrian Team won individual and team gold at the World Championships held in Burghley, England. This gave the United States the right to hold the next World Championships four years later, in 1978. The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky was due to open around the same time, and plans were made to hold the World Championships there.

The 1978 event had more than 170,000 spectators and added more than $4 million to the local economy. The event was broadcast worldwide, as well as nationally on CBS. The success of the World Championships helped to convince the EEU to continue the event annually. Today, the event is broadcast worldwide in 18 languages.

The CCI**** was begun in 1998 and has been held annually since. Since 2000, the CCI**** is the only competition held during this time

Previously, American riders trained in England when they were preparing for international competition, as the country had the only two annual CCI**** at that time: Badminton and Burghley. The USET began making plans in 1996 and held the country’s first and the world’s third annual four-star competition at the Kentucky Horse Park in 1998.

New Zealand and Australian riders who have won Kentucky

1st Place and Rolex Trophy – Quimbo/Andrew Nicholson (NZL)

Rolex Trophy – Lucinda Fredericks/Headley Britannia (AUS)

2007 ROLEX KENTUCKY THREE-DAY EVENT CCI**** without Steeplechase
Rolex Trophy – Clayton Fredericks/Ben Along Time (AUS)

2006 ROLEX KENTUCKY THREE-DAY EVENT CCI**** without Steeplechase
Rolex Trophy- Andrew Hoy/Master Monarch (AUS)

Rolex Trophy- Welton Envoy/Blyth Tait (NZL)

Rolex Trophy- Red/Nick Larkin (NZL)
J.D. Reeves Trophy – Heelan Tompkins/Masterpeace (NZL)

How to get there:
Flights from Australia and New Zealand fly via various airline hubs to Lexington.

Where to stay:
There are many hotels in Lexington and we recommend you book early for this event as hotels are booked well in advance. Snaffle Travel can help with these arrangements.

Other things to do in the area:
We recommend a visit to Kentucky Horse Park, with Museums, breed displays and so much more.  There is also a wide range of Horse Farm Tours available in the area. Bourbon Distillery tours are also popular.

Tickets go on sale in mid-October every year for Kentucky Three day event.

 Snaffle Travel can help with all travel arrangements including tickets, accommodation, flights and any other travel arrangements to this event.

Contact us at or call Australia +61 427 286 061 Website: