The famed five-star three-day event at the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian (LRK3DE) has been cancelled. It was previously scheduled for April 22-25. The Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and other events are being explored to be held over that weekend but without spectators.
However, a grassroots campaign is requesting donations, with a goal of reaching $750,000 by Feb. 7, to keep the event alive. To donate, visit www.kentuckythreedayevent.com/donate and click on the donate button below or fill out the form for a recurring donation. Donations made to EEI under “Save 2021” will receive recognition and appreciation for their support at various donation levels. In honor of all donations, a tree will be planted at the Kentucky Horse Park to help in their reforestation efforts. Anyone who donates may ask for their funds to be returned should the fundraising goal not be achieved. To receive this refund, a form must be completed and returned to EEI. This form may be found on the EEI website. Any funds retained by EEI will be used to support the organization as they work to produce the 2022 event.
“We have been working with U.S. Equestrian, the Kentucky Horse Park, and state and local government on several different scenarios for April,” said Mike Cooper, president of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), which produces the world-class event. “With so many uncertainties still remaining regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, it is premature for U.S. Equestrian to remove its restrictions on spectators. Given the importance of the health and well-being of our spectators and competitors, we feel the only option at this time is to cancel the five-star event and hopefully proceed with other events that our fans can enjoy via livestream and other outlets.”
Among the other competitions being considered is a new CCI4*-S which will likely feature many of the same horses and riders that would have been competing in the five star, plus the Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix, which normally takes place on Saturday afternoon.
“While disappointing that all our fans can’t join us again this April,” added Lee Carter, EEI executive director, “we are excited that some of those same fans can now compete in levels we’ll be offering during “The Best Weekend All Year!” April 22-25. Save the Date! Plans are being developed and will be communicated as approved.”
Spectators, patrons, vendors and sponsors who paid for the cancelled 2020 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and chose to roll their money over for 2021 will have the option of full refunds or rolling their money over again for 2022. Ticket holders can expect an email regarding their options. Sponsors may choose to be part of whatever events are held in 2021 with new agreements that fit this year’s situation.
“We want to thank everyone who has been so patient throughout this difficult process,” Carter added. “We remain committed to all our supporters across the country and around the world, and we look forward to putting on a great event this spring and welcoming everyone back for our full-scale Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Five-Star, with the Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix, in 2022!”
Known as “The Best Weekend All Year,” LRK3DE is one of only seven annual five-star three-day events in the world along with Badminton and Burghley in England; Luhmuhlen in Germany; Pau in France; Adelaide in Australia and the new five-star event in Maryland. As the United States’ premier three-day event, LRK3DE serves as the Land Rover/USEF CCI5*-L Eventing National Championship Presented by MARS Equestrian for U.S. athletes. That event was also scheduled to return to the Kentucky Horse Park that same weekend.
Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation that was established initially to produce the World Three-Day Event Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in 1978. Following the success of those championships, EEI established an annual event that evolved into the world-renowned Kentucky Three-Day Event, which draws more than 80,000 spectators to the Kentucky Horse Park each year. EEI also produces other events and supports several local and equine charities. EEI has donated more than $725,000 to various charities since 2011. Further information about EEI and the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is available at www.eq-events.com.