All Horses Pass First Horse Inspection at Kentucky, but Not Without Drama

Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Sunny skies and perfect temperatures greeted us this afternoon at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian as the 36-combination field prepared to trot up for the Ground Jury for the First Horse Inspection. This weekend’s Ground Jury contains two members of the Paris Olympics Ground Jury in president Robert Stevenson and Xavier Le Sauce, accompanied also by Judy Hancock of Great Britain.

While the first trot-up is typically fairly drama free, except for the outfit choices (cc: Will Faudree), we did have a few moments of tension as the pairs demonstrated their fitness to compete.

Reigning World Champion Yasmin Ingham was sent to the hold box with her Pratoni partner Banzai du Loir as one of the first to see this afternoon (the international entries that have flown in from overseas always jog first to keep them separated from the domestic horses), but was accepted when she came back to present again.

Doug Payne and Quantum Leap. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

We also saw a hold for Doug Payne and Quantum Leap, who were also accepted upon re-presentation.

There was one withdrawal ahead of the inspection: New Zealand’s Matthew Grayling sadly scratched Trudeau and did not present him to the Ground Jury. This is a devastating end to a trip that’s been a long time and thousands of miles in the making; Matthew traveled to the States in February, basing with Boyd Martin ahead of the Grand-Prix Eventing Showcase and Carolina International while aiming at Kentucky. We’ve reached out to Matthew for more information and will update this article if we receive it; in the meantime, we’re wishing Matthew and Trudeau all the best and are so sorry to see their weekend end so early.

Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

To that end, 35 horses will move forward to dressage, which for the 5* begins at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, April 25). Dressage and cross country times are now available for viewing here.

Ema Klugman and Bronte Beach Z. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

As is tradition for a Short format, the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S entries did not have to present for their Ground Jury today as they did in-barn inspections on arrival to the grounds. This division will trot up on Sunday, however (at 7:30 a.m. which is honestly just offensive). Ride times for the 4*-S can be found here.

Calvin Böckmann and The Phantom of the Opera. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

We’ll be back with much our traditional jog awards later tonight and tomorrow we’ll have a full slate of coverage for you, including live updates from the 5* dressage provided by Cheg Darlington. Be sure to stay tuned for much more from the #BestWeekendAllYear!

EN’s coverage of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event is presented by Kentucky Performance Products, your one-stop shop for science-backed nutritional support for all types of horses. Click here to learn more about Kentucky Performance Products.

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