Second only to the excitement of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event entry list reveal is the reveal of the draw — and, as such, the reveal of who’ll be first out of the box come Saturday in the northern Hemisphere’s first five-star of 2023. Well, folks, that draw has happened today, and we’re delighted to reveal that (not for the first time!) Buck Davidson will be taking the honours there. His pathfinder ride will be Erroll Gobey, who’ll be chasing his first five-star completion after making his debut here in 2021. While that might not seem like the most auspicious start to the weekend for Buck and his three rides, in a way, that’s actually probably quite a nice draw: he won’t have his plans altered by anyone else’s feedback, nor will he feel the pressure to run quickly, and instead will be able to give his relatively inexperienced mount a steady, confidence-boosting run ’round, which will yield intel he can take back to the start box for his next two rounds.
Following him swiftly out of the start will be second out, Jennie Saville, who’ll start her day on Nina Gardner’s Twilightslastgleam. Third out will be Will Coleman and DonDante, who’s bringing plenty of experience to Kentucky, and fourth will be Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way. The day — which currently sits at 46 starters in the CCI5* — will be wrapped by the last out, and what a finale that’ll be! Will Coleman‘s delectable Chin Tonic HS will be one of the rounds to watch in his five-star debut, and he’ll be the last one we get to see in this class. As if watching wasn’t nerve-wracking enough!
Over in the CCI4*-S (which has been jokingly referred to as a five-star short for its intensity), we’ve got a seriously experienced pathfinding combo: Ariel Grald and her World Champs individual mount Leamore Master Plan will be first out of the box, and no doubt everyone in the riders’ tent will be watching their round closely to see how they navigate this tough track. They’ll be followed by Canada’s Lindsay Traisnel and Bacyrouge, who come to Kentucky with the confidence of a top-ten Carolina finish under their belts, and Shannon Lilley and Ideal HX will be third out. Tamie Smith and Elliot V will close out the class.