Defender Kentucky Entries Released: 47 Entries Headline 5* Field

Hannah Sue Hollberg and Capitol HIM. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

At long last, we have our first look at the entries for this year’s Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian, which will include the traditional 5* event as well as the Cosequin Lexington 4*-S that’s run alongside during the last weekend in April. This year’s Kentucky Three-Day Event will take place April 25-28.

Entries for this event just closed on March 26, leaving eventing fans hankering for a peek at the list and madly refreshing the entries page all week. We’ve now got 47 pairs entered in the 5* and 67 entered in the Lexington 4*-S, including a hearty international contingent hopping a plane for their chance at the top prize.

With this being an Olympic year, it’s unsurprising to find the 4*-S field even more stacked than usual, as many Paris hopefuls will bypass a spring 5* with more experienced horses and opt for a route using 4* events ahead of team selections in about two months’ time.

So we’ll see some big heavy hitters in the 4*-S, including last year’s Kentucky 5* winner Mai Baum (owned by Eric Markell and Ellen and Alex Ahearn), with rider Tamie Smith also entering Ruth Bley’s Danito and the Kynan Syndicate’s Kynan in the 4*-S and stablemate Elliot V in the 5*.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Also entered in the 4*-S are Paris contenders Will Coleman and the Off the Record Syndicate’s Off the Record, the Diabolo Group’s Diabolo, and Hyperion Stud’s Chin Tonic HS. Boyd Martin also has three top rides – Yankee Creek Ranch’s Commando 3, the Annie Goodwin Syndicate’s Fedarman B, and Bonnie Stedt’s Miss Lulu Herself – in the 4*, while the Turner family’s Tsetserleg and On Cue are entered in the 5*. Both of these horses are also entered at Badminton, so like many riders in his position Boyd will likely make the call on which event he’ll take each to as his training comes to a head.

Liz Halliday is also another rider we should expect to see right in the running for Paris selection, opting for 4* competition with Miks Master C (owned by Ocala Horse Properties and Deborah Palmer), Shanroe Cooley (owned by Ocala Horse Properties) and Cooley Quicksilver (owned by The Monster Partnership/Ocala Horse Properties). Caroline Pamukcu and her Pan Ams individual gold medal partner, HSH Blake (owned by Mollie Hoff, Sherrie Martin, Caroline and Deniz Pamukcu), are also entered in the 4*.

Tom McEwen and JL Dublin. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Featuring on the 5* entry list include international stars such as Great Britain’s Yasmin Ingham (entered with her World Champion partner Banzai du Loir), Ros Canter (GBR) and Izilot DHI, Oliver Townend (GBR) and Cooley Rosalent, Nicolai Aldinger (GER) and Timmo, Susie Berry (IRL) and Clever Trick, Calvin Böckmann (GER) and The Phantom of the Opera, Kirsty Chabert (GBR) and Classic VI, Matthew Grayling (NZL) and Trudeau, Monica Spencer (NZL) and Artist, Malin Hansen-Hotopp (GER) and Carlitos Quidditch K, Christoph Wahler (GER) and D’accord FRH, and Tom McEwen (GBR) and JL Dublin. Grace Taylor is also on our entry list, having based herself overseas while riding for the U.S., and will bring Game Changer to the Bluegrass State if she doesn’t opt for Badminton, for which she’s also entered.

We have one very exciting rookie our list: Australia’s Bec Braitling will come forward with Arnell Sporthorses’ Caravaggio II, coming prepared with a great season at 4* that included an overseas trip representing Australia in 2023.

Bec Braitling and Caravaggio II. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Other notable U.S. entries on this year’s 5* roster include but are certainly not limited to: Jennie Brannigan with FE Lifestyle and Twilightslastgleam, both owned by Tim and Nina Gardner, Liz Halliday with Cooley Nutcracker, Phillip Dutton with three rides in Azure, Denim, and Quasi Cool, Mia Farley and Phelps, Hannah Sue Hollberg and Capitol HIM, Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus, Doug Payne with two rides in Quantum Leap and Camarillo (as well as one or two also competing in the show jumping invitational that same weekend), our own Ema Klugman and Bronte Beach Z, and James Alliston with Karma and Paper Jam. Canada’s Jessica Phoenix has also cross-entered Kentucky and Badminton with Wabbit.

You can view the full entry list here for the 5* and here for the 4*-S; the list is, of course, subject to some late changes as the start date draws closer. We’ll keep you updated on entries and draw order as those come up, so keep it locked right here on EN!

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.

Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event: [Website] [Tickets] [Entries]

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