Kentucky 5* Gets a New Name: Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian

Tom McEwen and JL Dublin. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Just as we were getting accustomed to calling Kentucky “Land Rover” for short, organizing group Equestrian Events Inc. has announced a new title sponsorship for the event, and a new moniker to go with it. The first North American 5* on the calendar will now be known as the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian. The weekend of equestrian sport also features the Cosequin® Lexington CCI4*-Sand Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

“We are delighted to announce a new name for our world-class event – the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event,” said Erin Woodall, Executive Director of EEI, in a press release. “The Kentucky Three-Day Event has a rich history of inspiring people to overcome obstacles on any terrain, a quality that applies equally well to Defender. This year promises to be a great year for our event with many exciting changes in the works, none of which would be possible without the support of Defender and our other generous sponsors.”

Charlotte Blank, U.S. Chief Marketing Officer, JLR North America, said: “We are pleased to continue the title sponsorship of one of the premier equestrian events in the world, the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian. The Defender is an ideal partner for the equestrian lifestyle, thanks to its purposeful design and exceptional capability. We look forward to continued relationships with the community and showcasing the Defender lifestyle at future events. Lastly, we wish all the competitors the best of luck during this legendary competition.”

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Defender was prominently featured during the 2023 event, and this year’s event will again highlight the synergy between Defender and the equestrian lifestyle. Representing over 70 years of innovation and improvement, Defender blends extraordinary capability within a reductive, modern and purposeful design. Defender’s distinctive exterior instantly demonstrates the vehicle’s character, while the cabin features advanced, intuitive technologies to ensure full connectivity through modern adventures.

With its expanded support, Defender returns as the Official Luxury Automotive Vehicle of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event and as title sponsor of the Defender/USEF CCI5*-L Eventing National Championship presented by MARS Equestrian for the event’s U.S. athletes. The event’s Sponsor Courtyard will also feature the Defender Experience, Defender Drives and the Defender Junior Drive Experience.

During Saturday’s cross-country phase, the Defender Tailgate will be the best way to experience the day, providing up-close views of horses and riders on course. Popular spots on course will include the iconic Defender Head of the Lake complex, featuring artisan carvings, for the CCI5*-L and the Defender Offroad for the CCI4*-S.

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