It’s all kicking off at Kentucky Horse Park! Could we BE more excited?!
The horses have arrived, the grooms are busy braiding, the riders are getting up close and personal with the corgi, and we’re gearing up for the #BestWeekendAllYear.
Kentucky rookie, and youngest competitor this year, Germany’s Alina Dibowski and her World Championships horse Barbados 26 – ‘Baba’ to his friends – have been scoping out the park ahead of the action and Baba’s keen to report that the grass tastes great Stateside.
It all begins today (Wednesday) with the fashion show, um horse inspection. Who will knock our socks off with ‘fits more runway than jog strip? Which horses will be feeling ALL of the atmosphere? Will Woods be wearing his cowboy boots? All – and more, for sure – will be revealed at 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST.
The center line will play its part tomorrow (Thursday). The 4* dressage will get us going at 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST, with the 5* following shortly afterwards – 1pm EDT / 10am PDT / 6pm BST. It continues on Friday in the same way with the 4* scheduling the same and the 5* expected to start at 12:30pm EDT / 9:30am PDT / 5:30pm BST.
Saturday is officially ‘Corgi Day’ and we’ll finally get to see what horses think about jumping a dog. The cross country action kicks off at 9am EDT / 6am PDT / 2pm BST on Saturday with 4*; the 5* will get going at 12:50 pm EDT / 9:50am PDT / 5:50pm BST. You can check out the corgi – I mean, cross country course – on CrossCountry App.
It’s the riders’ second chance to impress us with their taste and style at the horse inspection on Sunday at 7:30am EDT / 4:30am PDT / 12:30pm BST, and then the horses will be entering the main arena to, hopefully, show jump their way to Kentucky completion at 11am EDT / 8am PDT / 4pm BST for the 4* and 2:30pm EDT / 11:30am PDT / 7:30pm BST for the 5*. The prize giving for each class will happen directly after the respective show jumping.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Lexington, make sure you’ve downloaded the Scavenger Hunt app to be in with a chance of winning a 2024 4-Star Trailers two-horse trailer. That’s right, a brand spanking new trailer is up for grabs, which must motivate some serious scavenging. Happy hunting!
And if you just can’t wait ‘til Saturday to get a glimpse of the – now totally famous – corgi, join EN and Ride iQ for a FREE cross country preview on Friday at 4:30pm. Register here.
If you’re not able to make it to the Bluegrass State, you don’t have to miss out – you can watch all of the action from the comfort of your sofa. Find out how, here.
Will this be the event when I finally beat my non-horsey husband at Eventing Manager? The stats suggest it’s unlikely, but I’ll be ponying up nonetheless. Download the app, pick your team, spend $10,000,000 – simple. And if you want some insider info to help you make your selections, we’ve got your back. Check out the EN Form Guide here.
And whilst your head’s in predictions mode, it’s time to enter EN’s LRK3DE Pick ‘Em and Win competition. Entries close tomorrow (Thursday at 12:45pm EST / 9:45am PDT) so don’t delay. There’s just one question – Who’s going to win the 5*? There’s a cool prize from Achieve Equine for the US-based winner. Put your prediction in here.
Phew! It’s all happening for Kentucky! EN are on the ground and will be bringing you all the fun and frolics from the event. Will Chinch make friends with the corgi? (Did I mention the corgi?) You’ll find out first here!
U.S. Weekend Preview
Wednesday News and Reading
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Kentucky bound Doug Payne talks about the Best Weekend All Year. Doug discusses his memories of Kentucky, what he’s been up to in the run up to the big event and how he’s going to manage being triple-handed this year – with rides in the 5*, the 4* AND the CSI3* Grand Prix! [Doug Payne’s a Busy Guy at Kentucky]
COTH’s Kyle Carter captures the subtleties of a partnership with a horse, with a little help from Jimmy Wofford. I must admit to tearing up reading this, for multiple reasons at multiple points. I’m sure my heart grew as I was reading. If you’re looking for something to get you in the mood for a wonderful weekend watching the eventing from Kentucky, this is the read for you. [A Place Where Time Stands Still]
Did you know that Phillip Dutton has had a horse in the Kentucky 5* every year since 1998? He comes forward this time with 2019 USEA Horse of the Year ‘Z’, who knows his way round the Park having contested the 5* twice before. But what will he think of the corgi? [An Archive Dive of Phillip’s Kentucky Rides]
We can all agree that event volunteers are a super special bunch. Equiratings’ Nicole Brown gets the low down on volunteering at the Best Weekend All Year from Laura Voll, the Volunteer Coordinator, and Sandy Suffoletta, a member of the Organizing Committee. [Inside Kentucky]
On the subject of social license to operate – which affects us all, regardless of discipline – this is a thoughtful response to the troubles horse racing has been facing in the UK over the last couple of weeks. Journalist and presenter Lydia Hislop discusses the propensity for fake facts to take hold, the need to proactively deliver the factual facts, empowering presenters with the knowledge to contextualize and challenge misinformation during interviews, the future of OTTBs, and much more. [A Palpable Sense of Jeopardy]
And finally, a fun look at picking your cross country colors with the help of a fashion editor. For someone who can’t keep a hair color for more than a few weeks, the thought of picking and sticking with one set of cross country colors brings me out in a sweat. As competing is not something that’s currently on the cards for me, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about which colors to go with. I haven’t mastered the less-is-more theory (I once had a baby blue hairnet to match my hat silk), and my indecisiveness inhibits me from ever narrowing it down to one, or even two colors (my hair is currently tri-color). I’ll let you know if I ever pin my look down. [My Favorite Color is Cross Country]
It’s National Help a Horse Day today, the perfect day to talk about the official charity of Kentucky Three-Day Event 2023 – Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
If you’re at the event, make sure you stop by their booth at spot 28 where you’ll be able to check in all of your shopping bags – so you can do even more shopping.
This cinematic little video shows the impact of their research on ordinary horse folk like you and me. A gentle warning, it’s a bit emotional in the middle, but there’s a happy ending.