Category Archives: Kentucky Three-Day

Martin and Tsetserleg Earn Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship

Martin and Tsetserleg (Photo by Alex Banks for US Equestrian)

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class defend their Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Lexington, Ky. – In the culminating phase of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN (LRK3DE), Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg jumped a nail-biting clear round around Richard Jeffrey’s course to finish on their dressage score of 27.9. Finishing second overall behind defending LRK3DE champions Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class from Great Britain, Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and the 12-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner put in a masterful performance from start to finish in their second LRK3DE together to win the Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN.

“I was thrilled with my bloke today. [Tsetserleg] doesn’t give you the most confidence in the warm-up, he was jumping all over the place and twisting and I heard these two [Townend and Tim Price] giggling at me in the warm-up,” joked Martin. “But [Tsetserleg] is a great little horse. He gets in the ring and a bit like Tim [Price’s] horse, just spooks that little bit; I do have to say, I think he loves a bit of atmosphere and the crowd. He tapped the first fence a bit and I thought, ‘Aw crap, this is going to be a long round,’ but at the second fence he really tried, and then I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve got a shot here.’

“He’s been a bit difficult in the combinations. He usually jumps really, really big over the first part and gets too close to the second part, so I felt like I had to really come in slow and short to the fence 4ab,” continued Martin. “Once he cleared [4ab], I knew I was in for a chance at a clear round. But all in all, I couldn’t be happier or more satisfied. … This year he has come out blazing. He exceeded my expectations and I think he is only going to grow and get better from this event.”

Watch Martin and Tsetserleg’s jumping round here.

In front of a crowd of approximately 23,000 on Sunday, and nearly 100,000 over the course of the four days of LRK3DE competition, the five top-placed combinations jumped clear rounds in the final phase. Going head-to-head for the top spot, Townend, Martin, and New Zealand’s Tim Price made it an exciting competition to the very finish.

As the highest-placed Americans, Martin and his FEI World Equestrian Games ™ (WEG) Tryon 2018 mount earned the Roger Haller Trophy for the national championship after their clear jumping round, a double-clear cross-country effort, and their second-best dressage score. Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) and Vandiver, a 15-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by the rider, Jessica Payne, and Debi Crowley also jumped a clear round, earning them the reserve national championship title.

In their third LRK3DE together, and Payne’s fifth, Payne and Vandiver’s fifth-place standing overall is the highest that Payne has achieved at the LRK3DE, with a score of 35.9 and a cross-country ride with just a single second over the optimum time.

“[Vandiver] is one exceptional creature,” said Payne. “He is pretty much a seeing-eye dog. You get him in the rough proximity [to the jump] and he is there to help you out. You wouldn’t ask for a better horse to head out on.”

Phillip Dutton (West Grove Pa.) and Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, finished third in the national championship and seventh overall at the LRK3DE on a score 39.7.

Defending his 2018 title, Townend and Cooley Master Class became only the fourth combination in the history of the LRK3DE to win back-to-back years, finishing on a score of 25.3 after jumping a clear-round of stadium jumping. Price and Xavier Faer held onto their number-three position, jumping a clear round as well to finish on their dressage score of 30.9.

Five American combinations would finish in the top-ten of the LRK3DE. In addition to Martin, Payne, and Dutton, Lauren Kieffer (The Plains, Va.) finished eighth and ninth with Jacqueline Mars’s Paramount Importance, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, and Vermiculus, a 12-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding, on scores of 46.0 and 46.6, respectively.

Overall LRK3DE Standings

by US Equestrian Communications Department

Townend Triumphs with Back-to-Back Victories at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

(LEXINGTON, KY) – April 28, 2019 – After four days of thrilling world-class action, Great Britain’s Oliver Townend made history becoming the first British rider to successfully defend his title and win the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event back-to-back. Townend’s win not only secured a healthy share of the $400,000 prize money, but also the keys to a 12-month lease of a Land Rover Discovery vehicle.

With just one pole separating the top three riders on the final day, the electric atmosphere turned into tension when Tim Price (NZL), lying in third place, produced a stunning clear round to put the pressure on the final two athletes. All eyes were then on home hero, Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, with the patriotic crowd eager for an American victory for the first time in 11 years. An eruption of applause echoed through the stadium as Martin cleared the final fence and was just one horse away from victory. Silence fell as Oliver Townend and Cooley Masterclass entered the arena, hungry to defend their 2018 title. With nerves of steel, Townend delivered a faultless round, denying the home victory for Boyd Martin, and making history to become the first ever British equestrian to win back-to-back Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event titles.

With tears glistening in his eyes, an emotional Oliver Townend commented, “I am so proud, I can’t say what this means. It’s a huge team effort; it hasn’t been an easy journey, but we always believed in him and the horse is pure class – it was just my job to press the buttons at the right time and he delivered again.”

“This is one of the biggest events in the world and it’s an eventing childhood dream to win at the highest level. The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is second-to-none, the infrastructure is out of this world, and the whole week has been so phenomenal.” — Oliver Townend, Great Britain

Martin and Tsetserleg Hold On to Lead in Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship

Martin and Tsetserleg (Photo by Alex Banks for US Equestrian)

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class maintain lead at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Lexington, Ky. – In the second phase of the “best weekend all year,” Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg held on to their lead in the Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN on Saturday. Jumping a highly technical course designed by 2020 Tokyo Olympics course designer Derek di Grazia, Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and the 12-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner finished within the 11 minute and 20 second time allowed to stay on their dressage score of 27.9. The double-clear cross-country run moved the combination into second place overall in the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5* presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN (LRK3DE).

“My little guy felt a lot more seasoned this year,” said Martin. “I feel like we are a bit more of a partnership. [Tsetserleg] is a real trier. For a half-bred horse, he has a wonderful gallop, plenty of speed, and he is very, very fit. Throughout the course, he just kept trying, and trying, and trying; he never looked for a way out. … He is a good little horse. He is a gutsy little trier and he had plenty left at the end. I couldn’t be happier with him.”

Watch Martin and Tsetserleg’s cross-country run here.

Fellow American combination Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, also finished on their dressage score of 31.7 with a double-clear ride to firmly place them in second in the Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship and moving them from seventh to fourth overall in the LRK3DE. Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) and Vandiver, a 15-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by the rider, Jessica Payne, and Debi Crowley, were just over the time allowed to finish cross-country on 35.9, sitting third in the national championship and moving from 19th to seventh overall.

Holding onto the lead in the LRK3DE, Great Britain’s Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class finished their cross-country run with 1.2 time penalties, adding to their dressage score to finish the second phase on 25.3. New Zealand’s Tim Price and Xavier Faer improved upon their fifth-place tie after dressage to move to third with a double-clear cross-country ride and a score of 30.9.

With a crowd of 34,889 watching closely, the 6,452 meter course saw just three combinations successfully complete the tougher option at the famed obstacle 20, the Normandy Bank: Martin, Dutton, and Townend. Martin, Dutton, Price, and American Will Coleman were the only four combinations to complete the course within the time allowed. Living up to the five-star expectations, the cross-country course required long gallops and strategic maneuvers by athletic horse and riders, resulting in 31 combinations completing the phase.

“My guy looks like he has come through [cross-country] alright; [Tsetserleg] is a good, tough horse,” said Martin when asked about his preparation for the jumping in the final phase on Sunday. “[Tsetserleg] is a bit tricky in the show jumping, so I will probably ride him for a bit after the trot-up [Sunday morning] and get him a bit more balanced. … I will do my very best, try to ride him well, and it will be what it will be.”

Tsetserleg served as Martin’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018 mount, and this is his second LRK3DE. The combination finished just outside of the top ten at the 2018 LRK3DE.

Visit the LRK3DE website for updated ride times, schedule of events, and scoring.

by US Equestrian Communications Department

Oliver Townend on Course to Make History at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

(LEXINGTON, KY) – April 27, 2019 – The sun shone down on the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event cross-country course, set by Derek di Grazia, with Great Britain’s Oliver Townend showing why he is the defending champion, producing a brilliant clear round and just 1.2 time faults, despite losing a shoe half way around the course. Townend remains in the lead on a score of 25.3 heading into the final show jumping phase. Much to the delight of the home crowd, USA’s Boyd Martin made the course look easy aboard Tsetserleg, just one of only four partnerships to finish inside the optimum time of 11.20, to end the day in second place. The Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing live contender, Tim Price (NZL), climbed up to third position with the stunning bay gelding, Xavier Faer, keeping his dressage score of 30.9.

The rumours of the technically challenging course proved to be true, with the first three horse and rider combinations unable to complete the course resulting in elimination. USA’s Will Coleman was the first rider to go below the 11.20 time set, with Olympic bronze medallist Phillip Dutton producing a masterclass round with Z finishing two seconds under the time.

Townend commented on his ride: “Once I realised the shoe had gone, I was conscious of having to balance more and be more conservative than I usually would be.”

“He was certainly a bit keener than he was last year; he felt stronger and was definitely up for it; his ears were pricked all the way. He made his own mind up over a couple of the jumps and at times I felt like he was more in control than I was – he did his job well and is becoming an incredible horse.” — Oliver Townend, Great Britain

The history books could be re-written if Oliver Townend produces a clear round in the show jumping, as he will become the first British equestrian to win back-to-back Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event titles. Just 8.2 penalties separate the top five athletes, which include the World No.1, the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, the FEI World Equestrian Games™ team gold medallist, and the current Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing live contender, so there will be no room for error in what will be a closely fought competition.

Martin and Tsetserleg Lead Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship after Dressage

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg (Photo by Alex Banks for US Equestrian)

Defending champions Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class first at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Lexington, Ky. – In front of a home crowd of over 11,600 spectators, Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg earned a 27.9 after their dressage test to launch them into first place in the Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN as the leading U.S. combination at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN (LRK3DE). Sitting third overall, Martin sits behind a duo of riders from Great Britain, Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo in second on a score of 27.1 and LRK3DE defending champions Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class in first on a score of 24.1.

With both the LRK3DE and CCI5* national championship titles on the line, U.S. combination Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, The Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties’ 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, head into cross-country sitting tied for fifth overall and second in the national championship after their Thursday dressage score of 30.9. Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, sit seventh overall and third in the national championship after finishing on a score of 31.7 after dressage.

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and his FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018 mount, Tsetserleg, a 12-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, put in a stellar test as the third-to-last combination to finish out the dressage phase at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“I was happy with my bloke,” said Martin. “[Tsetserleg] put in a good test. Dressage is a frustrating sport because you can always look back on it and wish you did this a little bit better, or wish you did that a little bit better, but he is getting better and better. Last year, he was very green here and sort of scraped through all three phases. This year, he is a bit more seasoned and confirmed at this level. He has been working really, really well. He is a very quiet horse and relaxed. … I am really looking forward to tomorrow. It should be really fun.

“I think this is our third year together,” continued Martin. “It takes about two years to form a partnership. Last year, it was probably a little bit of a rush, getting through [LRK3DE] and then to the [WEG Tryon 2018]. It sort of felt like we were doing everything on a wish and a prayer, but it has been good just taking a bit of a moment to get to know each other well. He is a little bit of a quirky horse and we have had a bit of time now to figure each other out. … It is wonderful having a horse that tries his guts out.”

Watch Martin and Tsetserleg’s dressage test here.

Martin and Tsetserleg will be nearly the last combination to leave the start box on Saturday. However, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z will start third on cross-country, following fellow American combinations Caroline Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack and Buck Davidson and Park Trader.

“I am very, very early on. I am third to go, so it is going be an occasion [where] I don’t get to watch any,” said Halliday-Sharp. “I’ve just got to make my own plan and stick to it, which actually suits me and [Deniro Z] anyway. I know him well and I think it is a strong track. I think Derek [di Grazia] builds a cross-country course that encourages bold riding. It is a good galloping course, which I hope will suit Deniro [Z]. There is a lot to do in the later part of the course. I think that is one of the biggest challenges – [the course] is sort of busy in that last minute and a half. … It will take a fit horse. I think the challenge is there and we just have to work hard and battle through it.”

Visit the LRK3DE website for updated ride times, schedule of events, and scoring.

by US Equestrian Communications Department

Oliver Townend Delivers Master Class to Lead Kentucky Three-Day Event

(LEXINGTON, KY) – April 26, 2019 – Defending champions, Oliver Townend (GBR) and Cooley Master Class, produced a stunning dressage test to finish top of the leaderboard with 24.1 on the second day of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Townend was clearly pleased with his performance, finishing with a beaming smile across his face, whilst he waved to the enthusiastic crowd. Shaving three penalties off the previous leader, FEI World Equestrian Games team gold medallist Piggy French (GBR), the score of 24.1 is a personal best for the partnership and proved why Townend is the current World No.1.

“I have had him (Cooley Master Class) since he was a four-year-old; he knows me, and I know him very well. He loved it here last year; he thrived, his ears were pricked every step of the way, so why not bring him back to somewhere he loves.”

“The course is a proper 5*. I am a huge fan of Derek di Grazia’s courses. I think he is an exceptional Course Designer and one of the very best in the world, so I always enjoy coming here to see what challenges he sets. This course is huge, one of the toughest in the world, technical and narrow, so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.” — Oliver Townend, Great Britain

USA’s Boyd Martin with the striking black gelding, Tsetserleg, finished as the highest placed US athlete with a score of 27.9 placing third. Great Britain’s Piggy French remains just ahead with a score of 27.1 on 12-year-old chestnut gelding, Quarrycrest Echo.

The cross-country course set by Derek di Grazia has been described as ‘challenging’ by those who have walked it and will certainly ask some questions to the world-class horse and rider combinations that will be navigating through it. With many experienced athletes all vying for the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event title, they will be hoping to not only finish clear, but also inside the optimum time of 11 min 20 sec. The leaderboard remains close with only 8.6 penalties separating the top 10, so there will be no room for mistakes from those currently in the prime positions.

Swiss Takes Top Spot on First Day of Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

(LEXINGTON, KY) – April 25, 2019 – Switzerland’s Felix Vogg displayed supreme skill to take the lead on the opening day of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, his first time at the competition. Partnered with 11-year-old bay gelding, Colero, ninth-to-go Vogg produced a score of 28.0, the only rider of the day to go below 30.

Team USA are hot on the heels of the leader with Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z closely behind on 30.9 and crowd-favorite Buck Davidson Jr aboard Park Trader sitting in third place with 32.1.

Vogg, who has spent the past year based in the USA, commented on his result: “I am pretty happy, Colero did a good test today. We tried a new tactic of doing a much shorter warm-up, which seemed to work quite well. He doesn’t take the atmosphere too seriously and always puts in a good test and today did everything that I wanted.”

“For me the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event was the final thing to do in America before I leave, it is one of the biggest events in the world.  It’s something I have always wanted to do and it’s the first time we felt we had the horse to enter. It will be good preparation for his future too.” — Felix Vogg, Switzerland

The horse inspection saw a total of 41 progress into the opening day of the competition. Day two promises another strong line-up of horse and rider combinations, including the defending champion Oliver Townend (GBR). Vogg’s position at the top could be under threat as the competition remains wide open. US equestrian, Lauren Kieffer, will be seeking her first Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event victory with two strong rides, Vermiculus and Paramount Importance. FEI World Equestrian Games™ team gold medallist, Piggy French GBR, is a strong contender with Olympic individual bronze medallist Phillip Dutton bringing a wealth of experience to the field.

Kentucky Three-Day Event Early Bird Pricing Ends Dec. 6

The best tickets at the best prices for the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event are available now.

If you haven’t bought yours yet, HURRY. Early Bird pricing ends Dec. 6 at midnight.

The “Best Weekend All Year” returns to the Kentucky Horse Park April 25-28, 2019.

Visit KentuckyThreeDayEvent.com/tickets for ticket information.

The Official Event Program is half price when you pre-order it. Just $5 when pre-ordered, the program is the ultimate guide for planning and navigating your Best Weekend All Year. Add a program to your order here.

The Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix is coming back to LRK3DE 2019. Get your tickets now.

Oliver Townend Moves into Contention for Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing

30 April 2018, Lexington, USA – Great Britain’s Oliver Townend produced a precision round of show jumping in the final phase of the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event to secure his first Kentucky win and set him just one event away from winning the coveted Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize.

Townend took first place riding Cooley Master Class, with Michael Jung (GER) riding FischerRocana FST in second, and USA’s Marilyn Little on RF Scandalous in third place.

From the 46 horse and rider combinations who started the competition on day one, 32 horses made it through to start on the final day of competition, with an international field of world-class riders from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Poland and Germany.

With just one fence separating the top four placed competitors in the show jumping, the enthusiastic patriotic spectators in the Rolex Stadium enjoyed a thrilling sporting display.

Oliver Townend was up against many of eventing’s finest riders, including world number one and reigning champion Michael Jung, who had returned to this year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in a bid to try to set a new record by winning the event for a historic fourth consecutive year, aboard his same horse, FischerRocana FST.

Speaking after his victory and looking ahead to the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing challenge, Townend said: “Today was incredible. I will just take it one event at a time, but I have two great horses next week at Badminton and it is all to play for now.”

ROLEX LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP

Rolex and the Kentucky Three-Day Event have a long and distinguished history, with Rolex as Title Sponsor for over three decades from 1981 to 2017 and proud to be continuing its long-term partnership as Official Timepiece. In 1998 Rolex Kentucky became the third annual CCI4* event in the world and remains the only four-star competition on the American continent. Rolex’s established support has seen the event develop into one of the most prestigious in the world, with top riders from around the globe now vying to compete there.

THE ROLEX GRAND SLAM OF EVENTING CHALLENGE

Since 2001, Rolex has actively supported excellence in the discipline of eventing through the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing – an award presented to any rider who consecutively wins at the three annual events of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA), the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (UK) and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (UK). To this day, the Grand Slam has only been won twice, in 2003 and more recently, in 2016.

All eyes will now be upon Townend to see if he can continue his current world-class form as the live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, with two wins now complete and the final challenge of winning the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, which starts in just days, to be only the third rider in history to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize.

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Merrick Haydon
merrick@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 (0)7748 186 833

Oliver Townend Crowned Winner of Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

The final day of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event started in dramatic fashion with both Michael Jung and Christopher Burton’s horses instructed to go to the holding area during the final horse inspection. Tensions were high as the packed crowds waited eagerly for the leading riders to re-present, with both horses eventually passed by the judges.

Over 25,000 spectators flooded the stadium in anticipation of one of the closest competitions in history at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event with only 1.2 penalties separating the top three riders, Michael Jung, Christopher Burton, and Oliver Townend, respectively.

Fifth-to-go, Marilyn Little aboard RF Scandalous, displayed a text-book clear round, finishing to an eruption of applause from the patriotic home crowd, hoping to see a US rider victorious for the first time since 2008. This dream was short-lived as next in to the arena was Great Britain’s Oliver Townend who produced the ride of his life to go clear, celebrating in style with his fist punching the air in recognition of his incredible round. This heaped further pressure on the final two riders. Australia’s Christopher Burton followed but had an unfortunate eight faults pushing Townend closer to the coveted prize. Only one rider could have prevented Townend’s success: all eyes fell on the three-time defending champions, Michael Jung and FischerRocana FST, as they entered the arena, hoping to make history once more. On this rare occasion Jung was unable to clinch the title with four faults dropping him into second place to give Townend a well-deserved victory and keys to a 12-month lease of a Land Rover Discovery vehicle.

“It’s a different world; it’s something I have dreamt of for a long time. We have come a long way to be here and the owners have funded it, so I am so grateful to them for this opportunity. The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is one of, if not the best events in the world; the atmosphere is amazing and the fans are fantastic; it’s been the best week!” — Oliver Townend, Great Britain

Townend continued to pay tribute to Cooley Master Class. “I have had him since he was four years old; he has won at nearly every level and never lets us down. He has suffered with injuries in the past and at some points we weren’t sure if he would even come through, but the last two seasons he has been amazing; he has always been cheeky and extremely talented so it’s great to be here with him.”

Michael Jung commented on his performance. “I am sad for FischerRocana as that was absolutely my mistake, but I am happy with our performance and I love this event; it is so beautiful. FischerRocana has been amazing and is incredible to ride, so I am pleased with her.”

Marty Bauman
Chief Press Officer
Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event
508.698.6810
marty@classic-communications.com