Category Archives: Kentucky Three-Day

Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Welcomes World’s Best Riders

(MAHWAH, N.J.) – April 19, 2017 – Land Rover North America announced it will be returning to the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event as Presenting Sponsor and Official Vehicle for the eighth year running. The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is the highlight of the eventing season in North America as the USEF National Championship and only 4* FEI level competition in the U.S. The event takes place from April 27-30, 2017 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

Each year the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event attracts the world’s best horse-and-rider combinations. Heading the list this year is Rio Olympic gold medalist, Michael Jung of Germany, who successfully defended his Rolex-Kentucky title last year on FischerRocana FST. This year the formidable pair returns hoping to make history by becoming the first horse-and-rider combination to win America’s only Four Star event three consecutive years.

Along with Michael Jung, Rolex-Kentucky welcomes back Land Rover Ambassador Zara Tindall and her 2012 London Olympic silver medal horse, High Kingdom. Tindall, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, won Eventing’s World Championship in 2006.

Also returning this year is the “Land Rover Best Ride of the Day” program, which rewards the U.S. athlete who finishes closest to the optimum time on the cross-country course with no jumping penalties. Since its inception, the program has been won by legends of the sport including Olympic bronze medalist Phillip Dutton, and the 2016 winner of the prize, Olympian and U.S. Land Rover Eventing Team athlete Lauren Kieffer. This year, the winning athlete will receive a 24-month lease of a Land Rover Discovery Sport and will be presented with the keys following the cross-country competition on the Saturday.

Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover, has announced a prize money increase for the third year in a row, now up to $400,000. The victorious rider will receive a check for $130,000, which is the highest amount awarded at any of the world’s four-star three-day events. This reflects the growth of the competition which is now firmly established as one of the top three-day events in the world.

“The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is one of the most prestigious competitions in the world and we are proud to be continuing our long-standing relationship with the event and the equestrian community. We are also excited to welcome the world’s best riders, especially our Land Rover ambassador Zara Tindall,” said Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. “Kentucky is ‘the home of the horses’ and provides the perfect environment to showcase our vehicles. We look forward to what promises to be another exciting weekend.”

“We are excited that Land Rover is once again returning as the Presenting sponsor of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event,” said Lee Carter, EEI Executive Director. “Their support has helped create unique experiences and memories for our guests that make them want to come back to Kentucky, year after year.”

The USEF Network will live stream the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover beginning on Thursday, April 26 at 3:00 p.m. EST. In addition, two nationally televised broadcasts will air on the following stations and times: NBC on Sunday, May 7, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. EST and NBCSN on Sunday, May 28, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. EST.

To learn more about the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover, please visit:

Rolex Rookies Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna Grew Up Together

Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna are first-time competitors this year at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover, but their partnership goes back years.

“My mom’s farrier, Dennis Ackerman at Pendragon Stud in Colorado, actually bred her,” Backus said of the Anglo-Trakehner mare. “So I’ve known her for her whole life. It’s been quite an adventure.”

Backus, whose mother Laura co-owns Pendragon in Larkspur, Colo., first heard P.S. Arianna’s name when she was about seven or eight, right around the time she had attended her first Rolex event as a spectator and knew that that was where she wanted to ride someday. Little did anyone know that P.S. Arianna was the horse that would take Backus there.

“Back then, she was just a young horse at our barn,” Backus said recently of P.S. Arianna, who was foaled in 2001. “As the years went on, my mom started riding her as a young horse, and then she gave me the ride. I was really grateful for that. I was probably about nine or 10, and Ari would have been five or six years old. I was so young! She was my next horse after my first pony, and it has been incredible growing up with her. She’s answered every question we’ve given her, and it’s been great.”

Over the last decade, Backus and Ari have climbed the levels from beginner novice to CCI3*, and now they’re poised to fulfill Backus’s lifelong dream of competing at Rolex. Along the way, Backus earned her “A” rating from Pony Club, and, riding Ari, was on the gold medal-winning team at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North CICY2* last year. Together, she and Ari also were chosen for the US Equestrian Federation’s Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 program in 2016 and 2017.

“I think we’ve both changed over time,” Backus said. “There are the different phases of each level, and you hit a certain point and your horse gets a lot fitter. She definitely changed: she got fitter and more aware of everything. So I had to learn to ride that side of her, because as a young kid with a young horse, she had been so calm. I have pictures of me going around with a loopy rein. Now she’s a lot fitter and there’s a lot more horse there! She’s a fiery little one, but I love her.”

These days, Backus works for Missy Ransehousen in Florida and in Pennsylvania. And while she’s been preparing for her Rolex debut, she’s also been baking. That’s not just a hobby; it’s also been a fundraiser to help get her and Ari to Rolex.

“A lot of people do a GoFundMe, and I set one of those up, because people were asking me about that,” Backus said. “But I also wanted to give back a little, so the baking was kind of my way to do that. I much prefer getting to see the people who are supporting me. It was wonderful and very heartwarming, because people would come up and say such nice things.

“The first time, I did it for two days at Richard and Daisy Trayford’s Exmoor Horse Trials, and then Rocking Horse also let me do it at their Winter III competition. I pretty much sold out both times. I love bread, and the cheese garlic bread was everybody’s favorite. I also did a cinnamon bread that was pretty good. My mom’s group also helped me make an assortment of cookies, and I did horse treats and dog treats, too.”

Backus says she’s grateful to everyone who has helped get her to Kentucky – and to Ari.

“It’s very special,” Backus said of her long relationship with her Rolex mount. “We’re kind of like siblings; we know each other so well. I would be lucky to have anything like that ever again. Having that bond and connection over 10 or 11 years is pretty incredible. It’s a bit of a fairytale, isn’t it?”

By Glenye Oakford, US Equestrian Communications Department

Meet Four First-Timers at the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Jenny Caras with Fernhill Fortitude. (Libby Law Photography)

The USEF’s Eventing Emerging Athlete Program is an age-restricted program that identifies and cultivates talented young riders ages 18 and under and 25 and under with the potential to evolve into future United States team candidates. They’re coached by USEF Eventing Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law. This year, four of the program’s riders are among the entries for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover.

Madeline Backus

Horse: P.S. Arianna. “She’s a joy to be around and has so much personality. She’s so loving in the barn. She loves treats, and if you scratch her, she’ll groom you back. She licks you after treats. She’s super-sweet, but as soon as we need to get serious, she puts on her game face and takes on anything in front of her.”

Recent success together: 4th at 2017 Red Hills International CIC3*

Hometown: Larkspur, Co.

On Rolex: “I was a spectator when I was seven, and it’s always been a dream of mine. I’m definitely looking forward to cross-country. It will be challenging, but I can’t wait gallop up to Weldon’s Wall.”

On the Emerging Athlete Program: “It’s been really helpful not only to train with Leslie Law but to get to know the great riders that made the list. Being from Colorado, I hadn’t met the East Coast riders, so it’s great to spend training sessions with them.”

Jenny Caras

Horse: Fernhill Fortitude. “He’s an attention-seeker who wants to be the only one in the barn getting attention. Anybody could get on him and hack him around.”

Recent success together: 9th at 2016 Bramham Under 25 CCI3*, 6th at 2016 Fair Hill International CCI3*

Hometown: Marietta, Ga.

On Rolex: “I’m just looking forward to being there and doing my first 4*. The cross-country’s going to be a lot more technical than I’ve seen and a lot bigger, too.”

On the Emerging Athlete Program: “All the extra lessons and camaraderie between the riders – it all sets you up for good performances.”

Savannah “Woodge” Fulton

Horse: Captain Jack. “I know that if anything goes wrong, it’s my fault. He’s not going to let me down. He’s pretty much a pirate. He’s small and scrappy.”

Recent success together: 7th at Bromont CCI3*, double-clear cross-country at 2016 Fair Hill International CCI3*

Hometown: Finksburg, Md.

On Rolex: “My focus will be on trying to get the cross-country. It’s crazy to look at the fences… they look massive. I’m hoping when I’m there on Captain Jack they won’t look as monstrous! But I’ve prepared myself.”

On the Emerging Athlete Program: “Riding is a really easy sport to make it be about the individual and your horse, but the Emerging Athlete Program reminds you that the ultimate goal and the ultimate accomplishment is a team gold medal. It’s about what we have going forward as a potential team for the country.”

Caroline Martin

Horse: Spring Easy. “His nickname is ‘Child.’ He really is a kid, but he’s a good athlete and tries really hard. He definitely likes to joke around, but he’s a cool competitor.”

Recent success together: 2nd at 2016 Richland Park Horse Trials CIC3*; 8th at 2016 Jersey Fresh International CCI3*

Hometown: Springtown, Pa.

On Rolex: “Completion – that’s what I look forward to the most.”

On the Emerging Athlete Program: “If it wasn’t for the program, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today. It’s done more than just for my riding – it’s helped me on the business aspect, too. And to be able to build camaraderie with the other under-25 riders is great.”

The only place to catch all four days of the action-packed competition is the USEF Network live stream.

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation

What Is the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event?

Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 tackled the cross-country course in last year’s Rolex Kentucky (Adam Brennan –

Have you always wondered what people mean when they say, “Are you going to Rolex?” They are talking about the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover, known as the “Best Weekend All Year” and one of the most prestigious equestrian competitions in the world. The Fédération Equestre Internationale has designated the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, hosted at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., as a “four-star” eventing competition, the sport’s highest designation, which is given only to the Olympic Games, World Championships, and six annual events around the world. The 2017 edition will also crown the 20th Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Champion.

The Basics: Eventing is the equestrian equivalent to a human triathlon, consisting of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. This event is usually contested over three days, hence the other popular term for the discipline – three-day eventing. By performing each of these phases, horses that compete in eventing show their balance, stamina, and precision. To learn more about eventing, visit

Schedule: The 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover will be held April 27-30. It has become such a star-studded event that competition now covers four days to accommodate a large number of participants. Dressage begins on Thursday and concludes on Friday. The cross-country phase is held Saturday and the competition concludes on Sunday with show jumping. A 2017 provisional schedule can be found at

What to Do: The event also offers a variety of spectator activities, including the ever-popular Land Rover Test Drive, which was featured in the Spring 2016 edition of US Equestrian Magazine. The Sponsor Village and International Trade Fair offer designer and sport clothing and accessories, arts and crafts, jewelry, gift items, souvenirs, and more. The Rolex Kentucky visitor’s guide provides tips for how to get the most out of your experience.

Where to Watch: If you are not able to attend the 2017 Rolex Kentucky, the only place to catch all four days of the action-packed competition is the USEF Network live stream. Wall-to-wall coverage of each phase can be seen on computers, tablets, phones, and smart TV devices. New this year is Champions Live!, a Sunday morning talk show from approximately 9:30-11 a.m., featuring a U.S. equestrian champion from each Olympic equestrian sport (dressage, eventing, and jumping). As always, the broadcast will include multiple camera angles, live athlete interviews, and analysis from professional sports commentator John Kyle with varying guest hosts.

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation

USET Foundation Announces Lauren Kieffer as Pinnacle Cup Recipient

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo By: Shannon Brinkman.

Wellington, Fla. – May 3, 2016 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Pinnacle Cup Trophy at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event CCI**** is Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, Va. Kieffer rode her mount Veronica to a second place finish overall and as the highest ranked American rider, ultimately earning her the trophy.

This is Kieffer’s second time receiving the Pinnacle Cup after being the top placed American rider at Rolex in 2014. When she received the Pinnacle Cup in 2014, she was also riding Veronica, her seasoned 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Team Rebecca.

“I think she’s quite a beast, that one,” Kieffer said of Veronica. “She’s very competitive in her own head and always has been. We’ve certainly gotten a lot more experience under both of our belts. She’s a very confident horse, and a very mentally competitive horse. She genuinely understands the game and knows what she has to deliver in all three phases. She really fights for it each day.”

Kieffer and Veronica kicked off Rolex with a 43.9 penalty score in Dressage. Her score cumulated to a 51.5 after the Cross country round, navigating the deep and muddy track to search for good ground. The pair ended with a final score of 52.5 after finishing a double clear show jumping round, with one time fault. Kieffer finished behind Germany’s Michael Jung riding FischerRocana FST, clinching the USEF CCI4* National Championship.

On receiving the Pinnacle Cup, Kieffer said, “It feels good. It feels like it validates my program and my team. The first time was a bit of a pleasant surprise, but now we kind of know that our program is working and we can deliver results consistently.”

Kieffer continued, “A big thank to Veronica’s owners, Team Rebecca, and also my other horses’ owners, Monte Carlo, Jacquelin Mars and my team. We certainly couldn’t do it without everyone in our barn and all the support staff.”

With the Rio Olympic Games right around the corner, it would appear that Kieffer and Veronica are contenders to represent the United States. Kieffer can hopefully leverage her success at Rolex as a stepping-stone toward the Olympic dream.

“We went into Rolex and knew we had to deliver and show a consistent performance and she came out of it great,” she said. “We really haven’t planned anything past this weekend. She’ll enjoy a holiday; she came out of the weekend really well, and we’ll just kind of start planning for the summer and fall in the next few weeks.”

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation ( is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Lauren Kieffer’s Veronica Named Equis Best Presented Horse at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica jogging at the second FEI Horse Inspection of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Photo by Betsy Whiteman.

Lexington, KY – USA’s Lauren Kieffer and her mount Veronica claimed the Equis Boutique Best Presented Horse Award at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI****, presented by Land Rover, in Lexington, KY, on their way to a second-place finish in front of a home crowd of 25,000 spectators.

The Ground Jury at the second FEI Horse Inspection of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, led by President Ernst Topp of Germany, evaluated the appearance of each horse and rider pair, including grooming, tack, behavior, jog attire, and interaction with the judges. They unanimously selected Kieffer and her 14-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood mare (Pacific x Ferro) owned by Team Rebecca, LLC as “Best Presented”.

“Winning this award really comes down to the whole team,” said Kieffer. “It is not a one day project – my team has spent years and put a lot of work into making sure these horses are as healthy as possible.”

Kieffer gave special recognition to her head groom, Shannon Kinsley, who has been working by her side for more than two years.

“It is great to recognize the effort she puts into keeping the horses healthy and beautiful,” continued Kieffer.

Kieffer and Veronica were one of 54 combinations to return on day three of the event and face the final show jumping phase. Combined with their dressage and cross-country efforts, Kieffer and her mare earned a final score of 52.5, placed second overall, and were the top-placed representatives from the United States.

“I am thrilled with her. We went in with a goal to finish well and sometimes you need a little luck on your side, but she was really on form,” said Kieffer.

Veronica was also second at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2014 with Kieffer in the irons after a long career together. Kieffer got the ride on the mare as a six-year-old after she was imported as a sale horse by Scott Keach and Sharn Wordley. She was sold to Team Rebecca, LLC as a mount for Karen O’Connor, but after an injury sidelined O’Connor, Kieffer took the ride over and has been partnered with the mare ever since.

“She has become a very seasoned mare with a lot of experience,” said Kieffer. “I want to keep her on form and pick away at little things, but we take it one event at a time.”

Kieffer was presented with a commemorative plaque by Cesar Hirsch, Founder of Equis Boutique, in recognition of the Best Presented Horse Award, as well as a set of Eventing Boots from Equis Boutique partner brand Kentucky Horsewear.

“The entire event was impeccably executed and is always a favorite of Equis Boutique,” said Hirsch of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. “The Best Presented Horse Award has become a favorite across show jumping and eventing over the past year, and we were honored to present it for the second consecutive year at Rolex Kentucky.

“Lauren and Veronica were – without a doubt – deserving winners,” continued Hirsch. “It was a joy to watch them at the Horse Inspection, but even more thrilling to see them in action throughout the event.”

Contact: Lindsay Brock

Michael Jung Makes History at Kentucky

Michael Jung (GER) and FischerRocana (Red Bay Group LLC/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 2 May, 2016 – The packed crowds at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA), third leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016, roared their approval of Michael Jung’s (GER) back-to-back victory on FischerRocana, realising they were in the presence of greatness.

The world number one has an unbeaten record at America’s premier venue, having won on all his three visits, which includes the world title back in 2010.

“I like this place a lot,” said Jung, smilingly acknowledging the crowd. “The people are very friendly and my horse, Roxie, likes it as well. She is getting better and better. I’m learning all the time from her.”

Richard Jeffrey’s Jumping track proved influential and any hopes of applying pressure on Jung evaporated when he was left with four fences in hand to win. He did use up one, when the 11-year-old mare just clipped the second part of the double, but his winning margin of 13.3 penalties is thought to be the biggest in Kentucky’s CCI4* history.

Lauren Kieffer (USA) will surely have done her Olympic selection chances no harm with second place – a repeat of her 2014 result – on another mare, Veronica. This was a rise of four places thanks to achieving the only clear round, albeit with one time penalty, in the top 14.

Kieffer won the Land Rover Ride of the Day prize as the US rider nearest the optimum Cross Country time on Landmark’s Monte Carlo but a disastrous five rails down dropped that partnership from seventh to 18th.

Phillip Dutton (USA) also plummeted, from second to 13th, with 20 Jumping penalties on Fernhill Fugitive, but he still finished fourth and fifth on Mighty Nice and Fernhill Cubalawn.

Maya Black (USA) enjoyed a career best in third place on the spring-heeled Doesn’t Play Fair.

The scarcity of clear rounds at the top of the leaderboard meant that four faults was good enough to elevate Boyd Martin (USA) from 10th to sixth on Blackfoot Mystery, Sir Mark Todd from 12th to seventh on NZB Campino and Elisa Wallace from 14th to eighth on Simply Priceless.

As attention turns to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials this weekend, Jung has now risen to taken the lead in the FEI Classics™ as well as setting himself up for the Rolex Grand Slam. His great horse La Biosthetique Sam is already en route for the famous English venue.

“My dream is to win Badminton, of course, but we will have to see what happens,” he said. The rest of the world has been warned.

About the winner

Michael Jung (GER), 33, is the first rider in history to hold Olympic, World and European titles simultaneously and the first to win five championship titles consecutively, culminating in the European title at Blair Castle (GBR) last year on FischerTakinou.

He first came to prominence in 2009, when he won the Luhmühlen CCI4*, the FEI World Cup™ Eventing series final in Strzegom (POL) and an individual European bronze medal in Fontainebleau (FRA), all on La Biosthetique Sam.

The pair went on to win the world title in Kentucky (USA) in 2010, double European gold in Luhmühlen in 2011 and double Olympic gold in London (GBR) in 2012.

In 2013, they were second at Badminton CCI4*, last year they finished third at Kentucky (USA) and then added the Burghley CCI4* title to their collection.

Jung won a second European title, at Malmö (SWE) in 2013 on Halunke, and in 2014 finished second at Luhmühlen and won world team gold and individual silver medals on FisherRocana FST, also the winner of Kentucky in 2015.

He lives in Horb, Germany, where his parents, Joachim and Bridgette, own a riding establishment.

FischerRocana FST is an 11-year-old mare by Ituango XX out of a Carismo mare, owned by Joachim and Bridgette Jung.

Full results on

See full standings:

Use hashtags #FEIClassics #Eventing.

See FEI Classics™ hub:

By Kate Green

Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Media Contact:

Marty Baumann
Press Chief
508-698-6810 x 10

FEI Media Contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
+41 79 314 24 38

Michael Jung Wins Back-to-Back Titles at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

(LEXINGTON, KY) – May 1, 2016 – Michael Jung defends his title at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover in spectacular fashion for a back-to-back win.

The heavy downpour of rain paused as the formidable pairing of Germany’s Michael Jung and Fischerrocana FST entered the packed stadium and to the delight of the crowd claimed their second consecutive victory at the Kentucky Horse Park. Jung wasted no time in celebrating his incredible achievement, with the 25,000 spectators standing on their feet to applaud their new hero as he galloped his lap of honor.

Lauren Kieffer (USA), who Saturday won a Land Rover Discovery Sport for achieving the Land Rover Best Ride of the Day, made sure to keep the pressure on the reigning Olympic Champion, producing a stunning clear round on her bay mare, Veronica. With a final score of 52.5, Kieffer moved up the leader board to secure not only second place but also the USEF Championship Trophy awarded to the highest placed American rider. Maya Black (USA), despite having a rail down, took the third spot aboard Doesn’t Play Fair.

Jung commented on his win: “My personality is calm but when you wait the whole day for your round it does make you nervous. It feels absolutely perfect to win. Kentucky is a very nice place; everywhere you look around is unbelievable and I am very happy to win here.”

Kieffer beamed afterwards. “Veronica jumped beautifully. I couldn’t be happier; she really tried her heart out. It feels fantastic to come second; it has been a really good weekend for sure. I am thrilled.”

For the seventh year running Land Rover North America returned as presenting sponsor of the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, continuing their longstanding support of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and equestrian sports. As one of six annual Four-Star Eventing competitions around the world (alongside the Olympic Games and World Championships), the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is one of the most prestigious competitions in the world. It is therefore an official selection event for the U.S. Olympic Eventing Team, and will be attracting the world’s best riders.

For any equestrian fans unable to attend the event, the NBC telecast of the Rolex Equestrian Championships presented by Land Rover will allow those to stream and enjoy it from home on May 8th from 1:30-3:00pm EDT.

To learn more about the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover, please visit:

About The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover

The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover is the nation’s premier Three-Day Event and one of the most prestigious equestrian competitions in the world. The Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation – FEI), the world’s governing body of equestrian sports, has designated the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event as a ‘Four Star’ eventing competition, the highest designation, which is given only to the Olympic Games, World Championships, and six annual events around the world. “Rolex Kentucky” is the only Four Star event in the Western Hemisphere. Known as the “Best Weekend All Year,” the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, April 28 – May 1.


Deb Sandford
Nat’l PR Comms & Events Manager
Jaguar Land Rover
North America, LLC

Marty Bauman
Chief Press Officer
Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Leah Oliveto
Director, Communications
United States Equestrian Federation
859 225 2053

Lauren Kieffer Claims Second Rolex/USEF CCI4* National Championship Title

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica (

Michael Jung Scores Back-to-Back Win at 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover

Lexington, Ky. – The 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover (RK3DE) came to its conclusion with Sunday’s show jumping phase over Richard Jeffery’s challenging track. The U.S. contingent was impressive at the RK3DE, taking eight of the top 10 places on the leaderboard. Finishing second overall, Lauren Kieffer won her second Rolex/USEF CCI4* National Championship with Veronica with excellent performances in each phase. However, it was Michael Jung (GER) and fischerRocana FST who led America’s only four-star event from start to finish, winning back-to-back titles after claiming top honors in 2015.

Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) steadily climbed the leaderboard throughout the competition with solid performances with Team Rebecca, LLC’s Veronica to finish second overall and claim her second Rolex/USEF CCI4* National Championship. She and the 2002 Dutch Warmblood mare had a lovely, accurate dressage test to receive a score of 43.9 from the Ground Jury of Ernst Topp (GER), Sandy Phillips (GBR), and Andrew Bennie (NZL). The duo attacked Derek di Grazia’s challenging cross-country course in rainy conditions, collecting 7.6 time penalties. Kieffer and Veronica had an excellent show jumping round with a single time penalty to finish on a score of 52.5.

“There was definitely a lot of planning going into this one. It was certainly a goal from the beginning to have good performance. Last time it was a bit of a pleasant surprise. I couldn’t be happier with her, for sure,” Kieffer said of winning her second national title. She added, “I think it is important to notice that the U.S. really dominated the leaderboard for the first time. We had a lot of nations here, so the U.S. team has been working hard to raise its game and it is starting to show, and hopefully everybody continues on with that heading into the summer.”

In only her second RK3DE appearance, Maya Black finished in third place overall and was the Rolex/USEF CCI4* National Reserve Champion with Dawn Dofelmier’s Doesn’t Play Fair. Black (Clinton, Wash.) and the diminutive 2005 Holsteiner gelding had a fluid dressage test to score 45.5. The pair had an efficient cross-country round, only incurring 4.4 time penalties. Black did not let the pressure of her position on the leaderboard affect her and rode a confident show jumping round with Doesn’t Play Fair, having a single rail at fence 9 to finish on a score of 53.9.

Maya Black and Doesn't Play Fair (
Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair (

“I have had ‘Cody’ for about five or six years now and I have brought him up the levels. He is a great little horse and he has been a pleasure to bring along. As many people know he is not a pleasure to deal with in the barn, but he comes to work every day so he has really been enjoyable to train and travel around the country with,” Black said of her feisty partner. “It has been a good season this spring. I have put some different pieces together and I am really pleased to be here.”

Jung demonstrated why he is number one in the world throughout the weekend at the Kentucky Horse Park. He had a fabulous dressage test with fischerRocana FST and earned a score of 34.4. Jung gave Brigitte and Joachim Jung’s 2005 Deutsches Sportpferd mare a determined ride over the tough cross-country track, adding 0.8 time penalties to their dressage score. He and fischerRocana FST had a significant lead going into the show jumping phase, and though they knocked a rail at 4B, they defended their 2015 title by finishing on a score of 39.2. Jung is only the third rider in the event’s history to win consecutive titles and is now one step closer to winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, a feat that will be accomplished if he wins the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials CCI4* next weekend.

“The big thing I have to say is thank you to all the people who help me so that I can come back again and compete with so many good horses; also that next week I can go to Badminton and that I have another horse for the Olympic Games,” Jung said of his supporters. “It is such a big pleasure and I am very proud of it. The people and every horse had a little part in a very big success for the whole team.”

Dubarry of Ireland sponsored the fourth annual $20,000 Dubarry Team Challenge and the USA came out on top of the standings with a final score of 178.5, followed by New Zealand with a score of 238.0 and the composite team of Australia, Germany, and Great Britain with a score of 298.5.

Watch every ride on demand on the USEF Network.

For more information about the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover, visit

View complete results

By Kathleen Landwehr

Michael Jung Delivers Back-to-Back Wins at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Photo courtesy of Rolex.

1 May 2016, Lexington, USA – Michael Jung riding Fischerrocana FST kept both his cool and overnight lead to secure a back-to-back victory at the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Jung led the competition from Day One after his near flawless Dressage test and fastest Cross-Country ride of the whole day.

Coming into the final Show Jumping phase and last to go into the packed Rolex Stadium, Jung had three fences in hand, but delivered another masterclass round with just one rail down to win the event and set him on course to challenge for the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize at the Badminton Horse Trials in the UK in just four days’ time.

With 54 starters for the final Show Jumping phase on day four of the competition, Lauren Kieffer (USA) delighted the 25,000 patriotic home fans, riding Veronica, to take second place behind Jung. Maya Black (USA) continued her amazing weekend in just her second Rolex Kentucky to take third place riding Doesn’t Play Fair.


1. Michael Jung (GER), Fischerrocana FST, 39.2
2. Lauren Kieffer (USA), Veronica, 52.5
3. Maya Black (USA), Doesn’t Playfair, 53.9
4. Philip Dutton (USA), Mighty Nice, 57.8
5. Phillip Dutton (USA), Fernhill Cubalawn, 59.4


Speaking after his victory, Jung said, “I am very proud of my horse; she has tried all weekend for me in the dressage, cross-country and now today in the show jumping.  I now travel to Badminton tomorrow and will meet my other horse there, La Biothesque Sam. He is in really good form and so I am really looking forward to Badminton. [The Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing] is a hard challenge as you can see just one person has won it so far and so it is very special on a very high level. Badminton is a tough competition; it is a hard competition, but I will go there to try to win it!”

“Veronica jumped so beautifully; I couldn’t be happier as she really tried her heart out. It feels fantastic to come second; it has been a really good weekend for sure. I am thrilled,” said a delighted Lauren Kieffer.

Third placed Maya Black said, “It’s only my second Rolex. I never dreamed that I would be sitting next to these two great riders [Jung and Kieffer]. My horse can be a bit difficult but he was fabulous all weekend!”

Michael Jung travelled to the Kentucky Horse Park as the new Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing ‘live contender’ and as defending champion of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover.

Having won both the 2015 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and the 2016 Rolex Kentucky, Jung is now just one competition away from the coveted USD$350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize. He now travels to the UK to compete in the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in just four days’ time to try to win the Rolex Grand Slam.


In 2001 Rolex was inspired to link the three foremost eventing competitions in the world into a Grand Slam. Badminton – the British horse trials on which the modern sport of eventing was founded, Kentucky – the premier US event, and Burghley – the East of England’s showpiece event, formed the competition.

Every year these three events attract world class competition and crowds of enthusiastic supporters eager to bear witness to equestrian greatness. It became immediately apparent that, completing the challenge and winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, would require a series of outstanding performances from a remarkable athlete.

Since its inception in 2001, only one rider has risen to the challenge: Britain’s much loved and highly decorated team member, Pippa Funnell. In April 2003 she rode Primmore’s Pride to victory at Rolex Kentucky, beginning her Rolex Grand Slam campaign. A week later, this time riding double European champion Supreme Rock, Funnell was crowned Badminton winner. A few months later, Funnell reigned supreme at Burghley, riding Primmore’s Pride again, outperforming fellow Rolex Testimonee Zara Phillips, who finished in second place. Pippa Funnell immediately joined the ranks of sporting greats and became a Rolex Testimonee.


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