Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship Up for Grabs
Lexington, Ky. – The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE) is set to begin at the Kentucky Horse Park following the first horse inspection on April 25. A total of 46 athlete-and-horse combinations from nine nations will vie for top honors at America’s only CCI4* event, which also serves as the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship, awarded to the highest-placed U.S. athlete. The Roger Haller Trophy, honoring the late, internationally respected eventing official, will be awarded to the national champion.
The 2018 field is full of talented combinations, and several returning national champions hope to stake their claim on the overall and national title. Defending Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Champion Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) already has the most titles at five, but he could add another to his resume with I’m Sew Ready or Z. Dutton rode I’m Sew Ready, Kristine and John Norton’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to a 10th-place finish at the 2017 Kentucky event in the horse’s CCI4* debut. This year, they finished fifth in The Fork CIC3*/FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (WEG) Eventing Test Event to prepare for the LRK3DE. Z, a nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, will make his CCI4* debut with Dutton. The pair comes to Kentucky in fine form after winning The Fork CIC3*/WEG Eventing Test Event.
Looking ahead to cross-country day, Dutton said, “We have been around the course this morning and, as we expected, it is big but fair, so I’m sure it will be a great competition.”
Three-time national champion Buck Davidson (Unionville, Pa.) has three mounts at the LRK3DE: Carlevo, Copper Beach, and Park Trader. Park Trader, Carl and Cassandra Segal’s 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, will make his fifth appearance at the LRK3DE, while stablemate Copper Beach, Carl Segal and Sherrie Martin’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, will make his third consecutive appearance. Carlevo, the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Carlevo LLC, makes his CCI4* debut in Kentucky and is coming off a second-place finish in the Chattahoochee Hills CIC3* with Davidson.
Two-time national champion Lauren Kieffer (The Plains, Va.) brings two mounts to Kentucky: Landmark’s Monte Carlo, Jacqueline Mars’s 12-year-old Irish Thoroughbred cross gelding, and Vermiculus, Mars’s 11-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding. Both horses collected top-15 finishes in CIC3* competition this spring in preparation for the LRK3DE.
Kim Severson (Charlottesville, Va.), a three-time Kentucky Three-Day winner and national champion, will aim for a strong showing with Cooley Cross Border, The Cross Syndicate’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. The pair finished second in The Fork CIC3*/WEG Eventing Test Event behind Dutton and Z and won the 2017 SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials CCI3* in England last fall.
Rising stars of the sport hope to gather more experience at the CCI4* level. Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program participants Savannah “Woodge” Fulton (Finksburg, Md.) and Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.) plan to tackle the LRK3DE for the second time. Fulton brings her 2017 mount, Captain Jack, Full Moon Farm Syndicate’s 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, while Martin has two mounts: The Apprentice, Sherrie Martin’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, and Spring Easy, Sherrie and Caroline Martin’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding.
“I think this weekend speaks for itself, how much Leslie and the program have helped my riding,” Martin shared when asked how the Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program has helped her development. She added, “Being able to have a camaraderie with all the other riders is great. I wouldn’t know Mackenna Shea [an Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program alum] if it wasn’t for the program.”
Dressage begins Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET with Davidson and Park Trader.
For more information about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit kentuckythreedayevent.com.
From the US Equestrian Communications Department