Organisers have cancelled this year’s five-star Kentucky Three-Day Event, but aim to go ahead with other events over the weekend of April 22 to 25, without spectators.
The event is one of only seven annual five-star three-day events in the world, along with Badminton and Burghley in England; Luhmuhlen in Germany; Pau in France; Adelaide in Australia and a new event in Maryland.
Mike Cooper, president of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), which produces the event, said that with so many uncertainties regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, it was felt that cancellation was the only option. He said EEI had worked with US Equestrian, the Kentucky Horse Park, and state and local government on several different scenarios for April.
“Given the importance of the health and well-being of our spectators and competitors, we feel the only option at this time is to cancel the Five Star Event and hopefully proceed with other events that our fans can enjoy via livestream and other outlets.”
Among the other competitions being considered is a new short format CCI-4* which will likely feature many of the same horses and riders that would have been competing in the Five Star, plus the Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix which normally takes place on Saturday afternoon.
Spectators, patrons, vendors and sponsors who paid for the 2020 event and chose to roll their money over for 2021 will have the option of full refunds or rolling their money over again for 2022. Ticket holders can expect an email regarding their options. Sponsors may choose to be part of whatever events are held in 2021 with new agreements that fit this year’s situation.
EEI executive director Lee Carter said the team was looking forward to putting on “a great event this spring and welcoming everyone back for our full-scale Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Five Star, with the Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix, in 2022”.