Top Teams Entered for 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Top Teams Entered for 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Michael Jung and FischerRocana FST (here at the 2016 Pau four-star event, in France) will seek their their consecutive Rolex Kentucky title.

Photo: Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)

Olympic gold and silver medalist Michael Jung of Germany, the two-time defending Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event champion and winner of the 2016 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, heads the list of top riders, including Olympic, World, and European champions, entered for the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Land Rover.

The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, April 27-30.

World-class competitors from representing nine countries—Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States—will vie for top honors.

"This year's field of competitors includes some of the biggest names in the sport," said Lee Carter, executive director of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. “With another increase in prize money this year, we continue to attract the world's best riders and horses, and we guarantee another week of extraordinary equestrian competition."

At stake is $400,000 in prize money, a $50,000 increase from last year, as well as a shot at the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, which is awarded to any rider who wins the Rolex Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton, and Land Rover Burghley four-star events in succession. Last year, Jung became only the second rider (along with Pippa Funnell of Great Britain in 2003) ever to win the Grand Slam.

Defending Champion Jung has entered FischerRocana FST, his 2016 Rolex Kentucky winning partner with whom he also won the team gold and individual silver medals with at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Jung is the first-ever event rider to hold the Olympic, World, and European titles simultaneously. He won the individual gold medal at the 2010 WEG, double gold medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and three consecutive European Championships. He successfully defended his Olympic title, re-claiming the individual gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

In addition to Jung, riders entered at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event include:

  • Zara (Phillips) Tindall, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II. She has entered High Kingdom, the horse on whom she won a team silver medal for Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2014 WEG. She also won the individual gold and team silver medals at the 2006 WEG.
  • Phillip Dutton of the United States, a six-time Olympic veteran with two team gold medals (2000 and 1996) for his native Australia and a team bronze (2004) and individual bronze (2016) for the United States. He's a six-time WEG veteran, the 2008 Rolex Kentucky champion, as well as a two-time Pan American Games Team gold medalist (2015 and 2007) and individual silver medalist (2007). Dutton has three horses entered: I’m Sew Ready, Fernhill Fugitive, and Mr. Medicott.
  • Boyd Martin of the United States, a 2012 and 2016 Olympic veteran, two-time WEG competitor (2014 and 2010), and team gold medalist at the 2015 Pan American Games. He has Cracker Jack and Steady Eddie entered at Rolex.
  • Kim Severson of the United States. Aboard the now-retired Winsome Adante, Severson won Olympic individual silver and team bronze medals (2004), the Rolex Kentucky championship (2005, 2004, and 2002), and a WEG team gold medal (2002). She is entered on Cooley Cross Border this year.
  • William Coleman of the United States, a 2012 Olympian, who has Tight Lines and Obos O’Reilly entered at Kentucky.
  • Clark Montgomery of the United States, who is entered with his 2016 Olympic partner Loughan Glen.
  • Lauren Kieffer of the United States. Kieffer is an Olympic veteran (2016), team gold medalist at the 2015 Pan-American Games, and winner of the USEF Four-Star Championship at Rolex Kentucky (2014 and 2016). At press time she has three horses entered: Veronica, Landmark’s Monte Carlo, and Vermiculus.
  • Buck Davidson of the United States, a WEG veteran (2014 and 2010), two-time U.S. Olympic Team Alternate (2012 in 2008), and winner of the USEF Four-Star Championship at Rolex Kentucky (2013). He currently has Park Trader, Copper Beach, and Petite Flower entered.
  • Jessica Phoenix of Canada, an Olympic and WEG veteran and Pan-American Games gold (2011), silver (2015 and 2011), and team bronze (2015) medalist. She is entered with Bentley’s Best, A Little Romance, and Pavarotti.
  • Joe Meyer of New Zealand, Olympic veteran (2008) and WEG competitor (2006), who has entered Clip Clop.
  • Tim Price of New Zealand, a WEG veteran (2014) who placed second to Jung at both Rolex Kentucky and Burghley in 2015. He has entered his 2016 Olympic partner, Ringwood Sky Boy, for Kentucky.

In addition to these veterans of international competition, many more of the sport's leading riders from the United States and abroad are entered to compete. The full list of entries is available at rk3de.org/entry-list.

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world's governing body of equestrian sports, has designated the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event as a four-star eventing competition, the most advanced level of competition.

The Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge will be featured again this year, awarding $20,000 in prize money. There will be four riders per national team, and the teams will be determined by FEI ranking. Combination teams are possible where there are countries with fewer than four entries.

This year's Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event official charity is the Central Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH), located at the Kentucky Horse Park, CKRH was founded in 1981 as a riding program for individuals with physical disabilities. Since its beginning CKRH has grown into a multi-faceted program that is dedicated to improving the quality of life and health of children and adults with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with horses. To learn more about the CKRH, visit ckrh.org.

"A big part of our mission here at Equestrian Events is to donate to charities both local and national, equine and human," said Stewart Perry, president of the EEI Board of Directors. "And thanks to our Rolex Kentucky fans and partners we are able to contribute each year not only to our official charity, but to a list of deserving organizations."

Attendees can also browse the Sponsor Village and International Trade Fair with almost 200 booths and tents. Rolex Kentucky also features tailgating, Land Rover test drives, a fund-raising farm-to-table dinner Thursday evening, on-site beer garden, 5K race on Friday evening, and Champions Live! on Sunday morning. Ticket buyers also receive general admission to the Kentucky Horse Park, America's only theme park dedicated to horses.

For more information visit the Rolex Kentucky website at rk3de.org or call 859/233-2362.

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