The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event kicked off today at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington for the first of two days of dressage, followed by the cross-country on Saturday, April 30, and show jumping on Sunday, May 1. Taking the early lead are last year’s winners Michael Jung aboard Fischerrocana FST.
The German rider took an uncontested lead of 34.4 to put him in a good position so far. His closest competitor is Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp riding Fernhill By Night to a score of 43, followed by Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive on 43.1. The first day a field of 35 riders competed and on Friday, the second half will consist of 37 riders.
Over 7000 people came to watch the first day of dressage while enjoying a wide variety of fast foods and heading home with arms filled with purchases made from the endless booths showcasing everything from horse related products to jewelry, wine and much more.
With a very good dressage score, Jung is in a good positiion to maintain his lead even after the next group of riders competes on Friday. However, no matter the outcome, the riders and horses face the toughest test on Saturday over the cross-country course. Sunday’s show jumping will be more focused on accuracy over delicate fences, while Saturday these same horses face bold obstacles.
The first day of the three-day concluded with a tribute to a special man who helped the growth of eventing not only in the United States but also in the world. Roger Haller recently passed away after losing his battle with cancer. Haller was much loved by the eventing community and he will be missed.
For more about the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit their website.