After an surge of public support and fundraising effort following the announcement of the cancellation of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event the decision has been reversed.
Longstanding sponsors Land Rover, Mars Equestrian and Rolex combined with a new partnership between Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation have ensured that the CCI5*L three-day event competition will go ahead. The competition will run behind closed doors.
President of EEI Mike Cooper said “The uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic placed us in the financially impossible position of having to run the Five Star event without spectators, a situation that left us no choice but to cancel the Five Star for 2021 in order to preserve it for many years to come. We are humbled and honoured by the response of the eventing community as they’ve stepped up in a mind-blowing way enabling us to go forward. While that still leaves us short of the amount needed, it is enough to convince us that the balance can be raised. We are now, with the assistance of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, committed to going forward with the Five Star.”
A fundraiser started by athletes and grassroot riders raised $550,000 in donations for the event.
Clay Green, Chairman of the Board of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation stated “The Kentucky Three-Day Event is the foremost event held at the Kentucky Horse Park and the lifeblood of the eventing world. The Horse Park was established for the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships which gave birth to the annual Kentucky Three-Day Event whose success is responsible for the Park’s position of prominence and so much that has happened at the Park, including the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Seeing the number of people pleading for the event to happen this year made it very clear that we must do all we can to ensure that it does.”
Bill Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of US Equestrian has commented stating “Seeing the athletes, community, our sponsors, and these two organizations, the KHP Foundation and EEI, come together in a united way to allow the CCI5*-L and CCI4*-S to go forward despite the challenges presented by the pandemic is nothing short of remarkable. This will allow our athletes and horses aiming for Tokyo this summer the best opportunity to qualify and prepare, while ensuring the safest possible environment for participants seeking to complete a CCI5*-L or CCI4*-S. We extend a huge thank you to all involved, especially to our sponsors, for their flexibility and continued commitment to this event.”
Michael Curmi, Director Brand Experience, Jaguar Land Rover North America. has said “We are thrilled to return as the title sponsor for the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event and support the event broadcasts on NBC, NBC Sports Network, and the USEF Network to bring this historic event into the homes of the fans in the safest way possible. We applaud the efforts of the equestrian community who have gone above and beyond to raise funds to support this event and ensure another great year of world-class eventing can take place at the renowned Kentucky Horse Park.”
Geoffrey Galant, VP of Mars Equestrian stated “We applaud the efforts of so many organizers, fans, competitors, and sponsors, supported by MARS Equestrian, which will allow the CCI5*-L competition to continue forward in 2021. This event is an equestrian treasure we are proud to sponsor as we all look for safe ways to hold top level competition.”