Most of the best equestrian riders in the world are in central Kentucky for the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event. The competition carries extra significance this year.
For the 36th year, the Kentucky Horse Park plays host this weekend to the Three Day Event. Riders will compete in dressage, cross country, and show jumping. Rolex Spokesman Marty Bauman says a record number comprised the starting field, but it's still an elite group of riders. “You know, when you talk of four star, three day event, you have the Olympic Games every four years, the World Equestrian Games every four years. There are only six events in the entire world on an annual basis at this level, so it's not like there's thousands of people who could enter," said Bauman.
Some of the special moments tied to this weekend's Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event in Lexington occured miles away from the Kentucky Horse Park. Bauman says five riders visited the Kentucky Children's Hospital earlier this week. “They went in to see one young boy who is about nine years old. He had a broken back and Buck Davidson, one of our leading riders, one of the leading riders in the world said, 'Oh I had a broken back,' and they started trading stories about the experience. It was like. I mean it was sad and funny and wonderful all at the same time," added Bauman.
This Rolex carries even heightened anticipation because it's also the selection trial to pick the U.S. team to compete in the World Equestrian Games this summer in France. In addition, the Kentucky Reining Cup is running in conjunction with the Three Day Event.