For some four decades competing horses and riders from around the world have been coming to the bluegrass in the springtime. This weekend is no exception with the Rolex Three Day Event being held at the Kentucky Horse Park.
30 to 40 thousand people could experience dressage, cross country, and show jumping at the horse park. Rolex Three Day Event Spokesman Marty Bauman says Michael Jung) of Germany is seeking a record third consecutive championship this weekend. “He has developed quite a following here in Kentucky, so he really kind of heads the list. But, on the U.S. side we have all four members of last summer’s Rio Olympic team,” said Bauman
Saturday will once again feature cross country competition. Bauman says the head of the lake on the course is a favorite gathering spot. He says a whistle signals an approaching competitor. “And as it gets closer you can kind of hear it galloping and approaching and, all of a sudden there’s like this tension and everybody’s focused on it and the horse does its jumps and goes through. And as it completes the last jump and starts to gallop away everybody explodes with cheering and applause,” explained Bauman. “It’s so exciting just to be part of it.”
California’s Andrea Baxter is competing with her horse Indy 500. She says productive practice prior to participating in what she calls the “pinnacle of our sport in America” is critical. “You’re gonna get 60% on the day of what you get at home, so you’ve got to be working at home on a 110%,” said Baxter.
In addition to competition in the show ring or on the 4 mile course, there will be demonstrations,, exhibitions, vendors, and food trucks. The equestrian event runs through Sunday afternoon.