Defending champion and Olympic gold medalist Michael Jung of Germany heads an impressive list of entries for the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.
The starting field features riders from nine countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand and USA. Joining Jung are some of eventing’s most famous names including Sir Mark Todd and Blyth Tait of New Zealand and US Olympic veterans Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, Kim Severson and Will Coleman.
This year’s events offers the winner increased prize money of $350,000, as well as the chance to win 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. As winner of last year’s Burghley Horse Trials, Jung is looking to add the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam to put him in position to becoming only the second rider to win the Grand Slam when he rides at Badminton a week later. Jung is entered for the Rolex Kentucky on Fischerrocana FST, the horse he rode to victory last year.
New Zealand will be represented by a particularly strong line-up of riders, including two of the sport’s all-time legends. Two-time Olympic gold medallist and six-time Olympian Sir Mark Todd will be competing NZB Campino, whilst Blyth Tait, a four-time Olympian who won the individual Gold Medal in 1996, will be riding Xanthus III.
Tim Price has withdrawn his horse Wesko, who was second here last year, following an injury. Price commented: “I was looking forward to Michel bringing his A-game to Kentucky and I really felt this year was going to be our year. I am disappointed and saddened that’s not going to be the case.”
This year’s Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event has added importance as it is also a qualifying competition for riders seeking to be part of the Land Rover US Eventing Team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
Lee Carter, executive director of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), organiser of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event commented: “With the Olympic Games taking place this summer, this year’s Rolex Kentucky is especially important and the equestrian world will be eagerly watching the results. We’re welcoming some of the very best names in the sport of eventing — these are the world Olympians you’ll be hearing about at Rio. It’s going to be a must-see competition this year.”
A full list of entries is available at www.RK3DE.org/accepted-list