Rolex event coming soon to Lexington

Lauryn Haas

“The Best Weekend All Year” for equestrian eventing lovers is right around the corner. 

Land Rover presents the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, one of six Four Star equestrian events and the only one held in the Western Hemisphere, from April 27 to April 30 at the Kentucky Horse Park Rolex Stadium.

Executive Director of Equestrian Events Lee Carter said what truly sets the Rolex Kentucky apart from other events is the loyalty of the fans. 

“We have such a faithful and loyal following. Many of our fans and volunteers have been coming to the event since 1978,” Carter said. “Watching and seeing the commitment they have to our event is amazing. Without their involvement, we would not be the event that we are today.”

Included in the event are three days of competition, a trade fair, concessions, glamping, tailgating and bourbon tasting. The competition includes first horse inspections, dressage, cross-country and jumping.   

The official bourbon for the event is Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Equestrian Events Marketing Intern Grace Cherny worked to incorporate other Kentucky-based attractions into the event. 

“I worked with the director of marketing on campaigns to incorporate local aspects of Lexington to promote the event such as a beer garden. We feature local breweries, and this year we decided to do three: West Sixth, Country Boy and Blue Stallion,” Cherny said. 

Cherny explained that the Lexington population is not well-represented at the event, and the majority of attendance is made up of visitors from foreign countries, including the riders competing in the event.

Locals who do attend are encouraged to bring their dogs, although they must be kept on a leash. The Lexington Humane Society will be providing a “doggy day care” service in exchange for a donation.

Equine science and management freshman Cori Lemieux recognizes the prestige brought to Lexington through the hosting of this event. 

“The Rolex is one of the largest and most prestigious riding competitions in the U.S. For young equine riders, it is an opportunity to watch some of the best riders and industry professionals up close,” Lemieux said.

This highly esteemed event comes with an equally high prize amount: over $370,000 divided among the top 20 finishers. 

General admission tickets range from $20 to $40 per day, but multi-day pricing is also available. These tickets include parking and admission to the grounds, the International Trade Fair and the Kentucky Horse Park, but a reserved seat is required to watch the competition inside of the stadium.