Fate Of Famous Kentucky Three-Day Event Uncertain

Like the vast majority of equestrian events last year, the 2020 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE) was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The first five-star event in North America, and one of only seven in the world, the LRK3DE has now had to postpone tickets sales for the 2021 event as the state of world health in April is still uncertain. A second cancellation of the event could lead to the end of the event and of Equestrian Events Inc. (EEI), which puts on the event.

EEI was hopeful that they could make up for some of last year’s financial shortfall by hosting the 2020 American Eventing Championships (AECs) at the Kentucky Horse Park in August, but that show was also cancelled. This leaves the organization in a precarious financial position.

Though ticketholders for the 2020 LRK3DE could roll over their tickets to the 2021 event—to the tune of $900,000—a 2021 cancelation would require EEI to refund their money. EEI has received government payroll protection, an emergency disaster loan and has maxed out its line of credit, says Lee Carter, executive director of EEI. Carter says the organization is prepared to submit an application for the next round of payroll protection as soon as applications can be received.

Though the 2021 Badminton Horse Trials, held in Britain, is slated to run behind closed doors just 10 days after the LRK3DE, running without fans isn’t an option for the Kentucky Three-Day. The vast majority of the event’s income comes from the over 800,000 visitors who attend the event each year. The event also has a major impact on tourism in Lexington, Georgetown and surrounding cities.

EEI has produced a plan for how they intend to keep spectators and competitors safe, including limiting seating for both the dressage and show jumping phases; cross-country by its nature is socially distanced, but plans are in place for areas of the course that are notoriously crowded. The organization is awaiting a decision from both the state of Kentucky and from the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) as to if they can host the 2021 event. USEF currently has rules in place that don’t permit spectators at any USEF-sanctioned competitions.

Read more at Horse Sport.

The post Fate Of Famous Kentucky Three-Day Event Uncertain appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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