Lexington, Ky., April 23, 2014- Four riders who'll be competing in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover, and one rider who'll be competing in the Kentucky Reining Cup, spent Tuesday afternoon visiting with children undergoing treatment at the Kentucky Children's Hospital in Lexington.
"Rolex Kentucky" returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington on April 24-27. Prior to the start of competition, eventers Buck Davidson, Jonathan Holling, Jennie Brannigan and Lynn Symansky, along with reiner Lyndsey Jordan, stopped by the hospital to visit with the young patients and to bring them souvenirs from the event.
Jordan, who lives in nearby Georgetown, Ky., and will be competing in the Kentucky Reining Cup on Friday and Saturday evening, had visited the Kentucky Children's Hospital last year.
"So I had to come back to visit them again this year," said Jordan. "Their stories really inspire all of us-they're really, really tough little kids, so it was a blessing to be here today."
Said Brannigan, "For me the neatest thing about it was the first little boy we visited. When we first walked in, he was overwhelmed by all of us being there, but then Buck and I got him to open up, and that was really rewarding. It was fun to spend the time with them today."
Kristi Lopez, the hospital's director of public relations, believes that the riders' visit meant even more to the children than it did to the riders. "We appreciate the riders taking time while they're in Lexington for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and Kentucky Reining Cup to come lift their spirits and spend time visiting with our young patients and their families at Kentucky Children's Hospital," she said.
The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover, April 24-27 at the Kentucky Horse Park, is one of the world's most prestigious equestrian competitions and features the world's best horses and riders vying for their share of $250,000 in prize money, as well as a shot at 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.
The 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is a selection trial for the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games and will crown the 17th Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Champion. The only four-star event in the Western Hemisphere, Rolex Kentucky draws an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 spectators and is seen by millions more on worldwide telecasts.
This year, for the first time ever, Rolex Kentucky includes a team challenge. The Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge will award $20,000 in prize money, while helping national teams prepare for the team competition at the World Equestrian Games this summer. The winning nation will be the nation with the fewest penalties after adding together the final scores of the three highest-placed individuals from that nation.
Rolex Kentucky is a fun time for all in attendance. Aside from the competition, the event features exquisite shopping in the Sponsor Village; an International Trade Fair with almost 200 booths and tents displaying designer clothing, artwork, gifts, sport clothing, horse-related items, and Event souvenir items; and the brand-new "Kentucky Uncovered," which highlights products unique to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Rolex Kentucky also features a variety of other entertaining attractions. General admission to the Kentucky Horse Park, America's only theme park dedicated to horses, is included with each Rolex Kentucky ticket.
Coverage of America's only Four Star Event includes an NBC broadcast - the Rolex Equestrian Championships presented by Land Rover - which will air on Sunday, May 4. All four days of the competition is being streamed online LIVE on USEFNetwork.com, presented by SmartPak, beginning on Thursday, April 24.
For equestrian fans throughout the rest of the world, FEI TV is airing LIVE coverage of Saturday's cross-country and Sunday's show jumping competitions. To sign up for FEI TV, visit www.feitv.org.
The broadcast schedule is listed below, and is also available on the USEF Network coverage page, www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2014Rolex/. All broadcast times are subject to change.
* April 24: LIVE Dressage on USEFNetwork.com, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT
* April 25: LIVE Dressage on USEFNetwork.com, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT
* April 26: LIVE Cross-Country on USEFNetwork.com, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT
* April 27: LIVE Show Jumping on USEFNetwork.com, 1:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT
* Awards Ceremony on USEFNetwork.com, 3:00 p.m. EDT
* May 4: Rolex Equestrian Championships on NBC, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT
Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) is a non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation that was established initially to produce the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the success of those championships, EEI established an annual event which quickly evolved into what is today the only Four Star three-day event in the Western Hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. The Kentucky Reining cup was incorporated as part of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event schedule in 2011.
For complete information, please visit www.RK3DE.org.