For the first time since 1979, cars won’t line up to turn in off Iron Works Pike, and spectators won’t spread far and wide across the bluegrass at the Kentucky Horse Park during the last week in April for the Kentucky Three-Day Event.
The horses are the main attraction, but the trade fair at Kentucky is legendary. Whether you’re a Pony Clubber, a professional or a casual horse fan, if you were planning to attend the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event this year, you’d probably already started a list of equine-related items you “need” and perhaps even begun working on your strategy to hit up all your favorite stores without missing any crucial equine action.
While you can’t shop in person this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a virtual trade fair experience, and more than ever, these small businesses could use our support. The Chronicle staff has put together a list of some of our must-visit shops, and we invite readers to post their favorites as well.
Clever With Leather: Managing Editor Sara Lieser
I’ve been attending the Kentucky Three-Day Event on and off since high school, and while I don’t have as much time now to explore the trade fair, I always find a moment to run down from the media office to visit master saddler Claire Painter’s Clever with Leather. Based in Versailles, Kentucky, this shop offers beautiful leather accessories for rider, horse and dog, complete with custom tags, which can be ordered and completed at the show. Is my dog sporting a sturdy leather collar with a leopard print lining and a brass metal tag featuring her name and my phone number for when she inevitably goes walkabout? Why yes, yes she is, and it came from Clever with Leather. Every year I show up with a list of dog names and neck measurements to be completed. They also make gorgeous halters, belts, handbags and bracelets, if dog collars aren’t your speed!
The Kenyan Collection
“We have seen clearly where hope and opportunity exist in one part of the world, it can impact peace and stability across the globe.”
Our goal is to demonstrate that products made in Africa can compete in the global marketplace, while at the same time creating employment for the artisans, in the hope that they will have an investment in, and an opportunity to change, their own future and the future of their children.
While there are many who have tried to duplicate some of the work and designs of our artisans, in terms of creativity, consistency, and quality we are sure you will agree there is no comparison. From dog collars/leads to belts and browbands, these items are meant to last. Every mama has a story and it gets better with each product sold.
Back On Track: Executive Editor Beth Rasin
Every year, as soon as I get a free moment, I head to the Back On Track booth to stock up on products. I’m not usually a big spender, but the relief these products have brought to my knees is priceless! For several years I slept with the brace, especially after I’d ridden in shorter stirrups to jump or gallop, which particularly aggravated the joint. I love the way they bring a pleasant warmth to an achy area, so I’ve since gifted various products to my husband and mother. I find that they tend to work best when they’re new, so I’m always going back for more. Sure, I can order online, but it’s not quite the same, and my aging dogs are ready for their turn when Kentucky opens back up next year!
Missed your annual road trip to Kentucky? The team at RevitaVet certainly miss the gathering of spectators coming to watch the world’s top human and equine athletes tackle the toughest 5* competition in the USA!
We are thankful to the Chronicle for helping connect our small business to fans of the LRK3DE through this Virtual Trade Fair. RevitaVet, the industry’s leader in light therapy, has supported many LRK3DE riders and their horses over the past decade. We are offering customers free shipping when purchasing any of the RevitaVet products. Click through to order at https://www.revitavet.com/ and we look forward to seeing you next year at “The Best Weekend All Year!”
Lexington Humane Society: Executive Editor Beth Rasin
One booth I can’t walk by without stopping, although I’ve never yet made a “purchase,” is the Lexington Humane Society. Their volunteers walk through the trade fair leading irresistible dogs of all varieties with bandanas indicating they’re available for adoption and pleading eyes. Something about being away from my own dogs seems to make me more susceptible to acquiring more. So far the logistics of getting them home—and the threat of divorce—has squashed any new additions to the family, but hope springs eternal.
Amberway Equine supplies top quality equine products and offers complete construction management, owners representation, and/or product installation. We carry a wide selection of barn and arena products all made in North America and Europe including Cool Barns Fans, StableComfort Stall Mattress, Pavesafe Rubber Pavers, Stall Grid, HDPE Fencing, EquiLumination Equine Lighting, Arena Footing, Horse Walkers, Treadmills, Therapeutic Solutions, as well as other quality equine equipment. Contact us today so we can help you with all of your barn needs!
Charles Owen: Senior Editor Lisa Slade
Helmets are necessities. Fall off and bonk your head? You need a new one! Keep the same one for more than five years? You need a new one! They’re not optional, which is why, when I get to stop by the Charles Owen booth at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event to drop a few Benjamins on a shiny, fresh skull cap that I need, I feel no spending guilt whatsoever. It’s nearly the equivalent of eating a salad; you’re doing something good for yourself, and you can feel a swell of smug pride strutting away from Vendor’s Row with shopping bag in hand (on your way to eat something fried).
Plus shopping the options at the Charles Owen booth is way more fun than eating a salad. There are helmets with sparkles! Pink helmets! Pink sparkly helmets! Enough options to make your soon-to-be-protected head spin. You can try them on with the help of a qualified fitter, making sure you’re safe to the max, and they have great deals. What could be better?
LandSafe: Advertising Account Manager Jess Halliday
LandSafe is my favorite booth to visit at Kentucky. Not only are Danny and Keli Warrington passionate and great at explaining their vision, but who doesn’t love getting to sit on a mechanical horse? I loved the fun of the photo booth cutout too. As a barn owner, I’ve hosted three LandSafe clinics, and I think the premise is so important. This is a must-visit booth to see what it’s all about!
BioZyme Equine Health specializes in providing gut and joint health solutions for your horses, backed by continuous research and development for maximum results. Our equine brands include Vitalize® Equine and Hyaluronex® Joint, accompanied by our canine brands, Vitalize® Canine and Trixsyn® Joint!
Vitalize products focus on giving your horses a good gut feeling, from the stomach to the hindgut, to help them overcome common problems such as colic, gastric issues, or weight loss. Check it out here and get 10% OFF at checkout with code LRK3DE: https://bit.ly/2ViyEJa
Hyaluronex Joint is a natural, proactive approach to sustainable soundness. Hyaluronex is a completely hydrated, oral, liquid formulation that allows for quick absorption and maximum efficacy. Check it out here and get 10% OFF at checkout with code LRK3DE: https://bit.ly/2ViyEJa
Best wishes from our BioZyme family! Stay well.
Dubarry: Senior Reporter Mollie Bailey
It’s hard to miss the Dubarry booth—just keep your eyes peeled for the smiling tweed-coated young person standing in a tub of water in their signature boots. I love to stop by and poke around their gorgeous chic outdoorsy apparel, even though I’m usually window shopping rather than pulling out my wallet. Show up at the right time, and you may be handed some Champagne to enjoy! Once I even arrived when there was a lull in the action, and the staff graciously spruced up my own Dubarry boots with their products for me.
Looking for great deals? Shop Stanbridge’s Virtual Trade Fair for special offers on some of our favorite products. Competitive equestrians love the technical details in apparel from Horse Pilot; we especially love the Storm jacket and X-Balance breeches. Riders and non-riders alike appreciate Vestrum’s exquisite Italian style. You’ll also want to shop Stanbridge’s unique equestrian-inspired jewelry and home items.
Sarah Lynn Richards: Editorial Staffer Kimberly Loushin
I grew up a horse-crazed kid in a decidedly unhorsey family. My relatives believed that if the gift had a horse on it, I needed it. While I’ve outgrown a lot of those items—or I’ve passed them along because they’re just not me—I’ve kept a reproduction of one of Sarah Lynn Richards’ paintings. Her fantastical watercolors stand out amongst the standard fare. Even if it’s just a quick glance at her booth as I’m racing between the Rolex Stadium and the media center during Kentucky, I always take a moment to appreciate her work. If wall art isn’t your style, she has clothing, coffee mugs, pint glasses and wine glasses to choose from, which make perfect gifts for your barn buddies. She also has a few non-equine options in case you know someone who prefers flowers to horses. (I know, crazy right?)
Perri’s Leather: Advertising Director Linda Andersen
Have you ever tried to find a quality leather halter for a mini donkey? Let me tell you, there aren’t many options for the pint-sized set. I love the Kentucky Three-Day for the halter deals at Perri’s Leather. They have the smallest of sizes at super reasonable prices. It’s one of the few places I can find good quality leather products for all in my menagerie—including my mini donkey.
At Impeccable Equerry, we recognize every equestrian is unique. We take time to listen to your personal needs, then custom craft the perfect boots and chaps, exclusively for you, using the finest quality leathers. Keep it classic or take it over the top! If you can dream it up, we can make it!
All our products incorporate the revolutionary D.A.S.H.* system; Direct Adjust Spur Holder. D.A.S.H.* locks spurs in place, is adjustable, allows rapid removal/exchange of spurs, and eliminates spur straps, giving you lasting comfort and consistent communication with your horse, taking your ride to the next level!
Our clients trust us with a multitude of issues: uneven calves, muscle and bone traumas, bunions, plus and petite sizes and more.
Let us know how we can help you take your ride to the next level: www.ImpeccableEquerry.com
Ouisha Designs: Advertising Director Linda Andersen
Another annual gift shopping favorite is Ouisha Designs. Her beautiful headbands are always a welcome gift to my New England friends!
Caracol (kar-uh-kol): a spiral representing our journey from the center; a dressage movement featuring a half turn to the left or the right.
Caracol By Elizabeth Paul, established in 1997, brings you the most elegant and stylish collection of jewelry, handbags, hats and apparel – with an equestrian flair! We collaborate with companies and artisans for their creations based on their quality, their style and their inspiration. We miss our horseshow family and want to extend a 15% discount plus free shipping on all orders at www.CaracolSilver.com. Use coupon code: LR3DE. Jump now, coupon expires April 30.
Sea Island Forge
Forge new traditions around the fire. Sea Island Forge creates heirloom quality pieces designed to make your outdoor gatherings memorable whether cooking, story-telling, or just relaxing. Our Fire Kettles are available in two sizes, perfect for backyards, farms, or wherever you gather with family and friends. Visit seaislandforge.com
SmartPak: Editorial Staffer Lindsay Berreth
It’s a hike from the main trade fair inside the covered arena to the Rolex Stadium, and the clever folks at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event make sure the main walkway goes right past the SmartPak tent. I probably pass the tent half a dozen times a day as I shuffle back and forth with my camera. Lugging pounds of gear doesn’t lend itself to shopping, so I tend to gingerly pick my way through the aisles, trying not to hit people with my giant lens and monopod as I eye what I might want to purchase.
When Sunday morning comes around, and I have a couple of hours of downtime after the final horse inspection before show jumping begins, I hit the trade fair and make a beeline to SmartPak. I’m one of the rare people who still likes shopping in stores, and since they only have one retail store in Massachusetts, my only chance to browse and try on items that might catch my eye in person is at Kentucky.
From stylish Piper breeches to sun shirts in every color of the rainbow and a great sale rack, I tend to spend most of my rare downtime and money at SmartPak.
Designed by women for women, and proudly made in the USA, Anique has a passion for fashion-forward designs that look great on you and hold up to your equestrian lifestyle ride after ride. We combined a luxuriously soft seamless stretch knit, Anique Cooling Smart Yarn technology, and UV protection for the highest quality sunshirt on the market. Refer a friend and give them $20, and you’ll get $20 off your next purchase!
Snugpups: Senior Account Executive Caitlin Calder
While the Bloody Mary tent might be my first stop in the Kentucky trade fair, a close second would be the Snug Pups booth! Snug Pups make wonderful and exceptionally creative pet apparel in all sizes. From firefighter dog coats to puppy couture, Snug Pups has everything you could possibly imagine to ensure that your fur babies stay warm, dry and, most importantly, fashion forward. During this crazy time, Snug Pups are also making face masks using their super cute and fun prints – so now, you and your pup can match!
Equine Therapy Int.
PREPARE + PERFORM + RECOVER
Equine Therapy Int. supplies state-of-the-art therapy equipment to enhance performance, fitness, strength and rehabilitation with a large range of products including PEMF+massage therapy rugs, leg wraps and boots; PEMF+light therapy clusters and pens; water treadmills; cold saltwater spas and PEMF+vibration+weigh scale therapy floors.
New and reconditioned systems are available along with “Try before you buy” or hire options on some products.
Horze Equestrian: Advertising Production Manager Abby Foltz
I swear by this brand of breeches! They’re sporty, flattering, affordable and so comfortable. They always run fantastic sales at the Kentucky Three-Day, so I stock up there every year. Last year, the sales representative convinced me to try on a pair that looked a bit more unconventional than what I usually wear (of course I bought them), and they’re still my favorite pair. I never skip this booth!