Event Dates: April 23 to April 26, 2015.

Rolex Kentucky History

rolex-ky-historyEQUESTRIAN EVENTS, INC. (EEI) – the organizers of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is a non–profit Kentucky corporation formed initially to stage the 1978 World Three–Day Event Championships at the brand new Kentucky Horse Park.

In October 1976, as preparation for the World Championships, EEI organized the first horse trials ever held at the Horse Park. In 1977, the organization coordinated the staging of the national Pony Club Rally in August and produced the North American Junior Three–Day Event Championships in September.

The 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships, held for the first time in the United States September 14–17, were an unprecedented success. Individual World Champion Bruce Davidson of Pennsylvania retained the world title riding his young and courageous American Thoroughbred, Might Tango. The popular team of riders and horses from Canada were the winners of the Team Gold Medal.

EEI’s mission is to support the development of riders and horses in one or more of the sports recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). Through the staging of an annual event at the highest level, EEI seeks to ensure the competitiveness of the United States in international competition, and to enhance the equine industry worldwide. EEI is governed by a 28–person Board of Directors and with daily management overseen by their professional staff.

TIME LINE 1976-2012

1976

  • First Horse Trials

1978

  • Organized the World Championship of Eventing

1980

  • U.S. Selection Trial for Fontainebleau, France

1981

  • Rolex Watch U.S.A. becomes Title sponsor of Kentucky
    Horse Trials

1982

  • U.S. Selection Trial for Luhmuhlen, Germany

1984

  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California

1986

  • Intermediate Level Three-Day Event added

1987

  • U.S. Selection Trial for Pan American Games in Indiana

1988

  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea

1989

  • Added Young Riders (16-21) Open Intermediate Horse Trials Division

1990

  • U.S. Selection Trial for the World Championships Team

1992

  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain

1993

  • First FEI Americas Cup Final

1996

  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia

1998

  • Rolex Kentucky becomes the only CCI**** held outside of Europe
  • Kentucky holds both CCI**** and CCI*** Events

1999

  • Last year for Kentucky to host CCI*** event

1999

  • Grand Slam of Eventing introduced offering $250,000 in prize money to any rider winning Kentucky, Badminton, and Burghley in succession

2000

  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia

2002

  • U.S. Selection Trial for World Equestrian Games

2004

  • Bayer Modified Four Star Three-Day Event offered (short format) along with Rolex Kentucky
  • Rolex Kentucky broadcast on NBC for the first Time

2005

  • 25th anniversary of Rolex Watch U.S.A. title sponsorship

2006

  • Rolex Kentucky permanently shifts to short format

2007

  • 10th year for Rolex Kentucky as a CCI****

2010

  • U.S. Selection Trial for World Equestrian Games, to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park
  • Mike Etherington-Smith retires as Cross-Country Course designer after 18 years

2011

  • Derek di Grazia becomes Rolex Kentucky Cross-Country Course Designer

2012

  • U.S. Selection Trial for Summer Olympic Games in London, England