Oliver Townend will defend his title at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (25-28 April), riding the horse on whom he won last year, Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class.
One other British rider will join the world number one in crossing the Atlantic for the US five-star (previously four-star) — Piggy French, with her World Equestrian Games team gold medallist Quarrycrest Echo, owned by Jayne McGivern.
While Oliver is a frequent visitor to Kentucky, this will be Piggy’s first trip to the horse park since she rode as an individual at the 2010 WEG on Jakata, finishing 16th. She has never competed in the regular event here.
The third British entry comes from US-based rider Leslie Law. The 2004 Olympic champion has not competed at the top level since 2010. Last year, he rode on the Nations Cup at The Plains, Virginia — his first British team appearance since the 2005 European Championships — and he will pilot the same horse at Kentucky, Tre’ Book’s Voltaire De Tre’.
The 10-year-old horse makes his debut at five-star after strong results at four-star (previously three-star), including a recent 10th at Red Hills CCI4*-S (previously CIC3*).
The European entry is rounded out by US-based Swiss rider Felix Vogg, with Colero.
New Zealand’s Tim Price will make the trip to Kentucky, an event where he has been successful in the past with second place in 2015 on Wesko. His ride this time will be Xavier Faer, who was third at Badminton 2017 and belongs to Trisha Rickards, Nigella Hall and Tim.
Tim is the live contender in the Rolex Grand Slam, the big-money bonus on offer to any rider who can win the five-stars at Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky consecutively. Tim won Burghley last autumn on Ringwood Sky Boy.
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The bulk of the entry list for Kentucky is made up of US riders. Buck Davidson has four horses in the mix, while Lauren Kieffer, Boyd Martin and Caroline Martin each have three. Riders can start on up to three horses at Kentucky.
Former Kentucky winner Phillip Dutton just has one horse entered, Z, having slimmed his string down since his stepdaughter Lee Lee suffered a serious brain injury in a fall at home in December 2016.
The other past victor entered is Australia’s Clayton Fredericks, who is based in Florida. He won Kentucky in 2007 on Ben Along Time and this time will line up on FE Ophelia, in his first ride at five-star since 2012.
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