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First five-star of 2021 falls victim to Covid: ‘We feel the only option is to cancel’

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (22-25 April) five-star has been cancelled for 2021. The event was scheduled to run 22-25 April.

However, organisers are exploring still running the invitational CSI3* showjumping grand prix which usually accompanies the event and other competitions including a CCI4*-S over the same weekend. These would be held behind closed doors without spectators.

Organisers had previously made clear that running the five-star behind closed doors was not an option financially.

“We have been working with US Equestrian, the Kentucky Horse Park, and state and local Government on several different scenarios for April,” said Mike Cooper, president of organisers Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI).

“With so many uncertainties still remaining regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, it is premature for US Equestrian to remove its restrictions on spectators. Given the importance of the health and well-being of our spectators and competitors, we feel the only option at this time is to cancel the five-star event and hopefully proceed with other events that our fans can enjoy via livestream and other outlets.”

A CCI4*-S over the same weekend would probably attract many of the same combinations who would have started at the five-star, particularly if the US eventing team selectors decide to use this as a selection trial for the Tokyo Olympics.

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The organisers said that spectators, patrons, vendors and sponsors who paid for the 2020 event and chose to roll their money over for 2021 will have the option of full refunds or rolling their money over again for 2022. Ticket holders will be sent an email about their options and sponsors may choose to be part of whatever events are held in 2021, with new agreements that fit this year’s situation.

“We want to thank everyone who has been so patient throughout this difficult process,” said Lee Carter, EEI executive director. “We remain committed to all our supporters across the country and around the world and we look forward to putting on a great event this spring and welcoming everyone back for our full-scale Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event five-star, with the Kentucky CSI3* invitational grand prix, in 2022.”

Kentucky was also cancelled in 2020, becoming the first five-star of 2020 to fall in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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