Hours before the first horse inspection of the first CCI5* of the year, snow fell on Lexington to a depth of about two inches.
Commentator John Kyle, who is in Kentucky to cover the event, told H&H he had seen pictures of the venue’s “iconic” bronze of eventer Bruce Davidson “absolutely covered in snow”.
“They’ve frequently had snow the week before the event but I don’t think they’ve ever had it on what’s considered a competition day,” he said.
Speaking at about 9am local time, 2pm British time, John said the temperature was about freezing, with a “feels like” of -8C. By the scheduled start time of the trot-up, at 8pm British time, the forecast was for 7C, although more rain or possibly snow is expected.
“I don’t think we’ll be too badly off for the rest of the week; Friday should be 16 or 17C,” John said. “I joked to someone the other day that when you pack for Kentucky, you have to take everything from a bikini to a sou’wester. Firstly because it’s eventing and secondly, it’s in Kentucky, which is all about southern charm and southern hospitality but definitely has a northern latitude.
“It’s not uncommon to have snow in April but they usually get away with it; fingers crossed, everything will be fine.”
A spokesman for the event told H&H the snow fell in the early hours of this morning.
“I checked and it has never before snowed during the week of the event. A year for firsts in so many ways!” he said. “We expect it to be gone by this afternoon’s 3pm jog.”
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The US National Weather Service for the area said there will be colder air in the wake of the snow, and that temperatures are likely to drop to around freezing tonight. The last time Louisville, Kentucky, had snowfall on 20 April was in 2003, the last record for a fall on 21 April was a trace in 1901.
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