New name for Kentucky Three-Day, Aston Martin expands support, plus more partnership news

  • New name for Kentucky

    Kentucky Three-Day Event has a new name for 2024, with sponsors expanding their support.

    The US fixture (25 to 28 April) will now be known as the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Mars Equestrian. It previously carried the Land Rover name in its title, making this rebrand similar to that of Burghley, which went from being Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials to Defender Burghley Horse Trials in 2023.

    “We are delighted to announce a new name for our world-class event – the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event,” said Erin Woodall, executive director of Equestrian Events, Inc, which produces Kentucky Three-Day Event.

    “The Kentucky Three-Day Event has a rich history of inspiring people to overcome obstacles on any terrain, a quality that applies equally well to Defender. This year promises to be a great year for our event with many exciting changes in the works, none of which would be possible without the support of Defender and our other generous sponsors.”

    Defender returns as the official luxury automotive vehicle of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event and as title sponsor of the Defender/US Equestrian CCI5*-L Eventing National Championship, presented by Mars Equestrian, for the event’s US athletes.

    Charlotte Blank, US chief marketing officer at Jaguar Land Rover North America, said: “We are pleased to continue the title sponsorship of one of the premier equestrian events in the world, the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Mars Equestrian.

    “The Defender is an ideal partner for the equestrian lifestyle, thanks to its purposeful design and exceptional capability. We look forward to continued relationships with the community and showcasing the Defender lifestyle at future events. Lastly, we wish all the competitors the best of luck during this legendary competition.”

    Oliver Townend becomes charity ambassador

    Air Ambulances UK (AAUK), the national charity that supports the UK’s air ambulance charities, has appointed multiple five-star winner Oliver Townend as an ambassador.

    His role will involve actively engaging in campaigns and initiatives to highlight the role of air ambulance charities. He will also be involved in raising public awareness of the work carried out by members of the air ambulance community, with a focus on their crucial role in providing pre-hospital care, and emergency trauma and medical services.

    Oliver said he is “truly honoured” by the appointment.

    “The swift and life-saving interventions, often responding to unfortunate riding incidents, conducted by air ambulance charities play a vital role in critical situations,” said the Olympic team gold medallist.

    “I am committed to utilising my platform to raise awareness and support for these essential charities that significantly contribute to saving lives.”

    Air Ambulances UK chief executive Simmy Akhtar said the charity is thrilled to welcome Oliver.

    “His dedication to excellence and his influential presence within the equestrian world will significantly bolster our mission to support air ambulance charities. Oliver’s involvement will amplify our efforts to save lives and improve patient outcomes across the UK,” she said.

    Aston Martin extends support

    Luxury car brand Aston Martin is extending its support of British horse racing to include all The Jockey Club’s major events.

    Aston Martin first partnered with The Jockey Club as high-performance partner of The Derby Festival at Epsom in 2023. This has now been extended to include the Cheltenham Festival, the Randox Grand National Festival and the QIPCO Guineas Festival. It will also continue to sponsor the Aston Martin Dash at Epsom on Derby day – believed to be the fastest five furlongs in the world.

    It will showcase cars at the Cheltenham Festival, and provide vehicles to transport racegoers from helipad terminals to racecourses at the major festivals.

    Oliver Turner, regional president of Aston Martin in the UK and South Africa, said: “The sport of horseracing provides Aston Martin with exceptional opportunities to showcase our products to a discerning luxury audience and engage our loyal customer community at some of the UK’s most prestigious events.

    “As a brand with a century-long bloodline of iconic models and thrilling horsepower at the heart of our products, we see great synergies with this incredible sport. We look forward to working with The Jockey Club to tell our story.”

    Project Pony to support British Eventing pony observation trials

    Project Pony, the scheme that matches quality ponies with talented riders who might otherwise not have had access to such rides, will sponsor British Eventing’s (BE) new pony observation trials in 2024.

    Pony observation trials are designed to help riders and ponies confidently develop their skills. They are an enhanced version of the previous pony trials, which had run for many years.

    Darrell Scaife, BE’s head of youth, said: “One challenge we have in producing ponies for the Pony European Eventing Championships each year is that our current observation trials do not match the experience on the field of play in Europe.

    “We very much wanted to find a solution to this, which saw us approach Project Pony to ask if they would support the concept of creating a series of pony observation trials that would allow for a hybrid cross-country course.

    “The hybrid novice class observation trials will run the cross-country phase with reduced top spread on fences, and additional jumping elements at combination fences to ensure the technicality reflects the questions posed at a ony championship. The concept has, I am pleased to say, equally been endorsed by Project Pony, which has resulted in them generously offering to support the trials at the venues suggested.”

    Harry Hall names charity of the year

    Equestrian product and insurance provider Harry Hall has named Saving Abandoned Fly-Grazing Equines (SAFE) as its chosen charity of the year for 2024.

    The company has raised more than £30,000 for equine charities and good causes over the past five years.

    A donation will be made to the charity whenever someone shops online at Harry Hall, takes out an insurance policy, or joins its One Club membership. Harry Hall will double one month’s total donation value on two occasions during the year, and it will also donate unsold clothing, equipment and supplements to the charity.

    “We are committed to supporting causes that are important to our One Club members, customers, and employees. Of the 10 worthy charities shortlisted, SAFE won with the most votes from our equestrian community,” said Liz Hopper, managing director at Harry Hall.

    ‘’We are excited to continue fundraising in 2024 for such a deserving charity that helps so many equines in need. Our love for horses extends far beyond our business, and we’re proud to be supporting another great cause this year – we can’t wait to get started with our fundraising efforts for SAFE.”

    Agria signs multiple deals

    Insurance provider Agria has extended its support of equestrian sport with a raft of new sponsorship deals.

    The Swedish-owned firm has become the official FEI insurance partner in a deal that will run to 2028.

    “We’re pleased to be partnering with Agria, whose commitment to providing top-notch insurance services, is a part of their overall mission to ensure equine welfare and preventative healthcare for animals,” said FEI commercial director Ralph Straus.

    “The FEI’s partnership with Agria is not just about connecting the FEI’s stakeholders with people who have years of expertise in insurance. This venture is also about communicating on the opportunities for prevention, as preventing injuries is an important aspect in sustaining horse welfare around the world.”

    The partnership follows a successful digital collaboration between the two organisations on the ‘What makes a champion?’ series, which aired in 2022.

    “Through our collaboration with the FEI, Agria has the possibility to connect with more equestrian stakeholders than ever before and we’re excited about the opportunity to explore new markets and work for equine wellbeing and improved equine health on a pan-European level,” said Agria chief executive Agnes Fabricius.

    In the UK, Agria has also signed a deal with the Wesko Equestrian Foundation, which supports up-and-coming event riders.

    The foundation has recently welcomed a new class of 16 event riders on to the 2024 young eventers’ pathway, with the support of Agria Equine Insurance.

    “The team at Agria are so proud to be supporting these aspiring young riders, who have shown such incredible promise to join the Wesko Young Eventers’ Pathway,” said Agria UK chief executive, Vicky Wentworth.

    “The opportunities provided by Wesko are truly life-changing, and so well deserved by the latest cohort of talented equestrians we see out there today.”

    These latest deals are in addition to the recent news that Agria is the new title sponsor of the Royal International Horse Show, and that it is sponsoring the Nations Cup at Falsterbo Horse Show in Sweden.

    LeMieux sponsors Kitty King

    The equestrian clothing and equipment brand has signed a new sponsorship deal with medal-winning event rider Kitty King.

    “We are thrilled to welcome the immensely talented Kitty King to the LeMieux family,” said LeMieux managing director, Dan Mahoney.

    “Being the first British rider to have ever represented her country at all levels, we are beyond proud and excited to support her with the finest quality equestrian products.

    “LeMieux is a brand defined by unparalleled technical expertise and style, and together we will support her to continue to excel on the global stage.”

    Supreme Products continues support

    Equine show preparation products and garments firm Supreme Products is continuing its long-standing support of three major showing championships in 2024.

    It will once again sponsor the Supreme ridden pony and horse title at Horse of the Year Show, the Supreme ridden pony at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS), and the National Pony Society mountain and moorland RIHS working hunter series.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...