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Starting Field of 63 Horses Marks Record Number for 2002 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented By Bayer, April 25 - 28

Lexington, KY-April 24, 2002-With a record starting field of 63 horses, the stage is set for another exciting edition of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bayer, held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, April 25-28, 2002.

With the completion of Wednesday's horse inspection, where all 63 entries presented to the ground jury were accepted, the Olympic-caliber event is officially under way. The first phase, dressage, will be held over two days, Thursday and Friday, with the challenging cross-country phase taking place Saturday before concluding with Sunday's final phase of stadium jumping. The Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event serves as the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Four-Star Championship and is a selection trial for this year's Eventing World Championships to be held at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain in September.

With entries from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States, there is no shortage of star power as the world's best compete for $190,000 in prize money with the winner taking home $60,000 and a Rolex timepiece. In addition, the winner also has a chance at the $250,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, awarded to any rider who wins the Rolex Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley Four Star events in succession. Defending Rolex champion David O'Connor will be looking to make it two in a row, an attainable feat for the reigning Olympic champion who last year won the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in dramatic fashion on Giltedge, owned by Jacqueline Mars. His wife and 1999 victor, Karen O'Connor, may pose the biggest threat, as she has received special permission to start four horses in the competition that usually limits riders to three horses each.

Another family connection to watch is the father and son team of Bruce and Buck Davidson, who will each be riding three horses. Two-time World Champion and five-time Olympian Bruce Davidson will be looking for his first win in the four-star division at Rolex Kentucky while his son, Buck Davidson, 26, will be hoping to improve on his sixth place finish of 1998. Two-time Olympic team gold medalist Phillip Dutton of Australia will lead the international charge, eager to turn his second-place finish in 1998 into a win this time around. Fellow Olympic veterans Leslie Law and Ian Stark, both of Great Britain, and Stuart Black of Canada will also vie for victory.

America's only Four Star Event, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is the premier competition for the sport's top horses and riders. In addition to
the Olympics and World Championships, held every four years, the only annual Four Star Events in the world are Badminton and Burghley in Great Britain, Adelaide in Australia, and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. The Three-Day Event is a complete test of horse and rider, evolving from the training and use of the military horse. The consecutive days of tests consist of three distinct elements: dressage, cross-country and show jumping. The horse-and-rider combination with the lowest overall penalty score from the three tests is the winner.

In addition to being an international equestrian event, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event has something for everyone - an International Trade Fair with more than 150 merchant and food vendors, Dog Agility competition and a variety of other entertaining attractions.

For more information on the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, please call Equestrian Events, Inc. at (859) 233-2362, or fax at (859) 254-5116. General event and ticket information can be obtained at the Event's web site: or by calling (859) 254-8123.


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