NEWs

Ingham back on top at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™

Reigning world champion Yasmin Ingham sits atop the leaderboard after the first day of dressage at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™ (K3DE).

Organized by Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian (K3DE) features one of only seven annual Five Star three-day events in the world. The event annually attracts nearly 90,000 spectators who also enjoy extensive shopping, a variety of hospitality experiences and a wide array of demonstrations. In addition to the traditional CCI5*-L, the event also features the Cosequin® Lexington 4* and Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

Ingham leads the CCI5*-L with a penalty score of 26, and she is trailed by Kirsty Chabert with Classic VI (31) and Germany’s Malin Hansen-Hotopp on Carlitos Quidditch K (31.1).

“I think his test overall had some brilliant highlights,” she said of The Sue Davis Fund’s 13-year-old chestnut Selle Francais gelding. “We’ve been working really hard to get a bit more expression in the trot. He carries himself so beautifully in the ring now, and holds so much presence when he’s in there, and he definitely showed that today.

“My first center line could have been a little bit straighter, but I think he was really on my aids in all the movements and he really excelled today,” she concluded.

Ingham finished second at K3DE in 2022 and later that year took top honors in the FEI Eventing World Championship. Unfortunately, a stop in Kentucky last year kept her from returning to the podium, an unfortunate event that repeated itself at the European Championships in September.

“I take snippets away from every event, and I’ve had a lot of those in the last year,” she said. “We’ve done lots of training to perfect each phase, and I’m coming into this having learned a lot of things from lots of learning experiences. I always try to make a positive out of a not-ideal situation and channel into the next event. We definitely learned a lot in the last year.”

With the first phase behind them, Ingham is already eyeing the cross-country course. “He’s run well here the past two years,” she said. “I really enjoy riding around here; the ground is obviously just brilliant. The way [course designer Derek di Grazia] produces the cross-country course and designs it is spectacular, and it’s always dressed beautifully. There’s lots of questions throughout from beginning to end, but I’m really excited to get out there on Saturday.”

Chabert and Kate Ward, Carole Somers, and John Johnston’s Classic VI, a 15-year-old bay Anglo-European Studbook mare, put in a strong test that thrilled Chabert.

“It sounds daft, but at 15 she actually is improving, so hopefully she’s like a really nice bottle of red wine and keeps improving with age,” Chabert said with a laugh.

A strong run in a 4* in The Netherlands has Chabert feeling good about her chances in Kentucky.

“We’ve had a great prep, but it’s obviously been very, very wet in England,” she said. “To be honest, I’ve come here — yes, full of confidence — but I’ve got Yaz to my left and I hope she’s still sitting there Sunday. I’ve got my own goals that I would like to achieve, and where we are at the end of the week will look after itself.”

Hansen-Hotopp and Bodil Ipsen’s 12-year-old gray Holsteiner gelding found each other a bit by chance, but they’ve made a strong partnership together. She was asked to ride him as a 5-year-old in some young horse classes, and she was initially resistant given her own string of horses and her children. When she finally agreed, she had an interesting time.

“I did it and he was really grumpy and bucking all the time,” she laughed. “He was a big, loose horse who was not so easy, but he did a great job when he was jumping. [At the time I] had a horse who was jumping very badly in show jumping, so my husband said, ‘You know what? Just buy him if you think that’s a good horse.’

“So, we bought him and then we built it together from when he was a five-year-old. It was just going up and up and up, and now I’m here,” she finished with a smile.

Dressage at K3DE continues Friday morning with the CCI4*-S competition as the rest of the field struts their stuff in the dressage arena, and in the afternoon, the second half of the CCI5*-L competitors take their turn in the ring. Following Saturday’s cross-country test, everything culminates on Sunday with the show jumping phase to determine the winners.

Livestream and TV broadcasts
All competitions held as part of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™ – the CCI5*, Cosequin® Lexington CCI4*-S, and Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute – can be watched live on USEF Network powered by ClipMyHorse.TV. The link is also available through the event website at www.kentuckythreedayevent.com. The livestream is available free of charge worldwide to USEF fans and members. Anyone can become a fan and watch the event free by registering as a “Fan” at www.usef.org/fan. ClipMyHorseTV premium subscribers can also watch the event.

Further information about the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™, the Cosequin® Lexington 4*-S, and the Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is available at https://www.kentuckythreedayevent.com/.

Press release supplied by event. Images courtesy of Michelle Dunn Photo

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