The first horse inspection can always be a nerve-wracking experience, but on Wednesday, April 24, it proved especially anxiety-ridden for three riders at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

The first horse inspection is a chance for the ground jury of Christina Klingspor (SWE), Martin Plewa (GER), Mark Weissbecker (USA) and veterinary delegate Karen Nyrop (USA) to see the horses and determine if they appear fit and sound to start in the competition.

Ashley Johnson’s Tactical Maneuver, Hallie Coon’s Celien, and Erin Sylvester’s Paddy The Caddy were all held at the first inspection, with Tactical Maneuver sadly not being accepted upon re-inspection. Celien and Paddy the Caddy were both accepted upon re-inspection.

Jessica Phoenix’s Bogue Sound was asked to re-jog immediately, but was passed.

The remaining 41 horses start the dressage this morning, the first of three phases for these brave horse-and-rider pairs. Dressage runs Thursday and Friday, with the exciting cross-country on Saturday, and the event culminating in a nail biting finish in the show jumping on Sunday.

The first horse inspection is a chance for the riders to “strut their stuff” along with their horses, and the best dressed man and woman from Wednesday’s inspection were awarded a pair of Dubarry boots at the evening’s welcome party held at the famed Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion.

This year’s best dressed man was Felix Vogg of Switzerland and the best dressed woman was Lillian Heard of the United States.

The prowess of the grooms was also rewarded, with Leslie Law’s mount Voltaire De Tre’ receiving the title of best turned out horse, with a prize package awarded to his dedicated groom, Isabel Holden.

Joe Meyer of New Zealand won the drawing for $1,000 from Equestrian Events, Inc (EEI). He will be competing this weekend on Johnny Royale.

An event like this does not run without the dedication of hundreds of volunteers and staff, and this year several special awards were given to recognize those contributions.

The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Debbie Hinkle, who has years of dedicated service to the competition.
The Christopher J. Mobley Contributor of the Year award was given for the first time this year, and it recognized the contributions of a vendor or staff member. This year that person was long-time course builder Mick Costello.

Finally, the William Howard “Buddy” Wade Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Katie Lindsay. Lindsay was unable to be here in person to accept her award, and her prize was picked up by Cyndi Kurth, Sheila Strickler and Becky Bowen.

Further information on the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN is available at