Equestrian Events, Inc. (1975-1985)
The Early Years (1975-1985)
In October, 1976,
as preparation for the World Championships, EEI organized the first
horse trials ever held at the Horse Park. In 1977, the organization
coordinated the staging of the National Pony Club Rally in August and
produced the North American Junior Three-Day Event Championships in
The 1978 World Three-Day Event
Championships, held for the first time in the United States September
14 - 17, were an unprecedented success. Individual World Champion Bruce
Davidson of Pennsylvania retained the world title, riding his young and
courageous American Thoroughbred, Might Tango. The popular team of
riders and horses from Canada were the winners of the Team Gold Medal.
after the conclusion of the World Championships, the American Horse
Shows Association asked Equestrian Events to host the first major
three-day event of the new year, setting the wheels in motion for the
1979 Kentucky Horse Trials and similar events thereafter. In 1980, for
example, EEI hosted the Final Selection Trial to choose the three-day
team that would compete for the United States in Fontainebleau, France,
in the fall.
New support and innovative ideas marked activities in 1981. Rolex Watch U.S.A. became a corporate sponsor of the United States Equestrian Team. The 1981 Kentucky Horse Trials was chosen as the initial sponsorship recipient.
again hosting competition for the USET Gladstone Trophy at the Advanced
Level, EEl's modified Advanced Three-Day Event was chosen to be the
USET's Final Selection Trial to determine the team to represent the
United States at the International Three-Day Event in Luhmuhlen, West
Germany. In an effort to maintain the international flavor of the
Kentucky Horse Trials, EEI proposed an International Invitational
Division at the Preliminary Level and invited leading foreign riders to
compete on horses loaned by U.S. combined training enthusiasts. The
response from international competitors was enthusiastic, and once
again the Kentucky Horse Trials boasted top riders from throughout the
Four years after Equestrian Events
organized the 1978 World Championships, the 1982 Rolex Kentucky
Three-Day Event fittingly provided the Final Selection Trial for
aspirants to the Three-Day Event Team that represented our country at
the fifth World Individual and Team Three-Day Event Championships held
in Luhmuhlen, West Germany.
In 1983, Equestrian
Events and its Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event hosted competition for
the USET's Challenge Trophy for United States citizens at the Advanced
Level. Recognized as a CCI (Concours Complet Internationale, or
International Three-Day Event) by the Fédération Equestre
Internationale (FEI), European and Canadian riders competed along with
Americans. Once again, Kentucky offered a full three-day event at the
With the 1984 Summer Olympic Games scheduled to be held in the Los Angeles, California, area, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event was again utilized as a Selection Trial for horses and riders who would compose our U. S. Three-Day Event Team.
The Selection Trial Division was run at the
Advanced Level as a Horse Trials in order to enable horses and riders
to reach the peak of condition for the Olympics.
Advanced Level CCI hosted riders from around the world, and the Open
Preliminary Three-Day Event provided spectators a glimpse of combined
training stars of tomorrow.
In 1985, the Rolex
Kentucky Three-Day Event was the starting place for a new four-year
cycle leading horses and riders to the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in
Seoul, South Korea.
The Advanced Level CCI that is the hallmark of Kentucky served as the first three-day event in the U.S. at which riders and horses aspiring to a place on the 1986 World Championships Team were observed by officials of the USET Selection Committee. EEI added an Intermediate Level Three-Day Event to provide a more technically difficult competition early in the year for aspiring Advanced Level competitors, and as in past years, a Preliminary Level division was also offered.