This year’s $225,000 Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, hosted at the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian™, promises to be the best yet with its new 4* designation, expanded competition schedule and impressive list of entries that includes eight Olympians and top international athletes from 11 countries.

Organized by Equestrian Events, Inc., the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian (K3DE) returns to the Kentucky Horse Park, April 25-28, featuring one of only seven annual Five Star three-day events in the world. Known as “The Best Weekend All Year,” 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.

Introduced at the 2018 K3DE, the Kentucky CSI4* Invitational has annually taken place to the cheers of a packed stadium of fans. In addition to the Invitational Grand Prix, which features some 40 international riders on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. after the event’s cross-country phase, there will be a $35,000 purse for the 1.45m Welcome Speed Cup Ranking Class on Friday at 7:00 p.m. after the completion of the dressage competition. In addition, there will be a new $35,000 1.45m Two-Phase competition during the lunch hour on Saturday, April 27.

Some of the sport’s biggest stars will challenge the technical tracks designed by 2016 Rio Olympic Games course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) including 2021 U.S. Olympic eventing rider Doug Payne, who also has two horses entered in this year’s CCI5* event.

Joining Payne in the star-studded U.S. contingent are two Olympic show jumping veterans: Kent Farrington, 2016 Team Silver medalist and current World #6 on the FEI Rider Rankings, and Margie Goldstein-Engle, who finished 10th individually in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Farrington has been short-listed for the 2024 Paris Olympic team, along with fellow Kentucky Invitational contender Aaron Vale.

Representing Ireland in the lineup are World #11 Shane Sweetnam, who finished third in last year’s Kentucky Invitational Grand Prix, and World #21 ranked rider Conor Swail, who took top honors in the 2022 Kentucky Invitational and finished fourth in 2023.

Other world-class entries include Olympians Tiffany Foster (CAN), the current World #17; Scott Keach (AUS); Samuel Parot (CHI); and Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), one of the most decorated riders in show jumping history with accolades including individual Gold medals in the 2004 Olympic Games and 1998 World Championships as well as winning the FEI World Cup Finals three consecutive years. They will be looking to dethrone defending champion Daniel Bluman (ISR), a two-time Olympic veteran and the World’s #24 ranked rider.

More information on the Kentucky CSI4* Invitational Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute can be found HERE.