Cross Country With Jim Wofford
Jim breaks down the results from the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and analyzes riders’ cross-country positions in his annual critique.
The 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event lived up to its billing as the “Best Weekend All Year.” Held at the CCI**** level and celebrating its 21st anniversary, the event showcased the Kentucky Horse Park with sparkling weather, enough activities to keep even the most jaded spectators entertained, a gold-medal-winning list of competitors and beautiful horses everywhere you looked. Spectators’ overwhelming opinion: This was one of the best events held at the KHP since the 1978 World Championships.
Beginning with the low (lower the better) scores in the dressage phase, it quickly became clear that the audience was in for a treat. This year brought a change in the dressage scoring rules, which compressed the dressage results. At the end of two days of dressage,
roughly half of the competitors were within 10 points of first place.
The heart of any eventing competition is the cross-country course, and course designer Derek di Grazia demonstrated how amazingly difficult a cross-country course can be at this level. Yet the equally amazing horses and riders that galloped around it showed how easy they could make a four-star course look. At the end of the crosscountry phase, there were 10 horses and riders within one show-jumping knockdown of first place. More on this in a minute.