Land Rover Saddles Up for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

By - Land Rover Rolex Kentucky Derby Sponsor

For the eighth year in a row, Land Rover will be the Presenting Sponsor and Official Vehicle of the prestigious equestrian event.

Once again, Land Rover is getting ready to horse around at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

It’s been the Presenting Sponsor and Official Vehicle of the test of horses and their riders since 2010. During the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, judges rate the performance of both human and horse in three disciplines:

1.) Dressage, which tests how a horse maneuvers through a series of prescribed movements.

2.) Cross-Country. According to the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event website, this portion of the event “is the most exciting day of Rolex Kentucky as thousands gather to watch horses and riders gallop over four miles of the challenging terrain, at speeds up to 25 mph, while negotiating remarkable obstacles, water hazards, banks and ditches.”

3.) Jumping Test. As its name implies, the jumping test showcases each human/horse duo’s training and athletic ability as they leap over obstacles.

Michael Jung of Germany, who won a gold medal in the Rio Olympics, will be competing on his trusty steed FischerRocana FST in hopes of being the first horse/rider team to ever win America’s only 4-star Fédération Equestre Internationale competition three years in a row. Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter and Land Rover Ambassador Zara Tindall will also be returning with her horse High Kingdom, who helped Tindall win a silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics.

Whichever U.S. rider finishes the cross-country course closest to the optimum time without jumping penalties will be awarded a 24-month lease of a Land Rover Discovery Sport in the Land Rover Best Ride of the Day contest. The overall winner of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event will go home with a check for $130,000, part of the $400,000 total in available prizes.

Attendees of Land Rover’s Ultimate Stable Experience will get a look at the new 7-seat Discovery and a range of equestrian gear and apparel.

Land Rover owners will also be able to compete at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event as part of the sixth annual Land Rover Tailgate Challenge. The person with the most creative and best-catered Land Rover tailgate party will win a prize.

The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event takes place April 27-30 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. You can watch a live stream of it on the USEF Network or the nationally televised broadcasts on NBC and NBCSN.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Texas State University, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism from Austin Community College as well. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including and, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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