Five-star Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event kicks-off with strong Irish-bred representation

The world-famous five-star Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event gets underway today (Thursday) at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, attracting many of the worlds top horses and riders who are competing for a prize fund of $400,000.

Susie Berry will be the sole Irish rider in the field, while no less than seven of the 47 horses on the startlist were bred in Ireland. Many of the world’s top Eventing athletes have chosen Irish-bred mounts to tackle what is sure to be a demanding five-star competition, including Britain’s Oliver Townend with Cooley Rosalent (ISH), Phillip Dutton (USA) with Azure (ISH) and Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) with Cooley Nutcracker (ISH).

The Dressage phase takes place over Thursday and Friday, with Cross Country on Saturday followed by the final Show Jumping phase on Sunday. The CCI4*-S at Kentucky also has a strong Irish representation, with 10 Irish-bred horses among the 66 starters.

Stay tuned to The Irish Horse Board on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest updates from the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three Day Event

2024 Defender Kentucky Three Day Event CCI5*-L  Dressage start times

Live coverage available on ClipMyHorseTV (pay-per-view)



CLEVER TRICK (ISH) [aka KILCANDRA BONNIE REWARD] -2012 Mare by Financial Reward (TB), out of Bonnie Dolly (ISH) by Bonnie Prince (TB). Breeder: Vincent Cousins (Wicklow) Owner: Jayne McGivern. Rider: Susannah Berry (IRL)

Azure (ISH) – 2012 mare by Omar (BWP) out of Cavalie Roselier (ISH) by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Breeder: Elizabeth Power, Rider: Phillip Dutton (USA)

Leamore Master Plan (ISH) [was Sambuco] – 2009 gelding by Master Imp (TB) out of Ardragh Bash (ISH) by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Breeder: Michael Byrne (Wicklow). Rider: Ariel Grald (USA)

Cooley Nutcracker (ISH) [was Ballyshan Contender] – 2014 gelding by Tolan R (KWPN) out of Ballyshan Cleopatra (AES) by Cobra (HOLST). Breeder: Gary Doherty. Rider: Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA)

LCC Barnaby (ISH) – 2006 gelding by Guy Cavalier (ISH) out of Lady Tanjour (ISH) by Rafael (KWPN) Breeder: Martin Collins (Meath). Rider: Lillian Heard (USA)

Rock Phantom (ISH)[TIH][was Fernhill Rock Phantom] – 2011 gelding by Sprit House (TB) out of Ballycroy Rose (ID) by Clonakilty Hero (ID). Breeder: Maura O’Malley (Mayo). Rider: Sara Kozumplik (USA).

Cooley Rosalent (ISH) – 2014 mare by Valent (KWPN) out of Bellney Jewel (TB) by Roselier (TB). Breeder: J W Rosbotham (Armagh). Rider: Oliver Townend


Off the Record (ISH)[was Cooley Stateside] – 2009 gelding by VDL Arkansas (KWPN) out of Drumagoland Bay (ISH) by Ard Ohio (KWPN). Breeder: Peter G Brady (Cavan). Rider: William Coleman (USA)

Cooley Candyman [ISH][was Tempo Candy Hill] – 2013 gelding by Sligo Candy Boy [ISH] out of Dashing Hill [ISH] by FlameHill [ISH]. Breeder: Thomas Anthony Jones (Sligo). Rider: Bruce Davidson Jnr (USA)

Jewelent (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Valent (KWPN) out of Bellaney Jewel (TB)[IRL] by Roselier (TB). Breeder: J.W. Rosbotham. Rider: Phillip Dutton (USA)

Shanroe Cooley (ISH)[was Shanroe Italk] – 2015 gelding by Dallas VDL (BWP) out of Shanroe Saphire (ISH) by Condios (HOLST). Breeder: Anthony Smyth (Down). Rider: Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA)

Cooley Quicksilver (ISH) [was OSH Del Boy] – 2011 gelding by Womanizer (KWPN) out of Kylemore Crystal (P)(ISH)[TIH] by Vregan Diamond (ID). Breeder: Alan O’Brien, Co Galway. Rider: Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA)

SKM Lux Sonata [was Whispering Lux] – 2012 gelding by Lux Z (OLD) out of Garrendruig Sally (ISH)[TIH] by Poltarf (TB). Breeder: Niall O’Donovan. Rider: Tik Maynard (CAN)

HSH Blake (ISH)[was Galwaybay Blake & Galwaybay HSH Redfield] – 2015 gelding by Tolan R (KWPN) out of Doughiska Lass (ISH) by Kannan (KWPN). Breeder: Justin Burke. Rider: Caroline Pamukcu (USA)

OKE Ruby R (ISH)[was Excel Ruby] – 2013 mare by Namelus R (KWPN) out of B.Termie R 6 (KWPN) by Germus R (KWPN). Breeder: Martina McCrory (Tyrone). Rider: Waylon Roberts (CAN)

Vandyke (ISH) 2014 gelding by Vancouver (KWPN) out of Shannondale Willow [ISH] by Touchdown (ISH). Breeder: Deborah Palmer (Derry). Rider: Allison Springer (USA)

SSH Playboy – 2012 bay gelding by Cit Cat (HOLST) and out of Stomeyford Black Pearl (UNK). Bred by: Ennisnag Stud, Co Kilkenny. Owner: Bridget Speirs. Rider: Camilla Speirs (IRL)