Sneak Peek: CCI5* Cross-Country Course at Kentucky Three-Day

Check out the CCI5* cross-country course riders will navigate at the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event.

By Alana Harrison

Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event competitors were eager for their first opportunity to walk the 2024 cross-country course expertly created by veteran course designer Derek di Grazia. Di Grazia has designed courses throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. He specializes in utilizing natural terrain elements and strategic obstacle placement to create flowing courses that present challenging questions to demonstrate horse-and-rider trust, while also prioritizing safety.

“What they’ve done to the dressing and design and flow of the course is unbelievable. Now it’s just down to us,” Tom McEwen (GBR) said after Wednesday afternoon’s CCI5* First Horse Inspection at the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, which runs from April 25-28. “When you come to the horse park here, you really understand it. You’re never on the level. You’re always coming up and coming down, and you’re always moving. The more you keep flow all the way around the better off you are, and this course just ebbs and flows and twists beautifully.”

McEwen, a member of Great Britain’s Olympic gold-medal team at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, will ride JL Dublin in the CCI5* along with 34 other scheduled riders. The dressage phase takes place on Thursday and Friday, cross country is Saturday and show jumping is Sunday. For dressage ride times in the CCI5*, click here.

The CCI5* cross-country course consists of 27 numbered obstacles with 10 combinations. Fence 5ABC, a water obstacle at the MARS Sustainability Bay, presents the first combination; while the last combination (the Mighty Moguls) is at Fence 25ABC. Two combinations include two-lettered efforts. Six include three, one includes four and one includes five. Maximum speed is 570 meters per minute, and the maximum distance is 6,840 meters. Optimum maximum time is 12 minutes.

Keep scrolling for any early glance at the 2024 cross-country course map and photos of each fence riders will navigate in the CCI5* course.

Courtesy, Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event
Fence 1
Fence 2
Fence 3
Fence 4
Fence 5A, 5B, and 5C
Fence 6
Fence 7
Fence 8A and 8B
Fence 9
Fence 10A and 10B
Fence 11
Fence 12
Fence 13A
Fence 13B and 13CD
Fence 14
Fence 15A (bank view)
Fence 15A, 15B, and 15C
Fence 16A, 16B, and 16C
Fence 17
Fence 18A and 18B
Fence 18C
Fence 19
Fence 20A
Fence 20B and 20C
Fence 21
Fence 22
Fence 23A, 23B, 23CD and 23E
Fence 24
Fence 25A and 25B
Fence 25B and 25C
Fence 26
Fence 27

Thanks to Mane ‘n Tail Equine for our coverage of the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event. It includes rider interviews, competition reports, horse spotlights, photos, videos and more.

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