OTTBs Hold Their Own at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Retired racehorse Tight Lines finished 13th in last week’s Land Rover Three-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park. (Melissa Bauer-Herzog/America's Best Racing)

In front of a combined attendance total of 73,079 fans over the four days of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented By Mars Equestrian, Oliver Townend made history as only the fourth rider to win the event in back-to-back years when repeating the victory on Cooley Master Class.

While not a Thoroughbred himself, Cooley Master Class’ broodmare sire (mother’s father) Master Imp was an unraced Irish-bred Thoroughbred.

Paddy the Caddy (Melissa Bauer-Herzog/America's Best Racing)

Thoroughbreds held their own this year at the event held at the Kentucky Horse Park, as all nine registered Thoroughbreds who started the competition completing all three phases with Tight Lines finishing the best of them in 13th.  Unfortunately, Tactical Maneuver and Ashley Johnson didn’t pass the initial horse inspection and couldn’t compete.

After dressage, three registered Thoroughbreds sat in the top 20, led by Paddy The Caddy and Erin Sylvester in ninth on a personal best dressage score at the 5-star eventing level, only eight points behind the leading Townend. The personal best honor was something Cecelia and Daniela Moguel were also able to add to their résumé with a score of 34.5, putting them in 16th just 2.3 points behind Sylvester.

Course designer Derek di Grazia changed up the cross-country course this year, and while many riders said that it seemed to be straightforward when they walked it before the phase, that didn’t seem to be the case when they rode it. As is often the case during the most popular phase of the event, there were major shifts in the standings after the last rider crossed the finish line.

Four horses were eliminated on the course, with two others deciding to retire their horse from the competition while on course. This in itself led to a major shift with four of the six horses in the top 15 after dressage.

Of those remaining, only three horses were able to go double clear in the phase (accruing no time or jumping penalties), with retired racehorse Tight Lines and rider Will Coleman going within the time but earning a 15-point penalty due to a flag violation. With others also adding penalties to their dressage score, the pair stayed in 20th position going into the final phase on Sunday.

No Thoroughbred was able to go around the course without some sort of penalty but for Bogue Sound and Jessica Phoenix, Indy 500 and Andrea Baxter, Glenfly and Marcelo Tosi, Unmarked Bills and Chris Talley, and Johnny Royale and Joe Meyer, those penalties all came when the pairs were just a few seconds (or less) over the optimum time.

Bogue Sound (Melissa Bauer-Herzog/America's Best Racing)

Post-dressage Thoroughbred leaders Paddy the Caddy and Erin Sylvester saw a major drop in their ranking when having to stop at the famous Head of the Lake. That took them down to 22nd, and both Willingapark Clifford and Hazel Shannon and Cecelia and Daniela Moguel both suffered the same 20-point penalty fate as well.

When everything wrapped up on Saturday, multiple Thoroughbreds had made big moves up the leaderboard after cross country. Johnny Royale and Joe Meyer moved from the lowest placed of the Thoroughbreds after dressage at 39th to the highest at 13th, with Bogue Sound and Jessica Phoenix close behind them when going from 37th to tied for 16th, a spot they shared with Indy 500 and Andrea Baxter who had entered cross country in 28th place.

While cross country had seen its share of penalties, the final phase of stadium jumping made up for it with 10 double clear rounds – including every rider who would ultimately finish in the top five.

Tight Lines and Will Coleman put their own cross-country penalty behind them when jumping double clear to move up to 13th and finish as the top ranked Thoroughbred at the event. Bogue Sound was the biggest Thoroughbred mover of the Kentucky Three Day event. She took down just one rail in stadium jumping, and that helped her move up to 15th after being placed 37th after dressage on Friday.

In all, four of the nine Thoroughbreds finished inside the top 20, with Indy 500 and Andrea Baxter and Paddy The Caddy and Erin Sylvester finishing 18th and 19th respectively. Glenfly and Marcelo Tosi rounded out the top 25, finishing 10 positions higher than he’d started after dressage.

The last time four or more Thoroughbreds finished in the top 20 was 2016, when five of the 15 off-track Thoroughbreds competing in the event took home top 20 honors.




Racing Name

Race Record



Tight Lines

Will Coleman

Tight Lines




Bogue Sound

Jessica Phoenix

Bogue Sound




Paddy The Caddy

Erin Sylvester

Paddy The Cady




Indy 500

Andrea Baxter

My Gifted Indyanna





Marcelo Tosi





Willingapark Clifford

Hazel Shannon





Unmarked Bills

Chris Talley

Unmarked Bills




Johnny Royale

Joe Meyer

Chivas Royale





Daniela Moguel




Withdrawn before event

Tactical Maneuver

Ashley Johnson

Shykee’s Thunder



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