Several Retired Racehorses Among 42 Competitors at the Kentucky Three-Day Event

Retired racehorse Tactical Maneuver returns to the Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2019 after finishing 30th last year. (Melissa Bauer-Herzog/America's Best Racing)

Spring is in the air, and for some Thoroughbreds in Kentucky, that means preparing for the biggest tests of their lives. For 3-year-old racehorses, that means the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, but for 10 older registered Thoroughbreds that challenge is the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN.

Forty-two horses will be taking part in the three phrases of the five-star event at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. held from April 25-28, with 24 percent of them registered Thoroughbreds and six of them former racehorses.

There are five Land Rover Three-Day Event “rookie” Thoroughbreds at the event this year, though all of them have competed in international level eventing previously to qualify here. One of them is the most experienced racehorse of the group in Unmarked Bills.

Unmarked Bills raced 24 times in his career with three wins and seven other on-the-board finishes in a career that started in California with Richard Mandella (Mandella also trains one of this year’s Kentucky Derby favorites in Omaha Beach) before moving to the east coast where he ran his last race in November of 2014 at Penn National.

Tight Lines (Melissa Bauer-Herzog/America's Best Racing)

Interestingly, another one of the newbies is also the only other winner with Bogue Sound winning at Turfway Park – only 64 miles from the Horse Park – in his final start. Bogue Sound also has a Triple Crown connection with his broodmare sire (mother’s father) is Victory Gallop, who won the 1998 Belmont Stakes. Victory Gallop was trained by Elliott Walden, who is now the President, CEO, and Racing Manager of WinStar Farm – who owned part of last year’s Triple Crown winner Justify and co-owns 2019 contender Improbable.

Another of the Land Rover newbies is Willingapark Clifford. While he is new to the Land Rover Three-Day event, he isn’t new to this level of eventing. The Australian-based gelding and rider Hazel Shannon won last year’s Adelaide event (Australia’s version of the Kentucky event) after a win at the same event in 2016. This is their first major event outside of Australia.

Of those returning to Kentucky to compete in the event again, two-time competitor Tight Lines has had the best finish at the venue when finishing 12th last year. Four of the returning competitors have competed at the event twice already with Tactical Maneuver joining Tight Lines as those in last year’s event when finishing 30th.

A Thoroughbred hasn’t won the event since 2012 when Parklane Hawk and William Fox-Pitt took home the blue ribbon. The last American to win the event was in 2008 when OTTB supporter Phillip Dutton won, Dutton isn’t on a Thoroughbred this year, but five U.S. riders will be mounted on the breed.

To learn more about the Thoroughbreds competing in the event this year, you can visit the Retired Racehorse Project’s guide here. You can also find a list of the registered Thoroughbreds competing and their race information below.




Racing Name

Race Record



Tactical Maneuver

Ashley Johnson

Shykee’s Thunder




Johnny Royale

Joe Meyer

Chivas Royale




Willingapark Clifford

Hazel Shannon






Daniela Moguel





Unmarked Bills

Chris Talley

Unmarked Bills





Marcelo Tosi





Tight Lines

Will Coleman

Tight Lines




Paddy The Caddy

Erin Sylvester

Paddy The Caddy




Indy 500

Andrea Baxter

My Gifted Indyanna




Bogue Sound

Jessica Phoenix

Bogue Sound



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