5 Tips for Attending Kentucky 3-Day Event

5 Tips for Attending Kentucky 3-Day Event

Editor's Note: Updated for 2024 - New sponsor (Defender), same incredible event! And visit BOTORI in booth 243 in The Trade Fair. 

They don’t call it The Best Weekend All Year for nothin’, and if you haven’t already been, attending Kentucky 3-Day Event (K3DE) is an absolute must! For many of us horse girls, we got hooked the first time and have been going back every year since. This 5* Eventing competition held at The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. The 2024 dates are April 25-28.

Whether you’re an annual spectator or this year is your first time, here are 5 tips for making sure your experience is a 5* one (see what I did there?) ;)

  1. Attend at least 3 of the 4 days. Dressage is split into two days, taking place on Thursday and Friday. Cross Country is Saturday, and Show Jumping is Sunday. To get the full experience, you’ll want to see rides in all three phases. If you can go for all 4 days it is certainly worth it, but Friday through Sunday is still a great way to take it all in. Of course if time or finances are a factor and you can only go for one or two days, Saturday is THE day. Cross Country runs for a greater part of the day and is enjoyable for everyone to watch, even the non-equestrian spouses. 
  1. Shop early or shop late! I don’t know who I’m kidding, I shop the whole time I’m there, but if you do get there on Thursday the shopping atmosphere is entirely different. Stop by the K3DE Official Merch booths/tents and snag souvenirs before they run out of the popular ones, and in much shorter lines. You’ll also get first pick in the Sponsor Village and at The Trade Fair. As for shopping late, I highly recommend doing a final sweep of your favorite booths on Sunday as many will have sales going on since it is the final day. 
  1. Explore the cross country course Download the app at www.crosscountryapp.com/download_app.php5 and walk the course prior to Saturday. You can see photos and video guides, and my personal favorite is being able to see where you’re at on the course. On Sunday, the entire course is open for you. I highly recommend wearing water proof footwear and taking some memorable photos in the lake. 
  1. Go to the Sunday horse inspection And arrive early for the best view. The jog is one of my favorite parts of the weekend. Seeing these world class athletes dressed to the nines and their horses in a bit of a different setting than seeing them in the midst of competition is just a pleasure to see. If you get there a bit later and can’t find a decent view, go to the top of the hill that overlooks where it is held and you can watch them get prepared with their grooms.  
  1. Check the forecast, and dress accordingly for each day Lexington can throw some strange weather at the end of April. Some years it has been hot enough to wear shorts and River Boots, while other years there was actually snow on the ground (2021, looking at you. Though I’m not mad about it since there were no spectators that year). Pack plenty of layers and include rain gear since you could see varying weather even within the same weekend. The (free) parking is on grass as well as the cross country course, so if there is quite a bit of rain prior to the event or even during you’re most likely going to be walking through some mud as it won’t be entirely unavoidable.  Pack the waterproof footwear and bring a bag or backpack to shed your layers if the day starts cold and then warms up. 

Have fun! There’s something about being surrounded by horse lovers of all ages coming together to watch riders at the top of the sport. It’s what will get you hooked and keep you coming back year after year!

 - Lindsey Walczak


Lindsey and T in matching outfits

About Lindsey

Lindsey Walczak is an equestrian influencer/content creator and mom half of the mommy and me duo QueenCityEquestrian on Instagram. She and her husband along with their three year old daughter, Tallulah, live on their mini farm in Charlotte, North Carolina with their crew of critters including Lindsey’s Oldenburg, Boo, and Tallulah’s pony, Scotty.

Follow @queencityequestrian on Instagram + Facebook + TikTok 

Visit website: www.queencityequestrian.com



Lindsey in BOTORI Adler breech


Why Lindsey loves BOTORI

I love BOTORI because the quality of the fabric and fit are amazing! If I had to choose a favorite, the Adler breeches are easily at the top of my list.


Photography on this page by Montana Center Photography

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