If the Stuart Horse Trials wanted to top its successful 25th anniversary last July, then today’s news certainly fits the bill.
Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), organizer of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, is partnering with Stuart Horse Trials to organize the Stuart event in Victor, NY, starting in July 2015.
Both EEI and Stuart Horse Trials agree that this partnership is an ideal match.
“I don’t think you could find a better match between two organizations from the standpoint of goals, values and complementary skill sets,” said Lee Carter, Executive Director of EEI. “Stuart Horse Trials has a 25-year history; EEI has organized the Kentucky Three-Day Event for 36 years. Both of us understand the value of moving forward while maintaining the essence of a much-loved event.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased,” said an effusive Heidi Vahue, Stuart event organizer for the last three years and former competitor. “This is just a wonderful next step for us. EEI has so much to offer, and we’re honored that they’ve chosen Stuart as their first foray into organizing an eventing competition beyond Rolex.”
Stuart Founder Kyra Stuart wholeheartedly agreed. “I commend the EEI board and staff for their vision and desire to share their knowledge and expertise and not just rest on their well-deserved laurels from the Kentucky Three-Day Event.”
EEI is extremely cognizant of what competitors and spectators alike have come to know as “the Stuart experience” since it began in 1990. “Our goal in this partnership is not to change what guests and competitors have come to love about Stuart Horse Trials because that’s exactly what we love about Stuart Horse Trials,” said Stewart Perry, president of the EEI Board of Directors. “Our goal is to find ways to enhance – organically – an already great experience.”
Stuart Horse Trials attracts more than 250 competitive riders and their horses annually, as well as approximately 15,000 spectators who can get up-close-and-personal to the action. The 2014 competitive divisions ranged from Beginner Novice through the Two Star level.
The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event hosts the Western Hemisphere’s only annual Four Star Three-Day Event. (Four stars is the highest designation given by the International Equestrian Federation – FEI, and is given only to the Olympic Games, World Championships, and six annual events around the world.) It attracts the world’s top competitors and their horses, and this year brought in more than 75,000 spectators.
At 25 and 39 years old, respectively, both Stuart and EEI are longstanding organizations with proven success and growth. EEI was created to run the Rolex Kentucky competition, which in 1998 became only the third annual Four Star event in the world, joining the venerable English events of Badminton (1949) and Burghley (1961). After Rolex became a Four Star Event, three more Four Star events were added – in Adelaide, Australia, Luhmühlen, Germany and Pau, France. Olympic Games and World Championships, held every four years, are the only other Four Star competitions.
Celebrating its 26th year in 2015, the Stuart Horse Trials will take place from July 10-12, in Victor, New York.