Equine events are some of the world’s oldest sporting competitions. There are numerous equine events worldwide, from horse racing to dressage that attract the world's best riders. Many of these events have become household names, and are followed by equine fans across the globe. With that in mind we have compiled a list of the five most prestigious equine events worldwide that you should experience at least once.
Dubai World Cup (Horse Racing)
The Dubai World Cup is one hell of a spectacle. Since it was first held in 1996, it has become the richest racing event in all of horse racing. This March, $35 million in prize money was won across six Group 1 and three Group 2 races, with the showpiece being the Dubai World Cup. Held at the Meydan Racecourse, the Dubai World Cup attracts the finest horses, riders, and trainers from across the globe. With the biggest prize purse in all of racing and even its own post-event concert, this competition is a true reflection of Dubai's unrivalled extravagance.
Royal Ascot (Horse Racing)
The Royal Ascot is horse racing royalty – literally. CNBC reports how members of the British royal family attend this prestigious event, and how they always make a grand entrance. Queen Elizabeth II and her family arrive in horse-drawn carriages, followed by some of the world’s richest and most famous personalities. But for all the rich and famous people that gather at Ascot, the festival's top draw is still the horse racing. bwin Horse Racing’s feature on Royal Ascot explains how it is a five-day event, with the Diamond Jubilee Stakes being the feature race. The Diamond Jubilee is a Group 1 flat horse race that spans six furlongs, and is held on the festival's final day. Blue Point, trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by James Doyle, won this year’s Diamond Jubilee and its $417,601 grand prize.
Saab Top 10 (Dressage)
In December 2017, the world’s best dressage riders converged on Sweden for the inaugural Saab Top 10. The event was conceived by Swedish Olympic team rider Patrik Kittel in order to attract the best riders to Europe. Two years later the event is now one of the most prestigious equine events in the world. The winner gets over $100,000, along with a brand new Volkswagen. Despite being a new competition, the Saab 10 is now the richest dressage competition in the world.
Kentucky Three-Day Event (Eventing)
Aside from hosting the world-famous Kentucky Derby, the state is also home to the Kentucky Three-Day Event. It is the premier eventing competition in America, and it has grown into a multi-day spectacle. The competition offers a prize purse of $400,000, with the winners in dressage, cross-country, and show jumping each receiving $110,000, plus a Rolex watch. The winning groom also wins an award from horse grooming company Shapley's. The Kentucky Three-Day Event is one-third of the Grand Slam of Eventing, the others being the Badminton Horse Trials and the Burghley Horse Trials (both in England).
Hampton Classic (Show Jumping)
The Hampton Classic is among the preeminent show jumping events in the world. Like the Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Hampton Classic was originally a one-day competition. But now it is a multi-day festival held in Snake Hollow Road in Bridgehampton. The Hampton Classic, like all the others on this list, also offers substantial prize money, which often exceeds $500,000. Alongside the show jumping the event has also become known for the many famous faces that can be found at this prestigious occasion. These include Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Fallon, Bruce Springsteen, Brook Shields, Jon Bon Jovi, and Billy Joel.
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