Hagyard Equine Rider Challenge returns, starting with this weekend’s horse show


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Hagyard Equine Medical Institute announced a return of the newly named Hagyard Rider Challenge in 2021.

Formerly known as the Hagyard Challenge Series, the 2021 version of the event will combine a number of the traditions of the previous series and a new sponsorship of the CSI3* Grand Prix’s in the spring.

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The 2021 Hagyard Rider Challenge will include the following events new to Hagyard:
  • $137,000 Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix CSI3* Saturday, May 15th at the Kentucky Spring Horse show
  • $137,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3* presented by Hagyard Saturday, May 22nd at the Kentucky Spring Classic
  • $50,000 Hagyard Grand Prix Saturday, August 7th at the Kentucky Summer Classic
  • $50,000 The Betsy Grand Prix presented by Hagyard – Sunday, September 26th Kentucky National Horse Show/The Betsy Gala
As in previous years, points will be tracked throughout the series, with the leading rider receiving a cash prize at the end.
This year’s bonus will be $20,000 and Hagyard will team up with Audi of Lexington and Ag Credit to award the top rider at the end of the last event.
“Participating in various aspects of the equine industry and supporting events in our “back yard” is something we’ve been passionate about for several years,” said Dr. Kevin Pfiester at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. “With so much disruption to events in 2020, we thought we needed to continue the Rider Challenge, in addition to our new sponsorship of the CSI3* Grand Prix.
“As much as people want to return to the events they loved, we felt like it was also important to open our eyes to something new this year as well,” Pfiester continued. “The series name and logo change lets people know there’s something new going on here, and we will continue to support such events as we navigate through the new normal.”
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute has hosted the Challenge series since 2006.The events are held each spring and summer at the Kentucky Horse Park directly across from Hagyard’s Campus in Lexington.
The rider that accumulates the most points in the Series will be presented the Leading Rider Award during the Kentucky National Horse Show in September.
The Series typically feature two CSI3* classes making riders eligible to earn points toward international show-jumping rankings.
“Our support of this Series demonstrates our commitment to the sport horse industry,” added Kelly M. Fleming, CFO. “We are more than an equine medical care group with a long standing history in the thoroughbred industry. Many of our veterinarians and staff also participate in these events outside their professional involvement. So we take the equine industry seriously, but we also take it personally. We don’t just care for the horses – we root for them as if they were our own.”