Our biggest event of the summer is almost upon us, and for those who are curious about attending but unfamiliar with the event itself, we wanted to compile all the information you need to know about the upcoming Kentucky Classic at Hermitage Farm!
First off, exactly what is this Kentucky Classic that everyone keeps talking about—or that you might have seen advertised on the back of our shuttle van? Well, the Kentucky Classic is an annual Combined Driving Event hosted right here in the Bluegrass State. Hosting the event this year, which will take place June 3-5, is an honor shared by Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown, the owners of our historic farm. Ap
art from thrilling competitions in carriage driving, the weekend will also include family-friendly activities, gourmet food, live music, and some exclusive privileges for those guests with VIP tickets. The weekend as a whole is a celebration of culture, food, and farmland—which together is a large part of what makes our region so special.
The Kentucky Classic is an annual Combined Driving Event hosted right here in the Bluegrass State.
Now that we know about the Classic itself, let’s talk about the sport of Combined Driving! Essentially, Combined Driving works like a triathlon for horses—designed to test a horse and driver’s speed, stamina, obedience, and athleticism in three distinct phases of competition, usually held over the course of three days. These three phases are Dressage, Marathon, and Cones.
The first day of the Classic sees
the competition of Dressage, occasionally referred to as “horse ballet.” Dressage takes place in a manicured arena in which the driver must take their horse through a prescribed sequence of movements. Drivers are judged on the horse’s regularity of movement, impulsion, and correct position and training.
The second day hosts the fast-paced and demanding Marathon competition, which shows horse and driver covering miles of course through open fields and woods before negotiating a series of obstacles, including water, steep hills, and sharp turns at high speeds. This phase tests the horse’s fitness, stamina, and agility, along with driver’s accuracy and judgement.
The last day witnesses the competition of Cones, where horse and driver must maneuver through narrowly-spaced cones cleanly and without upsetting the ball placed atop each cone. Completing this course in the time allotted with minimal penalties is no easy feat, and drivers will be judged on skill, accuracy, and precision while horses are judged on agility and endurance.
While most of the weekend is concerned with the competitions themselves, there will plenty of other activities across property, especially on Saturday, June 4—the event’s Family Day. Several food trucks will be present this day, as well as food and beverage prepared by the Barn8 catering team. With live music and lots of beautiful open space for lawn chairs and viewing, there will be plenty for the whole family to enjoy!
If you’d like more information about this year’s Kentucky Classic, including ticket pricing and volunteer opportunities, click here to be redirected to the event’s information page on our website. We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate the exciting sport of Combined Driving and witness world-class athletes in action!