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Posted on Sep 4, 2019 in Articles, Competing, Dee Hankey, Riders blog

Equine Fashion Icon Dee Kennedy Returns to Burghley this year with Chequers Playboy

Equine Fashion Icon Dee Kennedy Returns to Burghley this year with Chequers Playboy

Main Image courtesy of Julian Portch Photography  – all rights reserved and are subject to copyright

Dee Kennedy


British rider Dee Kennedy (42), from Crowton in Cheshire, last competed at Land Rover Burghley in 2017 with Chequers Playboy who is her entry this year.

Dee comes from a non-horsey background. She persuaded her mother to let her have riding lessons and Dee then rode other peoples’ ponies on the show jumping circuit until she was 15.

I come from a non horsey family but as soon as I could talk I was always obsessed with horses and didn’t stop asking if I could ride until I got my own way .

She then pursued a brief career as a member of the three-girl band ‘Paperdolls’ and following the end of their contract with MCA records, in 2000, went back to horses and started eventing with ‘Big El’ a 17hh gelding bought from Carol Gee . Even though the pair was new to eventing they gained second place in their first event which ensured Dee was hooked on the sport. The pair competed to 4* (now known as 5*), gaining one Badminton and two Burghley completions.

I started Eventing in 2000 And I had the perfect event horse so he got me hooked

Following Big El’s retirement in 2009, Dee began competing up and coming rides including ‘Chequers Playboy’ who she has brought through the grades to 5*. Dee also competes in FEI showjumping and has competed at Bolesworth and Kronenberg CSI with her own ‘Valverde DH Z’

I live in Cheshire and I currently have 5 horses of my own and 6 horses that owners have sent me to compete . Some are for sale and some will hopefully be kept to go on and develop more . I’d really like to be able to keep producing horses to 5* level

chequers playboy dee kennedy

Chequers Playboy, (AKA Kenny) owned by the rider is a 17-year-old Dutch-bred gelding. He is by Kennedy (a son of Ferro) out of a mare by Flemmingh. He was sourced from Holland by Astrid Bolton and acquired by Dee as a 4-year-old.

Kenny is now 17 , he’s Kwpn . I’ve owned him since he was 4 . He is actually very good at all three phases . He loves to show off so hopefully he will contain himself in front of such a big audience. He has been a super horse to me , being top 10 as a 4 yr old at BYEH final . He won a novice at 5 , a 2* at 6 and a 3* at 7 . I’m very lucky to have had lots of amazing memories with him at the biggest events in the world .


2019 – Alnwick CCI4*S 51 Chequers Playboy

2019 – Bramham CCI4* S 62 Chequers Playboy

2019 – Chatsworth CCI4* 23rd Chequers Playboy

2018 – Bramham CIC3* 23rd Chequers Playboy

2018 – Badminton CCI4* ret Chequers Playboy

2017 – Burghley CCI4* El Chequers Playboy 

2017 – Bramham CCI3* Ret Chequers Playboy

2016 – Bramham CCI3* 13th Chequers Playboy

2016 – Badminton CCI4* W/D after dressage Chequers Playboy

2015 – Burghley CCI4* El Chequers Playboy (missed fence) 

2015 – Badminton CCI4* EL Chequers Playboy

2014 – Pau CCI4* 16th Chequers Playboy

2014 – Bramham CIC3* 2nd Chequers Playboy

2013 – Burghley CCI4* 39th Chequers Playboy

2009 – Badminton CCI4* 33rd Big El

2008 – Aldon CCI1* 1st Chequers Playboy

2008 – Burghley CCI4* 21st Big El

2008 – Badminton CCI4* EL Big El

2007 – Burghley CCI4* 39th Big El

dee trot up

Image from DK competition and sales livery Facebook page


Dee was wearing  Fairfax and favor boots , a peachy belt and a Ralph Lauren blazer for the trot up today and looked stunning as always. Dee always sets a high standard in the trot up and we always look forward to seeing what she will be wearing.

 We asked if she had managed to have a look at the cross country course yet …..
Walked the course and at first walk it’s “big” but it wouldn’t be burghley if it wasn’t !
It’s fantastic to be back at Burghley it’s definitely one of my favourites
Dee dressage on friday
I’ll ride him on the flat . 2 or 3 short sessions

Dee is sponsored by :

Zebra Products
Peachy Belts
Fratelli Fabbri


We wish Dee all the best and look forward to watching how they get on.

Find Dee on Facebook by clicking the icon below:



dee kennedy


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