Springer and Fox-Pitt Duel Atop Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event
Apr 27th, 12
Allison Springer of the United States rode Arthur into the dressage lead today at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bridgestone, topping the 57-horse field with an excellent score of 39.8.
William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain guided Parklane Hawk (41.3) to second, and Clark Montgomery of the United States guided Loughan Glen (43.2) to third.
Karen O’Connor, who stood second yesterday on Veronica (47.8), today rode Mr. Medicott into fourth place (44.2). Veronica now stands ninth.
Springer, 37, of Marshall, Va., has held the lead with Arthur at Rolex Kentucky before, but never on the last day. She noted that Arthur’s quirky personality has disappointed her here and at other events, but she said that’s she’s riding him differently than in the past. They won their last start prior to Rolex Kentucky.
"My horse is a bit of a spook, and so I’ve had a bit of a different attitude this year. I’ve just really focused on my goals and the path I have to be on to get there with him. I’ve just tried to focus on having a good ride and to not think about the results, to try to keep him as relaxed as possible,” said Springer.
"This is the first test here at Rolex Kentucky that I’ve actually been really excited about. He tried so hard, and he listened to me, and I think the difference is the change in my approach,” she added.
Fox-Pitt, 43, said that he was pleased with Parklane Hall’s performance. "He did some lovely work in there. The test wasn’t perfect, and the slightly annoying thing was that the blips he made this year he didn’t make last year. There were just a few moments of tension,” said Fox-Pitt.
Fox-Pitt, the 2010 Rolex Kentucky winner on Cool Mountain, has been one of Great Britain’s top international riders for more than a decade. He said he wasn’t sure if Parklane Hawk, on whom he won the Burghley Three-Day Event in England last September, will be ready to be his Olympic mount this summer.
"I think that this week will tell me more about the Olympics and this horse. If he goes well, then he could be the one,” said Fox-Pitt.
Montgomery, 30, of Fairburn, Ga., hasn’t been on a U.S. team before, and Rolex Kentucky is Loughan Glen’s first four-star.
"The cross-country is the hardest he’s seen so far,” said Montgomery. "I’m going to try to be competitive, but if it any point I have to slow down or take a slower option, that’s what I’ll do. He needs to gain confidence from this event more than he needs to win this event.”
Fox-Pitt praised the cross-country course, designed for the second year by Derek di Grazia of Monterey, Calif. Fox-Pitt said that no one fence was causing him unusual anxiety.
"It’s a very clever course, and it’s a track that you can certainly attack, but I think it will have a cumulative effect going around,” especially since the third-last fence—two narrow brush fences with ditches below them—will require a tremendous physical and mental effort from horse and rider, said Fox-Pitt. "There are lots and lots of opportunities for things to go wrong, and you’ve got to keep on doing it.”
Springer echoed Fox-Pitt’s praise of di Grazia’s course. "Derek designs a beautiful course, and there’s no one thing out there where I wondered what he was doing,” said Springer. "But you do have to hold your line at almost every fence. They’re great questions, but there’s a lot to do out there.”
The first horse will start on the cross-country course at 10:00 on Saturday.
The 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Western Hemisphere’s only Four Star Three-Day Event, features the 15th Rolex USEF Four Star Championship for the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation Pinnacle Cup. The Event is part of the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM and features the world’s best horses and riders vying for their share of $250,000 in prize money as well as a shot at the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing which is awarded to any rider who wins the Rolex Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton and Land Rover Burghley Four Star Events in succession.
This year’s Event also features selection trials to choose the U.S. Eventing team for the 2012 London Olympic Games assuring that the nation’s top horses and riders will be at their best as they compete for places on the team for this summer’s Olympics.
The Event draws 50-100,000 spectators and is seen by millions more on worldwide telecasts including a 60-minute live broadcast on NBC in the United States that will air on Sunday, April 29 from 2:00-3:00 pm EDT.
The Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup returns for its second year, April 27-28. The Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup is the only Three Star Reining competition currently scheduled in the U.S. in 2012 and offers $100,000 in prize money in the CRI3*, along with the popular $25,000 World Freestyle Championship.
In addition to the world-class competition, Rolex Kentucky also features world-class shopping at the Sponsor Village and Trade Fair. With more than 175 merchants selling everything from horse-related items to clothing, accessories, jewelry and art, this is always a favorite place for browsing and buying during the Event!
Additionally, the famed Country music group Exile will perform as part of a free two-hour concert on Saturday, April 28 from 3:30–5:30 pm. The show will be free to anyone holding a ticket to either the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event’s Cross-Country competition, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm, or the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup’s World Freestyle Championship, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Further information on the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bridgestone, is available at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event website at www.rk3de.org and information on the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup is available at www.KentuckyReining.com.
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