Record entries for Kentucky 3DE

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William Fox-Pitt, winner of Pau last year with Oslo and current leader of the HSBC FEI Classics 2012, heads into Kentucky with Parklane Hawk.
William Fox-Pitt, winner of Pau last year with Oslo and current leader of the HSBC FEI Classics, heads into Kentucky with Parklane Hawk. © Kit Houghton/FEI.

Eventing’s HSBC FEI Classics resumes this weekend, with record entries for the third leg, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

With CCI4* competitions having taken place in France and, for the first time Australia, the HSBC FEI Classics has become truly global, prompting the first and third-placed riders in the current standings to fly to Kentucky in the hope of maintaining their momentum in this series, which carries the most valuable single prize in Eventing.

William Fox-Pitt (GB), winner of Pau (France) last year and current leader in the HSBC FEI Classics, is a perennial visitor to Kentucky – he won it two years ago on Cool Mountain. This time the three-time Olympian, who will be wearing the HSBC Rider Rankings armband as points leader, brings an exciting new talent in Parklane Hawk, the New Zealand-bred Thoroughbred who gave him a record sixth Burghley victory in 2011.

Second in the series is Adelaide (Australia) winner Stuart Tinney, who is not competing in Kentucky.

Andrew Nicholson (NZ), presently in third place in the HSBC FEI Classics, made it into the top five cash prizes for the first time last year, in third place. He is starting two horses in Kentucky: youngsters Qwanza and Calico Joe which he suggests could be his Olympic reserve horses.

Kentucky represents a significant Olympic trial for US riders, who are out in force, headed by Phillip Dutton (Fernhill Eagle and Mighty Nice) and Boyd Martin (Ying-Yang-Yo, Otis Barbotiere and Remington XXV).

There will also be keen interest surrounding senior US rider Karen O’Connor’s CCI4* debut with her new horse, Mr Medicott, previously an Olympic gold medalist and European bronze medallist with Germany’s Frank Ostholt.

Australia has two former Kentucky winners entered: Clayton Fredericks, who has his 2007 winner Ben Along Time back in action, and Andrew Hoy (2006), who is hoping a good result on Rutherglen will move him back into Olympic reckoning.

British riders Oliver Townend (Pepper Anne and Sonas Rovatio) and Lucy Wiegersma (Grantevka Prince) will no doubt be interested to meet their California-based compatriot James Allison, who has been attracting the selectors’ interest with a sensational string of international successes on US soil. The 26-year-old, who runs Gracelands Equestrian Centre outside San Francisco, has entered Parker and Jumbo’s Jake.

“The line-up of riders and horses entered in this year’s event is truly amazing,” says competition director Christina Gray. “Adding to the record field of US entries, we also have a record number of entries from overseas including some of our sport’s legendary names.  Anyone who follows eventing will want to be on hand this year for what promises to be the most exciting Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event ever!”

Cross Country Course Designer Derek di Grazia (US) says his team has been working hard on the course. “I hate to jinx it, but we’ve had an early spring, so we’ve already mowed the course five times. We’ve put a lot of effort into the footing,” he said.

HSBC FEI Classics 2012 Leaderboard (after 2 out of 6 events):

1 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 15
2 Stuart Tinney (AUS) 15
3 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) 12
4 Sonja Johnson (AUS) 12
5 Emma Mason (AUS) 10
6 Mary King (GBR) 8
7 Natalie Blundell (AUS) 8
8 Nicolas Touzaint (FRA) 6
9 Shane Rose (AUS) 6
10 Clayton Fredericks (AUS) 6

 

HSBC Classics series:
Les Etoiles de Pau CCI 4* (FRA) – 12-16 October 2011
Australian International 3 Day Event (AUS) – 18-20 November 2011
Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA) –  26-29 April 2012
Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR) – 4-7 May 2012
Luhmühlen CCI 4* (GER) – 14-17 June 2012
The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) – 30 August-2 September 2012

 

Prize money

At the end of the HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012 season, the five riders with the highest number of points collected among the HSBC FEI Classics™ events will be awarded their share of a total prize fund of US$333,000 split as follows:

1st – US$150,000 (Series Champion)
2nd – US$75,000
3rd – US$50,000
4th – US$33,000
5th – US$25,000

 

Contributor

This article has been written by a contributor to Horsetalk.co.nz.

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