Five Irish-bred horses finished in the top 15 of the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event at the weekend.
The USA’s Allison Springer took second place on the Irish thoroughbred gelding Arthur (Brandenburg’s Windstar x Like Quick), while the Cruising son Mr Medicott (ex Slieveluachra), with Karen O’Connor (USA) on board, placed fourth, on equal points with the USA’s Boyd Martin and the French-bred selle français Otis Barbotiere (Quidam de Revel x Java Barbotiere), who squeezed into third with the benefit of a faster cross-country time.
Irish Sport Horse Mighty Nice (Ard Ohio x Sarazen) finished in 10th place with the USA’s Phillip Dutton, with two other members of the Irish Sport Horse Studbook filling the next places on the leaderboard.
Canada’s Peter Barry was 11th on the Tipperary-bred bay gelding Kilrodan Abbott (Clover Brigade x Gentle Lassie), and Dutton rode the Co. Antrim-bred gelding Fernhill Eagle (Coronea Eagle x Tango Teela) into 12th place.
The Kentucky event, which featured 57 starters, is one of the top ranked three-day-events in the world and attracts the cream of international eventing riders and horses. It was won this year by Britain’s William Fox-Pitt on the New Zealand thoroughbred Parklane Hawk (Grosvenor x Deebee Lady by Brilliant Invader).
Second-placed Springer said that she was “very, very pleased with Arthur. Four years ago, I went into show jumping in fifth place, and I stopped counting after five rails. But this time I was excited to come in the show jumping ring because I knew what I had to do, and I did it. It’s great to feel that way after all three days.”
By winning the Rolex USET Four-Star Championship as the top-placed US rider, Springer, 37, also won a special prize—an 18-month lease of a 2012 Range Rover HSE courtesy of Land Rover North America.
Springer test-drove the car on a lap around the Rolex Stadium during the awards ceremony. “It’s a good thing they kept someone in the car with me, or I’d have been out there doing donuts!” she said.