Jonathan Paget Holds Off Rolex Grand Slam Of Eventing Challengers

Jonathan Paget (NZL), riding Clifton Promise
Jonathan Paget (NZL), riding Clifton Promise

Badminton,UK, 6 May 2013 - Jonathan Paget (NZL), riding Clifton Promise, finished on his dressage score of 39.7 to beat Michael Jung (GER) riding La Biosthetique in 2nd place. Paget also held off the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing challenges from Andrew Nicholson (NZL) riding Nereo in 3rd place, and William Fox-Pitt (GBR) riding Parklane Hawk, who finished in 5th place. Sandra Auffarth (GER) riding Opgun Louvo finished in 4th place.

Rider Quotes

Jonathan Paget riding Clifton Promise

Q.  Congratulations – how are you feeling?
I’ve spent time with Michael and he is such a perfectionist. When he gets to the last fence you would never expect him to have it down and I heard the crowd cheer and I thought he’s a champion – he deserves it. And then I heard the “arrghh” and I thought ‘shoot, I think I’ve just won!”.

Q. Your first four star – not a bad place to win it? 
Yeah, and it’s the first time the horse has finished on his dressage score at a three day event. He’s always been the type of horse that pulls something amazing out when you need him the most and that’s what he did.

Q. What were you telling yourself as you were going into the ring?
Not much!  I went in and the only thing I had to remember was to salute and I just jumped one fence at a time.

Q. How did the round feel – it looked really fluid and easy - was it easy?
I don’t think it ever feels easy with the pressure, but he was amazing – he was jumping everything as hard as he could like he does and he never made a mistake – he was perfect.

Michael Jung riding Sam

Q. Michael, so close and so unlucky?
I could have been a little more controlled, but he jumped well and I am very happy about my first time here.

Q. How much of a disappointment to have last fence down?
Maybe I was a little bit too fast. He was really fresh, each fence was a lot of power. I had a good line to the last fence. The whole week has been fantastic, I am very lucky to be here and very happy to finish in second place.

Q. Will you come back next year and have another go? Maybe!  I would like to come to Burghley in September.

Andrew Nicholson riding Nereo

Q. Andrew, well done, great round, thoughts on the winner [Jonathan Paget]?
He’s a great boy - a great rider. Its great for New Zealand to have someone like Joch in the wings here. Its good for the likes of me and Mark who are getting on a bit to have ones like him from our country making us very alert and very focused.

Q. So for you there must be a little bit of disappointment and coming back again next year?
Yeah, it’s not the first time. I’ll be back again. I’m very happy with my horse’s performances.  I just think it has been great for the whole sport all week - I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the ‘razzamatazz’ and the buzz of it all and I was just pleased that I could play my part until the end.It would have been nice to win the $350,000 but I didn’t have it to start with, so I haven’t lost it have I!  Perhaps I’ll try and win Burghley and get the ball rolling again!
          
William Fox-Pitt riding Parklane Hawk

Q. William, that was very bad luck, how are you feeling?
Luck wasn’t quite on our side but he has performed so well all week with a reasonable amount of pressure from both me and externally – horses can only pick up on that a little bit and he has responded so well and to come out and perform like that is exciting and rewarding.

Q. Does it make you feel slightly better to know you couldn’t have won the Rolex Grand Slam anyway with Jonathan winning?
Yes, of course it does, definitely!  I couldn’t have won Badminton and the Rolex Grand Slam, with the two going together, but finishing fifth is great.  It is a big relief – it will be nice to return to life as normal – with the phone not ringing all the time and people wanting interviews! It has been an exciting experience and I am very fortunate to have been able to enjoy it and hope it has done a lot for the sport and a lot for Rolex and a lot for Badminton. 

Q. But it [Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing] can all start again in September at Burghley?
Yes, but if it starts again at Burghley then it will finish again here at Badminton – lets not even talk about anything!   Lets hope that Rolex carry on – there’s no guarantees – I hope that they continue their massive involvement with the sport, which has done so much to boost the sport.    
 
Final Competition Results after Show Jumping                        
1 Jonathan Paget/Clifton Promise (NZL) 39.7
2 Michael Jung/Sam (GER) 40.0
3 Andrew Nicholson/Nereo (NZL) 40.2
4 Sandra Auffarth/Opgun Louvo (GER) 42.5
5 William Fox-Pitt/Parklane Hawk (GBR) 44.0

For more information on the 2013 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and full Results/Leaderboard, please visit www.badminton-horse.co.uk

Two Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing Contenders           
With two of three successive wins of the Rolex Grand Slam – the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and the 2011 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials – William Fox-Pitt was the current live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Due to adverse weather conditions, the 2012 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials was unfortunately cancelled. Therefore, Fox-Pitt had to wait until the 2013 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials before he could contend for the coveted US$ 350,000 Rolex Grand Slam Prize.

However, after Andrew Nicholson won the 2012 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and also the 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, there were then uniquely two live contenders for the sport’s most coveted prize at the 2013 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.      

Rolex Grand Slam Of Eventing
In 2001, Rolex created the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. This trophy is awarded to the rider who manages to win the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials event in any consecutive order. Until now, only British rider Pippa Funnell has managed this staggering achievement, winning the title in 2003.




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