Lexington, KY — March 20, 2012— Former Rolex Kentucky champion William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain, one of the most accomplished riders in Eventing history, has filed his entries to compete in this year’s Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bridgestone. When the 2010 Rolex Kentucky champion competes in this year’s Event, April 26-29 at the Kentucky Horse Park, it will be with an added goal; Fox-Pitt, who won his record sixth Burghley Four Star championship last fall, will be seeking to win a second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam at Kentucky in the hopes of joining Pippa Funnell of Great Britain as the only riders to win the Rolex Grand Slam.
The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event features the 15th Rolex USEF Four Star Championship for the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation Pinnacle Cup, and is part of the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM. It draws the best horses and riders from around the world seeking the championship in the only Four Star event in the Western Hemisphere. The $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing is awarded to any rider who wins the Rolex Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton and Land Rover Burghley Four Star Events in succession. Winning at Rolex Kentucky, while always a major challenge, will be particularly difficult this year as the Event features selection trials to choose the U.S. Eventing team for the 2012 London Olympic Games. The nation’s best horses and riders will be competing not only for their share of $250,000 in prize money but also with an eye on earning a place on the U.S. team for this summer’s Olympics.
If anyone is up to the formidable challenge of topping this field, it is Fox-Pitt whose record ranks with the absolute best in the sport’s history. Fox-Pitt was the first British rider to earn Eventing’s Number 1 World Ranking, a distinction he achieved in 2002 and again in 2009 and 2010. He has ridden in three Olympic Games—1996 in Atlanta, 2004 in Athens where he won a team Silver Medal, and 2008 at Beijing where he won a team Bronze. He also won a team Bronze Medal at the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Jerez, a team Silver at the 2006 WEG in Aachen, and team Gold and individual Silver at the 2010 WEG in Kentucky.
Fox-Pitt is the only rider to have won five of the world’s six Four Star Events, having won Burghley a record six times (1994, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011), Badminton (2004), Luhmulen (2008), Rolex Kentucky (2010) and Pau (2011). He has won the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM twice (2008 & 2010) and finished second in 2011. He has won seven team Gold Medals at European Championships and has been the number one ranked British rider nine times.
“William Fox-Pitt is clearly one of the most successful riders our sport has ever seen,” said Christina Gray, Director of Competition for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. “He is a threat to win in every event he enters and I have no doubt that with his eye on both the Olympic Games and the Rolex Grand Slam that he will be at his best when competing here in April.”
Being held alongside the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event will be the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup which returns for a second year, April 27-28, after its successful debut last year. The Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup is the only Three Star Reining competition currently scheduled in the world for 2012. It is expected to draw horses and riders from around the globe, vying for their share of $100,000 in prize money as they compete in the CRI3*, along with the popular $25,000 World Freestyle Championship.
In addition to its world-class competition, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event features world-class shopping at its 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!
The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bridgestone, is produced by Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), a non-profit Kentucky corporation formed in 1975 initially to stage the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships, the first held outside of Europe, at the then brand new Kentucky Horse Park. EEI now organizes the annual Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the only CCI4* in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the annual Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup which features a CRI3* and the World Freestyle Championship.
For more information on the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bridgestone, or to purchase tickets, please visit the Rolex Kentucky website at www.rk3de.org.