April 26, 2013 — William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain took a giant step toward winning his third Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Land Rover, by emphatically winning the dressage phase on Chilli Morning. With a score of 33.3 penalties, Fox-Pitt holds a commanding lead over Andrew Nicholson of New Zealand, who stands second on Quimbo (38.0) and third on Calico Joe (40.8).
Alexandra Knowles, of nearby Paris, Ky., is a close fourth on Last Call (43.3).
“He’s got a great presence, and so when you’re riding him you feel you’re capturing the ground jury’s attention,” said Fox-Pitt of Chilli Morning’s excellent score. “He paints a good picture throughout the test, and at this level you need to score well throughout the test. He’s a very consistent horse, and he’s very much with me in the ring. He’s a terrific horse to ride, and he did a lovely test.”
Fox-Pitt, the Rolex Kentucky winner in 2010 and 2012, also won $5,000 in SSG Gloves’ “Go Low For Dough” contest, a prize awarded to the rider who earns the best dressage score while wearing a pair of one of five types of their gloves.
Chilli Morning is a 13-year-old British-bred stallion whom Fox-Pitt has been riding for less than a year, after he’d competed successfully internationally with another British rider. “I’ve been very lucky to take on some horses later in their career, and I’ve gotten used to that. I quite enjoy it, actually,” said Fox-Pitt, 44. “When a horse comes to you at the age of 12, like he did, you can’t change them. You have to learn to get on with them. It’s good fun.”
Nicholson is in a fun position right now too, since he’s standing second and third. He said he was quite pleased with the test performed by Quimbo, a Spanish-bred gelding. “I think he pretty much gave 100 percent today,” said Nicholson. “He’s only 10 years old, and, with these four-star tests, they have to be really strong to maintain the collection throughout the test.
“I mucked up the last flying change,” he added. “I could see my marks on the scoreboard, and I got a bit carried away trying to get the best marks I could at the end, trying to catch up to William.”
While Fox-Pitt has won 50 international events, and Nicholson is a six-time Olympian, Knowles, 26, is competing in her first four-star, on her first international horse. As the U.S. rider with the event’s best dressage score, Knowles won four Bridgestone tires as the winner of the Bridgestone Performance Moment of the Day.
“I’m a little bit overwhelmed and very, very excited. I just feel so lucky to be here and to have done so well in dressage,” said Knowles. Knowles grew up in California and moved to Paris 1 ½ years ago. She bought Last Call, a 14-year-old Mecklenburg mare, in Florida as a green horse seven years ago.
“She performed incredibly well today. I didn’t know what to expect, because we’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Knowles of the cheering crowd in the Rolex Arena. “When we went down into the arena, I just focused on her and on keeping her attention on me, on not letting either one of us get distracted. I’m incredibly proud of her.”
Friday’s total attendance was 12,509. Thursday’s total attendance was 6,512.
The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover, is the Western Hemisphere’s only Four-Star Three-Day Event. It 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.
Rolex Kentucky draws more than 50,000 spectators to the Kentucky Horse Park and is seen by millions more on worldwide telecasts. This year’s event features Olympic and World Equestrian Games medalists from Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States and will crown the 16th Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Champion.
The event will be televised as the Rolex Equestrian Championships, presented by Land Rover, on NBC on Sunday, April 28, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. EDT. Leading up to the NBC telecast, USEFNetwork.com, presented by SmartPak, is offering live, wall-to-wall coverage of the dressage, cross-country, and show jumping phases. This coverage can be seen on computers, tablets, and smart TV/Google TV devices in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Google TV users can go to http://www.usefnetwork.com/googletv for an enhanced experience.
Throughout the rest of the world, FEI TV will air LIVE coverage of Saturday's cross-country and Sunday's show jumping competitions. To sign up for FEI TV, please visit www.feitv.org.
The full broadcast schedule is listed below and is available under the Live Broadcast Schedule tab at USEFNetwork.com. Times are subject to change.
- April 26: LIVE Dressage on USEFNetwork.com, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT
- April 27: LIVE Cross-Country on USEFNetwork.com, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT
- April 28: LIVE Show Jumping on USEFNetwork.com, 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. EDT
- Awards Ceremony on USEFNetwork.com, 3:00 p.m. ET
- Rolex Equestrian Championships presented by Land Rover on NBC, 4:00 to 5 p.m. EDT
The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is produced by Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), a non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation that was established initially to produce the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the success of those championships, EEI established an annual event that quickly evolved into what is today the only four-star three-day event in the western hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. EEI started producing the Kentucky Reining Cup in 2011.
Full results and further information on the 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover is available at the Rolex Kentucky website at www.rk3de.org.
Stay up to date with Rolex Kentucky!