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Oliver Townend Take Over the Lead after Cross-Country but More Twists and Turns to Come

Sunday, April 25, 2021
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KENTUCKY THREE-DAY EVENT

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After an exciting day of cross-country action from 61 CCI5*-L combinations at the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian, the leaderboard saw several changes, finishing with Oliver Townend (GBR) and Ballaghmor Class holding a slight lead over Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and On Cue, who currently are in second place. Tim Price (NZL) and Xavier Faer round out the top three, as all eyes turn to the final phase tomorrow.

Townend and Ballaghmor Class, winners of this event in the 2018 and 2019 editions, currently move into the stadium phase tomorrow on a score of 27.3, adding only 0.8-time faults to their dressage score following their trip around Derek di Grazia’s CCI5*-L track. Martin guided On Cue, a 15-year-old Selle Français mare owned by Christine Turner, to her first CCI5*-L cross-country completion, also adding just 0.8 time faults to their starting score of 27.0 for a 27.8.

“She’s a lovely horse. She is a French horse and has an awesome gallop and is a great jumper. This year she gave me a really great feeling at the preparation event, and you know, one thing I’ve learned watching these guys like Tim and Oliver is if you want to win, you have to take a crack at it,” said Martin of his second-place mount On Cue. He continued describing his day, which consisted of his stellar round with On Cue and two unsuccessful runs with Long Island T and Tsetserleg TSF. “I’d rather fail trying to win it than tip-toe around and obviously that worked one time today and didn’t work the other two, but that’s the sport and there’s no shame in going for it.”

Tim Price, who successfully piloted both Xavier Faer and Bango into the top 10 standings, sits just behind Martin with Xavier Faer on a score of 28.2, adding no penalties to their dressage score and guiding him to only one of three rides inside the optimum time.

Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship presented by MARS Equestrian™

As the top placed U.S. pair, Martin and On Cue are currently leading the standings for the Land Rover /USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship presented by MARS Equestrian. Despite going late in the order under increasingly rainy conditions, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) and Deniro Z, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Ocala Horse Properties, LLC, completed a masterful cross-country round today, adding only 2.8-time penalties to their score for a running total of 30.2—less than one rail behind Martin and On Cue heading into tomorrow’s show jumping.

William Coleman (Gordonsville, Va.) currently stands in third position in the national championship standings with The Conair Syndicate’s 14-year-old French Thoroughbred gelding, Tight Lines. The pair finished today with just 1.6 time penalties, giving them a total score of 33.5 and 10th place standings in the overall CCI5*-L.

Oliver Townend's Cooley Master Class Spun at Final Horse Inspection

Lexington, Kentucky – April 25, 2021 – Two-time defending champion Cooley Master Class, ridden by Oliver Townend (GBR), was not accepted at the final horse inspection Sunday morning at The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Equestrian™ (LRK3DE) at the Kentucky Horse Park.

"He's picked up a cut that he's sore on but at the same time I've hopped on him and given him a little ride this morning," Townend said. "He's sound to ride and very fresh. He's well in himself. I've no doubt he would jump very well but unfortunately he didn't present well.

"Obviously the welfare of the horse is paramount in our sport. That's [the ground jury's] decision to make. That's their job to decide. It's very sad for him and very sad for the team, but he's still in one piece. ... It's more of a frustration than anything else but he's 100%."

Townend's second ride and the overnight leader Ballaghmor Class was accepted.

Phillip Dutton's (USA) Fernhill Singapore was held but passed on reinspection. Doug Payne (USA) was asked to jog Quantum Leap twice and was then sent to the hold box. Quantum Leap was accepted on reinspection. Five Star first-timers Ema Klugman (AUS) and Bendigo were held but passed on reinspection.

In the Kentucky CCI4*-S, Meaghan Marinovich Burdick's (USA) Riviera Lu was held but passed on reinspection. Twenty-two Four Star horses move on to show jumping.

The MARS Best Turned Out Horse Award in the Five Star was presented to Diachello, ridden by Jesse Campbell (NZL) and groomed by Hannah McLean. MARS Best Turned Out Horse in the Four Star was awarded to Albano, ridden by Bobby Meyerhoff (USA) and groomed by Kirsten Daniels.