Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM (Shannon Brinkman/USEF photo)
Davidson Wins Third Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Eventing Championship
Lexington, KY – The final phase of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover provided an exciting finish to the Kentucky Horse Park’s staple event. A sold-out Rolex Stadium crowd witnessed Andrew Nicholson (NZL) win North America’s only CCI4* event for the first time. With Quimbo, he held onto the overnight lead, only adding three time penalties to their dressage score, finishing with a score of 41.0. Deborah Sellar’s 10-year-old Spanish Sport Horse gelding sailed over the fences in Richard Jeffery’s stadium jumping course, expertly guided by HSBC World Rankings Leader Nicholson.
“To go round and jump the last fence and you have gone clear is a little bit what you expect to do if you ride them half properly when they are that good,” commented Nicholson of Quimbo’s exceptional jumping style.
Nicholson won his second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing after winning the 2012 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and will be competing against William Fox-Pitt (GBR) at the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials for the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, an unprecedented situation. After winning the 2011 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, William Fox-Pitt (GBR) is currently in the running to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. After the 2012 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials was canceled due to excessive rain leading up to the event, a win next week at the 2013 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials could win Fox-Pitt or Nicholson the coveted title.
“We both have a few more days of peace before it all kicks off. It will certainly be exciting,” said Fox-Pitt. “I think this is Rolex’s dream.”
Fox-Pitt and Seacookie TSF finished second after having one of only four double clear rounds to finish on a score of 46.2. He made the course look easy with Catherine Witt’s 14-year-old Trakehner gelding after rails had been falling all day.
“It is great to have him back on form again and we will how the autumn goes as to where he is,” said Fox-Pitt of having his partner performing well after a rough go at Burghley last year.
Nicholson also finished third with Calico Joe after having three rails to end on a score of 52.8. Despite stadium jumping not being Twenty Twelve in Mind’s 11-year-old English Thoroughbred gelding’s strongest phase, the pair still managed to finish in the top three.
Buck Davidson (Unionville, PA) and Ballynoe Castle RM settled for fourth place after having two unfortunate rails at fences 11 and 13. While he moved down the leaderboard, Davidson won the Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Eventing Championship with Cassandra Segal’s 13-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding.
“He has been amazing this weekend as he has been his whole life,” said Davidson of his beloved mount “Reggie.” “Of course I am bummed to have two down, it sort of fell apart at the end but to be sitting up here with these two guys who are obviously unbelievable, I feel fortunate to be up here. If I have got to lose it is two good guys to lose to.”
The second highest-placed American was Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, VA) with her own Donner who finished in fifth place with a score of 54.8. She rode the 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding with determination around the horse’s first CCI4* event, having double clear cross country and stadium rounds to finish on their dressage score.
Another American with an impressive finish was Meghan O’Donoghue (Carbondale, IL). A 2013 Developing Riders/Eventing 25 listed rider, she rode her own 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding to a 12th place finish in her first CCI4*. O’Donoghue added only a handful of penalties to finish with a score of 69.0.
Watch on-demand video of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover on the USEF Network presented by SmartPak here: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/Rolex3Day2013/.
For more information about the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover, visit www.rk3de.org.
Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at http://usefnetwork.com/featured/2013Eventing.
By Kathleen Landwehr