01 May 2012 – In 2001, Rolex created the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. This prize is awarded to any rider who wins each of the Rolex Grand Slam Events, namely the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials consecutively.
Following the cancellation of the 2012 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials due to adverse weather conditions, Rolex and the organisers of the three Rolex Grand Slam events wish to clarify the eligibility of a rider claiming the Rolex Grand Slam prize of $350,000. To confirm, the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize will be awarded to any rider who wins all three events consecutively.
On Parklane Hawk, William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain (45.3 penalties) won the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bridgestone, for the second time in three years. His prizes include the signature Rolex Watch and $80,000 in prize money.
Fox-Pitt, 43, has now won two consecutive legs of the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam. He won the Land Rover Burghley Three-Day Event (England) last September, and if he wins the Badminton Three-Day Event (England) next week, he’ll become only the second rider to win Rolex Grand Slam. (Pippa Funnell won the Rolex Grand Slam in 2003.) Fox-Pitt’s victory also extended his lead in the HSBC FEI Classics Series.
“This is the closest I’ve ever gotten to winning the Rolex Grand Slam. I’ve never managed to win two four-stars in a row, and this is wonderful, but to win three in a row is fairly unlikely,” said Fox-Pitt.
Lexington, KY – Sunday at the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone proved to be as influential as its predecessor – but the top two placings did not change and Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt rode Catherine Witt’s Parklane Hawk to top honors. The lovely New Zealand Thoroughbred made unbelievably light work of Saturday’s cross-country course and jumped another phenomenal round in the Rolex Stadium – having just one rail at the first part of the double combination to take home a second Rolex watch for Fox-Pitt, who also won in 2010. They finished on a three day score of 45.3, less than two points clear of the runner-up.
“I am not sure I can repeat that,” said Fox-Pitt about knocking down his one rail. “I thought that was going to be a tricky fence for him. He was just arguing a little bit today. It was a fantastic competition and I was very fortunate to come out on top. It was a serious show jumping track and I am just lucky that Allison took that long route at the third last (on the cross country).”
Lausanne (SUI), 29 April 2012 – William Fox-Pitt (GBR) won his 11th CCI4* and yet another prized Rolex watch when he held his nerve in the tense final minutes of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA) presented by Bridgestone, the third leg of the HSBC FEI Classics.
Fox-Pitt, the leader after Cross Country on Catherine Witt’s talented New Zealand Thoroughbred Parklane Hawk, appeared to have been handed a lifeline when overnight runner-up Allison Springer (USA) and Arthur hit a rail, but then Parklane Hawk had one down as well and Fox-Pitt was left with no margin for error.
But the current leader of both the HSBC FEI Classics and the HSBC Rider Rankings is famed for keeping calm in a tight situation. And Fox-Pitt will certainly need to draw on those renowned reserves of cool this week for he now heads to Badminton in the tantalising, yet pressurised, position of having won two out of three legs of the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam.
This elusive prize, to the rider who can win Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley in succession, has only been won once before, by Pippa Funnell (GBR) in 2003.
(USA, 29 April 2012) – William Fox-Pitt (GBR) riding Parklane Hawk, today Sunday 29 April 2012, kept his cool at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, in Lexington, with just one rail down, to win the Event and the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam. Allison Springer (USA) riding Arthur was second and Boyd Martin (USA) riding Otis Barbotiere was 3rd.
Quotes from William Fox-Pitt after his winning round (links to audio of full interview below):
Q: Many congratulations – what a round: What a relief and what a fantastic horse! It is a great honour and a great pleasure to be here back at Rolex and it’s such a tremendous event – the atmosphere is second to none and it’s been an amazing week for me. A huge relief and lucky I had a fence in hand!
Q: Just tell me a bit about your round today. He’s a super jumper, I think the atmosphere was quite a big deal – he came in a bit tight and tense and yes he rolled a pole but so what – he basically jumped very well indeed. The pressure was on and the course is the Rolex four star and it’s my second leg in the Grand Slam and I’ve never got this close before, but next week is another week mind you, but to be this close is so exciting and what a great way to finish up!
Lexington, KY – Derek di Grazia’s 29 obstacle cross country course proved extremely influential Saturday at the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone and caused a tremendous shake-up of the leaderboard. The top of the standings saw an exchange of first and second positions as William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk now lead the field while dressage leaders Allison Springer and Arthur sit in second.
Fox-Pitt demonstrated Saturday why he has won 10 CCI4*s in his career, piloting Catherine Witt’s Parklane Hawk to a masterful round Saturday. The 12-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding was one of only seven horses to produce a double-clear round Saturday, to remain on their dressage score of 41.3.
Fox-Pitt heads into Sunday’s show jumping phase looking to win the second of the three leg $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing after having won the 2011 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials with Parklane Hawk.
Lausanne (SUI), 28 April 2012 – A thrilling finale is guaranteed to the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA) presented by Bridgestone, the third leg of the HSBC FEI Classics, following a thrilling Cross Country day which has left the top three riders within a Jumping fence of each other.
William Fox-Pitt (GBR) and Parklane Hawk have moved up a place and now have a slender advantage over Dressage leaders Alison Springer (USA) and Arthur, who clocked 3.2 time penalties across the country, and New Zealander Jonathan Paget who is lying third on Clifton Promise.
Fox-Pitt, who won the event in 2010 on Cool Mountain, put in an exhibition round to finish seven seconds inside the optimum time of 11 minutes 14 seconds. “I was aware the course was causing problems, but you have to believe that you’re riding a good horse with good form,” he said afterwards.
(USA, 28 April 2012) – William Fox-Pitt (GBR) riding Parklane Hawk, today Saturday 28 April 2012, is the current leader after the Cross-country phase at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, in Lexington, having ridden an immaculate clear round over the cross-country and within the optimum time. This puts William currently into 1st position going into tomorrow’s final Show Jumping phase (41.3pts). Allison Springer (USA) riding Arthur, who was the overnight leader after Dressage, went clear cross-country but had 2.8 time penalties, giving her a score of 42.6pts going into Show Jumping.
Quotes from William Fox-Pitt after his clear cross country (link to audio of full interview below):
Q: William, an incredible round you are only the third double clear this morning, you made it look so easy – talk us through it: “Well that’s the idea, it doesn’t always happen like that. It’s great to have a good round here at the Rolex under your belt and really stand me in good stead for the 2012 season ahead. He went very well. He’s a good horse and it was causing trouble as you said and you begin to doubt yourself, you begin to doubt your horse and that’s so dangerous – you’ve just got to really believe that you are riding a very good horse with good form, and this course should be fine – and I was right to think that. He really ate it up and came home easily in the time.”
Lexington, KY – On the second day of dressage at the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone the results proved true to form. Familiar pair Allison Springer and Arthur topped the first phase scoring 39.8 – the only effort to break 40. Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt Parklane Hawk cruised to second place with a score of 41.3 and Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen settled into third with a lovely effort at the horse’s first CCI4*.
A chilly start to the day meant for some fresh horses this morning, but the quality remained high and Springer (Marshall, VA) rode Arthur with a lot of confidence and was rewarded by the Ground Jury of Nick Burton, Anne-Mette Binder and Michel Asseray. Now 13, Arthur can be relied upon to produce a good dressage test despite his seemingly worried outlook on life.
Lausanne (SUI), 28 April 2012 – American rider Alison Springer and Arthur have taken the lead after Dressage with the only sub-40 mark at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA) presented by Bridgestone, the third leg of the HSBC FEI Classics.
The duo are well-known exponents of the art of Dressage and can always be relied upon to produce a beautiful test at this level, but the elegant chestnut gelding also has a tendency to suffer from nerves.
Springer, a Kentucky regular, explained: “I’ve tried to bring a different attitude this year, not putting as much pressure on myself. He’s never going to be a relaxed horse, but I am working on figuring out what I need to do to keep him calm and confident. I haven’t figured it all yet but he’s a good horse and I am excited about the partnership I can have with him.”
Commenting on the Derek di Grazia designed Cross Country, Springer said: “It’s a tough course. Last year, I had a tremendous ride. I know what I need to do to produce my best tomorrow. Hopefully, I can make good decisions.”