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Thrilling Competition Beckons at Kentucky

William Fox-Pitt (GBR), joint leader of the FEI Classics, and Seacookie TSF (pictured here at Burghley) head to Kentucky, where the bay gelding produced one of his best performances of his career finishing second last year. Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI.

Lausanne (SUI), 22 April 2014 – The stage is set for a thrilling competition at one of the perennial jewels in the Eventing calendar, the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, third leg of the FEI Classics 2013/2014 this weekend (24-27 April).

Among the 60-plus entries are two of the world’s best riders who will once again lock horns at North America’s premier event, the result of which could ultimately determine the winner of the valuable FEI Classics, now in its seventh year.

William Fox-Pitt, who has won 12 CCI4*s – more than any other rider – plus the FEI Classics three times, will make his annual visit. The current joint leader of the FEI Classics has entered with the German-bred Seacookie TSF, runner-up last year and winner of Les Etoiles de Pau at the start of the FEI Classics 2013/2014 season last October, plus the exciting prospect Bay My Hero.

Last year’s Kentucky winner Andrew Nicholson (NZL), the world number one and winner of last year’s FEI Classics, has opted to take his 2013 winning ride Quimbo to Badminton (GBR) this time and has instead entered Avebury, one of the most talented and popular horses on the circuit.

This is the first time the lovely home-bred grey gelding, by the part Irish Draught stallion Jumbo, has competed at a CCI4* out of Britain, but he has a formidable record which includes first and second places at Burghley (GBR) in 2012 and 2013 and it will be interesting to see what he makes of Derek de Grazia’s rolling track at Kentucky.

Eight nations are represented – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, The Netherlands and the USA – and the host side will be hoping they can pull Kentucky back into American hands again for the first time since 2008, when Phillip Dutton won on Connaught.

Dutton must have another great chance this year – he is three-handed with Mighty Nice, Trading Aces and his new ride Mr Medicott, the Olympic team gold medallist with Frank Ostholt (GER) in 2008, the highest-placed US horse at the London 2012 Olympic Games with Karen O’Connor, and who was fourth at the opening leg of this series in Pau last year with Dutton.

Buck Davidson (USA), whose father Bruce is the most successful rider of all time at Kentucky, is the first rider into the Dressage arena on Friday morning at 10.00 (US time). He also has a trio of rides: Petite Flower, the experienced Ballynoe Castle RM and Park Trader.

Marilyn Little (RF Demeter and RF Snow on the Water) and Alison Springer (Copycat Chloe and the veteran Arthur) are two-handed, as is Canadian rider Selina O’Hanlon with Foxwood High and Bellaney Rock.

The most senior rider in the field, however, is Sir Mark Todd (NZL), 58, who has been riding at Kentucky longer than anyone else – since 1978. He has an interesting prospect in Oloa, seventh in his first CCI4*, Burghley, last year.

See the full entry list for the third leg of the FEI Classics in Kentucky here, follow what is sure to be a fascinating competition with live coverage of the entire event on the FEI’s official video platform FEI TV, and see results on www.rk3de.org.

See full standings here.

Prize money

At the end of the FEI Classics 2013/2014 season, the five riders with the highest number of points collected across the six FEI Classics events will share a total prize fund of US$120,000 split as follows: 1st – US$40,000 (Series Champion); 2nd – US$35,000; 3rd – US$25,000; 4th – US$15,000; 5th – US$5,000.

Join the FEI on Facebook & Twitter.

Our signature twitter hashtags for this series are #Classics and #Eventing. We encourage you to use them, and if you have space: #FEI Classics #Eventing.

By Kate Green

Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Media Contact:

Marty Bauman
+1 508 698 6810 ext. 10

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

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