Australia's Clayton Fredericks and Ben Along Time claimed their first four-star win in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day event, presented by Farnam, at the Kentucky Horse Park at the weekend.
Fredericks finshed on 54.0 penalties, and had entered the culminating show jumping phase in third place behind US riders Kristin Bachman and Heidi White Carty. He and his 12-year-old Irish gelding completed the jumping course with no jumping and one time penalty to put the pressure on the two leaders.
Placing second and winning the Rolex/US Equestrian Federation Four Star Championship as the highest placing American was former Australian rider Phillip Dutton. Dutton, a two-time Olympic team Gold Medalist when he rode for his native Australia, finished with a score of 59.1 on Connaught.
Of the other Australian contenders, Wendy Schaeffer and Koyuna Sun Magic finished sixth, and Heath Ryan and Flame were eliminated on the cross-country. Ryan Wood and Koyuna Azgard withdrew before the dressage phase.
Carty and Northern Spy, last year's Reserve Champions, incurred 11 penalties to drop to a final fourth place finish with 63.0 penalties. That left it up to Bachman, the overnight leader with a score of 48.2 penalties on Gryffindor.
Bachman, who had taken the lead with one of only eight faultless rounds on cross country, could afford one rail down but wound up being eliminating after going off course by mistakenly turning left instead of right after the eighth of 13 fences.
“All of us have been there said US Olympic veteran Karen O'Connor of Bachman's mishap. “If you're in this sport long enough it will happen to you. Kristin is a great rider on a great horse and she will be back in the top position before long.”
O'Connor made history with her performance on the popular Theodore O'Connor, the first pony ever to ride in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. O'Connor, a three-time Rolex champion, placed third with a score of 60.1.
“I really can't say enough about my horse,” said an elated Fredericks. “I never expected this but he tries his heart out and has real star quality. I am quite fortunate to be able to ride him.”
Sara Mittleider, one of a record four Young Riders in the CCI****, was honored with the Reeves Trophy as the top finishing Young Rider. Mittleider, who also won the award last year, finished an impressive 12th with 74.4 penalties on El Primero.
Prior to the start of the jumping phase, longtime British veteran Ian Stark was honoured in a ceremony where he officially retired from the sport. Stark then rode his mount Full Circle II for the final time, finishing with no jumping and only one time penalty for a final score of 74.1 and an 11th place finish.
ALLEGED HORSE ABUSE…
It has subsequently come to our notice, that the FEI was notified of an alleged case of abuse which occurred during the CCI 4* Lexington, Kentucky USA on Saturday 28 April involving competitor Amy Tyron (USA) and Le Samurai.
The preliminary investigation was conducted according to the regulations, whereby the Ground Jury met on Saturday 28 April following the cross country to investigate an incident of alleged abuse before fence 34. The Ground Jury collected written statements from the Fence Judges and Sector Steward and reviewed the video as well as interviewing the FEI Veterinary Delegate, Dr. Catherine Kohn. The rider, Amy Tyron, was interviewed on Sunday immediately after the Sunday morning horse inspection and gave her account of the incident. Following the interview, the Ground Jury referred the matter to the Appeal Committee. The Appeal Committee, in full possession of all the written statements and video recording, took the following decision:
According to article 164.4.5 of the FEI General Regulations: “In serious cases, immediate disqualification with one or more horses from a competition or from the whole event with a referral to the Secretary General (for referral to the Judicial Committee).”
Once the FEI has collected all reports and evidence, the case will be submitted to the Tribunal (the former Judicial Committee) and all the relevant evidence will be reviewed prior to any decision being made.