2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone Brings the Best in the World to the Kentucky Horse Park
RELEASE: April 20, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Joanie Morris
Jennifer Wooten-Dafoe and The Good Witch (Mike McNally)
- It's that time again. Winter vanished and suddenly the 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone has arrived. Bigger than ever in 2010, the competition, which also serves as the USEF National CCI4* Eventing Championship, boasts many of the very best in the game both from the US and around the globe. The action gets underway at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington April 22, 2010.
All eyes will be firmly fixed on Oliver Townend as he tries to join the elite company of his fellow Brit, Pippa Funnell, and become only the second rider ever to win the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Townend won the 2009 Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials and the 2009 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials - the Grand Slam is awarded to the rider who can win any of these three events in succession so Townend is, therefore, the only rider currently in contention. He rides ODT Master Rose and Ashdale Cruise Master in his quest for history.
"I have to take it one competition at a time, at the minute all my dreams are hanging on Rolex Kentucky," said Townend.
His mission to get to Lexington has proved very difficult as European air travel has been largely suspended due to Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano. He took a train from the UK to Paris, where he ran into a transportation strike, so he took a very expensive taxi trip from Paris to Madrid and then flew from Madrid to Miami, Miami to Atlanta and finally to Lexington.
Despite being virtually invincible in 2009, the American riders are going to ensure that Townend isn't going to walk away with top honors without a fight. Led by some of the nation's most experienced riders, the US will have four of the five members of the 2008 Olympic team in the mix.
Phillip Dutton leads the way with four horses, including Woodburn, who was 9th at the event in 2008. He will also ride The Foreman who is back from a hiatus after being runner-up in 2005 at both Rolex Kentucky and Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, and he will catch-ride Waterfront, a CCI3* runner-up for his usual rider Jan Byyny, who is currently sidelined with an injury. Dutton will be the pathfinder on Kheops Du Quesnay who was fourth in the CCI3* at Fair Hill in 2009.
USEF National CCI3* Champion from 2009, Boyd Martin (who has been riding for the US since 2009) will have three shots at top honors. Neville Bardos (his ride at the National Championships) is back with a vengeance after missing the spring season of 2009. He was 9th at the 2008 edition of this event, and Martin won the 2003 Adelaide CCI4* in his native country of Australia.
Martin will ride Rock On Rose for seven-time winner of the competition, Bruce Davidson; the legend himself won't be in the saddle at the spring fixture due to the fact he had recent surgery to repair his ailing back. Martin will also have Remington XXV in the mix - at the horse's first CCI4*.
Last year's USEF National CCI4* Championship winner has one chance at defending his title - the Kentucky-bred Thoroughbred Titanium will be contesting his first CCI4* for veteran Buck Davidson (son of Bruce).
So now let's look at Rolex by the numbers, here are 21 (.5) fast facts about the field at the 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone:
0: Competitions Jonathan Paget and Capt. Geoff Curran have contested in the United States
.5: Arabian in the competition. Thanks to Snooze Alarm.
1: Winner of the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing (Pippa Funnell)
2: Riders with three or more horses (Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin)
3: Consecutive years the following four horses have started the event (Hollywood, Arthur, Woodburn and The Good Witch)
4: Days a three day event actually takes and this is the only CCI4* in the hemisphere
5: Months Holly Hudspeth (neé Hepp) has been married
6: Horse/rider combinations contesting their first CCI4* (Kristi Nunnink/R-Star, Lauren Keiffer/Snooze Alarm, Kelly Prather/Ballinakill Glory, Kate Hicks/Belmont, Andrea Baxter/Estrella and Colin Davidson/Draco)
7: Times Phillip Dutton has been runner-up; he finally broke the jinx in 2008
8: Hour trip for Will Faudree and Pawlow to get from their base in Hoffman, North Carolina to Lexington, KY
9: Age of the youngest horse in the competition (Titanium) and number of horses running their first CCI4* with more seasoned pilots (High Patriot, Anthony Patch, Kheops du Quesnay, Pawlow, Coal Creek, Rock on Rose, Last Monarch, Remington XXV and Titanium)
10: The price of a ticket (in US dollars) for the lower grandstands on Thursday or Friday
11: Starts Wonderful Will had as a racehorse. He then had a brief career as a pony at Keeneland race track - now he is contesting his second CCI4* (with Michael Pollard - whose wife Nathalie Bouckaert Pollard had twins on Sunday!)
12: Years the CCI4*has been running
13: Miles from Blue Grass Airport to the Kentucky Horse Park
14: Draw number of most senior competitor in the field
15: HSBC Classic points go to the winner
16: The height (in hands) of three time winner Winsome Adante
17: Years Karen and David O'Connor have been married
18: Age of the oldest horse in the competition (Hollywood)
19: Letters in Quirinal de la Bastide's name
20: Minutes Phillip Dutton will spend in the dressage ring (five minutes per horse)ENDS
Please contact Joanie Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit: http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsDisciplines/discipline/competitions/Rolex.aspx
To sign up for Universal Sports live webcast, please visit: http://www.universalsports.com/premium and click on equestrian.
The Kentucky Cup Dressage and the Kentucky Cup Jumping events, which serve as test events for the upcoming Alltech 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, will be held in conjunction with the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Bridgestone. To learn more about these events visit: http://www.alltechfeigames.com/content.aspx?id=3584
Pictures, blogs, video and all kinds of other information can be found at: http://www.clubequestrian.com/coverage/rolex_3day_event_2010.aspx.