04.25.14

Springer Rides To Lead At Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Land Rover

Posted in Rolex Kentucky 3 Day Event at 7:52 pm by EPR

Lexington, Ky., April 25, 2014 –With a score of 39.5 penalties, Allison Springer, riding Arthur, emphatically took over the lead in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover. Two-time Rolex Kentucky winner William Fox-Pitt is second, on Bay My Hero (44.0), and Lauren Kieffer is third on Veronica (46.7).

 

Three riders are tied for fourth with a score of 49.5: Thursday’s leader Michael Pollard on Mensa G, Phillip Dutton on Mr. Medicott, and Jan Byyny on Inmidair. Will Faudree, who stood second on Thursday with Pawlow, is now seventh (49.8).

 

Some 13,760 spectators watched the second half of the 60-horse field perform their dressage tests today, the precursor to Saturday’s cross-country phase.

 

Springer, 39, of Upperville, Va., and Arthur also won the Rolex Kentucky dressage phase in 2012. “I think I liked this one better because I was a bit more emotional. But he went into the ring a much more confident horse. I think maybe we’re both maturing a little bit, and I do think this one was a bit better,” said Springer of Arthur, a 15-year-old U.S.-bred Irish Sporthorse.

 

Springer is also in 44th place on Copycat Chloe.

 

         Fox-Pitt, 45, a member of Britain’s gold-medal team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park, thought that Bay My Hero did some of his best work too.

 

“I was very happy with him today. He couldn’t have gone very much better,” said Fox-Pitt, noting that the weather had become dark and blustery by the time he and Springer rode, at mid-afternoon. “He can be quite easily distracted, because he likes to look at everything. But he really held it together well.”

 

Fox-Pitt is also in 10th place on Seacookie TSF.

 

Kieffer, 26, of Middleburg, Va., is riding at Rolex Kentucky for the second time, and this will also be Veronica’s second Rolex start. In 2012 Karen O’Connor fell off her at a water complex. Kieffer has been a student of Karen and David O’Connor’s for nine years and has been riding Veronica for about a year.

 

“There is a lot to do tomorrow, and I don’t think this will be a dressage show,” said Kieffer.

 

With dressage completed, the riders are now focusing their attention on Derek di Grazia’s cross-country course, which winds its way around the Kentucky Horse Park. Competition begins at 11:00 a.m.

 

The jump that’s grabbing their attention the most is a new creation, fences 16AB, the Angled Brushes.

 

“I think the angled hedges are about the most severe angle I’ve ever jumped,” said Springer. “But I really trust Derek as a course designer, and I have a lot of faith in Arthur.”

 

         Said Fox-Pitt about the Angled Brushes: “We’ve all been squinting at them to try to make them look better. The horses will need to be really on the ball there-and all around the course. It’s a tough track, but I think the horses should finish well. It’s going to take some jumping.”

 

         Kieffer called di Grazia “a genius as a course designer.”

 

         She added, “The horses can see all the lines at the combinations if you ride them well. There are no tricks. But if you make a mistake, it will punish the rider, not the horse.”

 

         The effect of the cross-country course will likely be substantial, as the horses placed from eighth to 34th have penalties between 51.2 and 59. 8.

 

         In the new Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge, the United States is in the lead, thanks to Springer and Kieffer. By adding  Pollard’s score, the U.S. total is 135.7 penalties.

 

         Fox-Pitt is two-thirds of the British team, and when combined with Sarah Bullimore’s 52.7 on Reve Du Rouet, the British team’s second-placed score is 148.2.

 

         Canada, with a 54.7 from Jessica Phoenix on Pavarotti and two scores from Selena O’Hanlon, is third with 168.5.