04.29.18

Townend Is Tops at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Posted in Land Rover 3-Day Event at 9:17 pm by EPR

Lexington, Ky., April 29, 2018-In a nail-biting finish filled with gasps and thrills, Oliver Townend of Great Britain did the seemingly impossible: he beat Germany’s three-time defending champion Michael Jung at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.
Standing in third overnight, Townend jumped a gorgeous fault-free show jumping round aboard Cooley Master Class, finishing on his dressage score of 28.7 penalties and setting up the showdown with overnight leader Jung on Fischerrocana FST. When the German pair dropped a rail at fence 5, the victory was Townend’s. Jung would finish second (31.5).
“Obviously it’s a fantastic feeling,” Townend, 35, Shropshire, England, said. “I had to do a bit of arm-twisting to get the horses here as there was no funding from Britain to come here this year. The owners gambled on me to win their money back, and I’m pleased the horses have come through with great results and that I’ve repaid the owners’ gamble on me.”
Want to see Oliver Townend’s 
Show Jumping Round? Click Here? 
Oliver Townend was all smiles as he received the keys to his new Land Rover Discovery from Land Rover USA’s Deb Sandford. (c) Michelle Dunn Photo
American pair Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous also put in a double-clear show jumping round to move up into third overall, and to win the Land Rover/USEF National CCI**** Championship as the highest-placed Americans with a score of 32.8.
“She is a diva and is notoriously a terror in the stable,” Little, 36, Frederick, Md., said of “Kitty” a 13-year-old Oldenburg.  “But she knows her people. Her groom is with her at all times, and she’s very trusting. She has an incredible sense of the moment and loves performing for a crowd. She’s a real princess, which was a concern early on, as we wondered was she too delicate and fragile and careful for eventing? But she’s become a courageous horse, and she gives you 150 percent of all she has.”
Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous finished third overall, but took home the Roger Haller Trophy for the Land Rover/USEF National CCI**** Championship. (c) Michelle Dunn Photo
The morning started with a dramatic turn when Fischerrocana was sent to the holding box during the final horse inspection, as was second-placed Christopher Burton of Australia with Nobilis 18. As the crowd held their breath, the ground jury accepted both horses upon re-presentation.
Early on in the show jumping, rails fell, but it was also clear that course designer Richard Jeffrey had measured the course tightly, and even horses who were jumping clean were having multiple time penalties.
The first to post a double-clear round was Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Boarder (21st/55.9) and the crowd roared their approval. As the top horses came in one by one, the tension ratcheted up. In the end, only seven would complete the show jumping with no jumping or time penalties, and those that could climbed up the order.
Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class had to be perfect, and they were, to win the Land Rover Kentucky CCI****. (c) Michelle Dunn Photo
Townend had come into the show jumping with Cooley Master Class in third and MHS King Joules tied for fourth. He went early on King Joules and lowered a rail, so he cantered in aboard Master Class, all business. The bay gelding jumped his heart out, putting pressure on Burton and Jung.
Burton would lower two rails, and the crowd grew silent as Jung, the Land Rover Kentucky winner for the last three years, cantered in. At fence 5, his 13-year-old German-bred mare stood off the triple bar and just tipped the front rail.
“I’m very happy about Rocana, a little more sad about me,” said a circumspect Jung, 35, the three-time Olympic gold medalist from Horb, Germany. “It was my mistake, I was too far away from this fence. My mare tried hard, and it was a good round, only one down, but it was one down too much. But it was a very nice week here in Kentucky. I really like this event, it’s beautiful and I’m happy to be here.”
Germany’s Michael Jung and Fischerrocana FST dropped one rail to finish second at the Land Rover Kentucky CCI****. (c) Redbaystock.com
When Jung faulted, Townend covered his face with his hands in disbelief before dissolving into tears.
Ultimately, three others besides Townend would finish on their dressage scores: Phillip Dutton/Z (33.7/4th), Sharon White/Cooley On Show (35.6/7th) and Will Coleman/Tight Lines (38.3/12th).
Townend has had Cooley Master Class since he was a 4-year-old and says he has always been a barn favorite. “He came right at the end of a period where I had sold a lot of my good horses to set my life up and buy a property,” he said. “He came right at the right time, and when I sat on him, I said ‘one way or another we’re finding a way to keep this one.’
“I was lucky to sell him to someone who let me keep the ride, and he’s never really let us down,” he continued. “He had a couple of niggles injury-wise, at certain stages in his career. At times we thought, ‘Will he ever come through with what he can really do?’ But these last two seasons he toughened up, and we learned more about him and how to manage him. He’s always been cheeky and talented and I’m very pleased for him to come through with it.”
Townend also finished seventh on King Joules. “(With) Joules, I’m just thrilled, really pleased. If you’d wanted me to sign a piece of paper saying I’d have one down before the round, I’d have happily signed for that. He is the most difficult horse I’ve ever ridden and also the most talented. For him to put up the performance this week he did, I’m just as happy as I am with the winner.”
The winner takes home a check for $130,000, and for his seventh-placed finish Townend adds an additional $14,000, making it a profitable weekend for his team. MHS King Joules and Cooley Master Class are both 13-year-old Irish Sport Horses.
For his victory, Townend received a one-year lease on a Land Rover Discovery, and he got to take a victory lap in the car. He zoomed around the ring to the roar of the crowd. When asked how fast he was going, he replied with a dry laugh, “I don’t know, the man in the passenger seat was screaming too loud.”
Townsend, who also took home a Rolex watch for his win, has a reason to be happier than most with his win, as this victory is his second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. A hefty cash prize of $350,000 goes to the rider who wins the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton, Land Rover Burghley and Land Rover Kentucky in succession. Townend won Burghley last September aboard Ballaghmor Class, who is entered at Badminton next week, along with Cooley SRS. If he wins there, he will be only the third person in history to take the Grand Slam. Previous winners were Jung in 2016 and Pippa Funnel in 2003.
“I’m very fortunate to have two nice horses also belonging to (Cooley Master Class’ owner Angela Hislop), and we’re living in dream world,” Townend said. “Angela came up to me about six years ago and said if she was going to own horses for me she wanted a four-star winner and a British team horse, and now we’ve had both. So, we’re both living in dream world, and hopefully it will continue for another week–please.”
In the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge, Team Germany/Great Britain/Australia/Poland (Jung/Fischerrocana FST, Burton/Nobilis 18, Oliver Townend/MHS King Joules, Pawel Spisak/Banderas) maintained their top spot, winning with a final score of 102.7, over Team USA (108) and Team Canada (244.2).
Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous put in a fault-free round to finish third at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. (c) Michelle Dunn Photo
Want to see Marilyn Little’s Show Jumping Round? 
Click Here.
About the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event:
The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is the nation’s premier three-day event. Known as “the best weekend all year,” this multi-day competition features the world’s best horses and riders vying for their share of $400,000 in prize money, as well as a shot at the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing which is awarded to any rider who wins the Land Rover Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton and Land Rover Burghley Four Star Events in succession. Land Rover Kentucky is one of only six annual Four Star Three-Day Events in the world and the only one in the Western Hemisphere.
This event also serves as the Land Rover/USEF CCI**** National Championship for the American riders.
Also featured as a part of the competition is the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Cup Team Challenge, with each team vying for $20,000 in prize money. Four teams will line up for their share of the winnings.
The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will be broadcast on NBC on Sunday, May 6, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT. It will also be broadcast on the Olympic Channel on May 26, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT. USEFNetwork.com will livestream the competition in its entirety. Competition will also be archived and available on demand.
 
For further information: www.kentuckythreedayevent.com  

04.25.18

Seven horses held, 46 moving forward to dressage at 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Posted in Kentucky Three Day Event, Land Rover 3-Day Event at 8:43 pm by EPR

Lexington, Ky., April 25, 2018 — It was a drama filled first day at the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event as seven horses were held at the first horse inspection, though all but two would make their way through the inspection process to move on to the next phase of competition.

Savannah Fulton and Captain Jack jog for the ground jury at the first horse inspection. (c) Redbaystock.com

The first horse inspection is a chance for the ground jury of Christian, Landholt (SUI), Sue Baxter (GBR), Jane Hamlin (USA) and veterinary delegate Karen Nyrop (USA) to see the horses and determine if they appear fit and sound to start in the competition.

Caroline Martin’s Spring Easy, Colleen Loach’s Qorry Blue D’ Argouges, Sara Gumbiner’s Polaris and Alexandra Knowles’ Sound Prospect were all held, but then accepted upon re-inspection.

Erin Sylvester had a rough start to her weekend when both of her mounts, Mettraise and Paddy The Caddy, were sent to the holding box. Paddy the Caddy was passed upon re-inspection, but sadly Mettraise was not.

Joe Meyer of New Zealand’s Johnny Royale was withdrawn after being held.

One of the international rider, Oliver Townsend of Great Britain, and Cooley Master Class present to the ground jury during the first horse inspection. (c) Redbaystock.com

Two horses on the entry list, Veronica ridden by Lauren Kieffer and Obos O’Reilly ridden by William Coleman were on the entry list, but did not present at the first horse inspection, as they will be contesting Badminton Horse Trials in England next week.

The remaining 46 horses will start the dressage Thursday, the first of three phases for these brave horse-and-rider pairs. Dressage will run Thursday and Friday, with the exciting cross-country on Saturday, and the event culminating in a nail biting finish in the show jumping on Sunday.

Phillip Dutton is clearly hoping to win a new pair of Dubarry of Ireland boots as the best-dressed man at the first horse inspection.

The first horse inspection is a chance for the riders to “strut their stuff” along with their horses, and the best dressed man and woman from Wednesday’s inspection will be chosen and awarded a pair of Dubarry boots.

About the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event:
The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is the nation’s premier three-day event. Known as “the best weekend all year,” this multi-day competition features the world’s best horses and riders vying for their share of $400,000 in prize money, as well as a shot at the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing which is awarded to any rider who wins the Land Rover Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton and Land Rover Burghley Four Star Events in succession. Land Rover Kentucky is one of only six annual Four Star Three-Day Events in the world and the only one in the Western Hemisphere.

This event also serves as the Rolex/USEF CCI**** championship for the American riders.

Also featured as a part of the competition is the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Cup Team Challenge, with each team vying for $20,000 in prize money. Four teams will line up for their share of the winnings.

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will be broadcast on NBC on Sunday, May 6, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT. It will also be broadcast on the Olympic Channel on May 26, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT. USEFNetwork.com will livestream the competition in its entirety. Competition will also be archived and available on demand.

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will host a $225,000 Invitational Grand Prix on Saturday, April 28 after the completion of the cross-country phase. In addition to the $225,000 Invitational Grand Prix, there will be a $35,000 1.45m FEI ranking class on Friday, April 27, following the completion of the CCI’s dressage competition.

Spectators can also shop at the Sponsor Village and International Trade Fair with almost 200 booths and tents. Land Rover Kentucky also features tailgating, glamorous camping “glamping”, a fund-raising dinner on Thursday evening, the Head Up Heels Down 5K race on Friday evening, and Champions Live! on Sunday morning.

For further information: www.kentuckythreedayevent.com