Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

Fox-Pitt Takes Early Lead at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI**** Presented by Bayer

Lexington, KY—April 22, 2004—Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt took the early lead at the CCI**** Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bayer, running April 22-25, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

The first of two days of dressage competition, Thursday saw 22 of the world’s best horse-rider combinations perform in wet conditions. Riding Coastal Tide, an 11-year-old Australian-bred gelding, Fox-Pitt earned the lowest penalty score, 43.4, from the international panel of judges.

“This is the first time he’s done this dressage test as it is only his first four-star event,” noted Fox-Pitt, 35. “He made a few mistakes that he doesn’t normally make, but he has a fantastic presence and a great mentality.”

This year’s event marks the third consecutive appearance at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event for Fox-Pitt. In 2002, he placed fourth riding Stunning while the following year he did one better, finishing third aboard Moon Man. As for his chances this year, Fox-Pitt noted, “It is a competition any rider would aspire to win but there is a lot to be done before Sunday.”

Abigail Lufkin, who took a four-year sabbatical from competition in order to pursue graduate studies in California, made a strong return to the sport with a dressage score of 45.8 penalty points that moved her into second position on the leader board. Lufkin, 33, of Middleburg, VA, was aboard Kildonan Tug, also an 11-year-old Australian thoroughbred gelding.

“Kentucky is one of my favorite events and it feels great to be back in the main arena,” noted Lufkin, a team gold and individual bronze medalist at the 1999 Pan American Games. “I was pleased with my horse. He can get tense, but he only got better as we went through the test.”

Representing New Zealand, Donna Smith moved into third spot riding Call Me Clifton after earning a score of 46.6 penalty points. Five-time Olympian and six-time Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event champion Bruce Davidson, Sr. of Unionville, PA, is currently in fourth while last-year’s runner-up, Polly Stockton of Great Britain, rounds out the top five.

Offering $190,000 in prize money, the CCI**** Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is a qualifying competition for the 2004 Olympic Games and includes the seventh competition for the USET Foundation Pinnacle Cup.

In addition to the CCI**** division, this year’s Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event is also hosting a Modified Four Star Three-Day Event that is in part patterned after the format to be used for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Open only to U.S. Citizens and Foreign Riders residing in North America who have already qualified for the Olympic Games under FEI rules, the Bayer Modified Four Star division marks the first time ever that horses and riders will have the opportunity to run the shortened distance prescribed for Athens.

Amy Tryon of Redmond, WA, took the early lead in the Bayer Modified Four Star division following the first of two days of dressage competition. Riding her long-time partner, My Beau, a 14-year-old Canadian Thoroughbred gelding, Tryon posted a score of 42 penalty points to put her well in front of the 18 other competitors.

“Overall I was really pleased with my dressage performance even though the conditions were difficult,” noted Tryon of the rain that fell throughout the dressage competition. “However, I’m from Seattle and it rains a lot there, so my horses are used to the rain!”

Additionally, Tryon, a member of the gold medal team at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Spain, will ride Poggio II in the second half of the modified dressage competition held Friday.

Another Washington state native, Jessica Heidemann of Bellingham, WA, is tied for second position with Holly Hepp of Middleburg, VA, with a score of 50.2 penalty points. Heidemann, 23, is competing at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event for the first time with her 13-year-old French-bred horse, French Twist.

“For me, this is completely new,” noted Heidemann, an individual silver medalist at the 2001 North American Young Riders’ Championship. “I am riding against my heroes, against the people whose books I’ve read!”

As for Hepp, 31, this year marks her fourth appearance at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event. A full-time athlete, Hepp was especially pleased with her dressage performance riding Lester Piggott, a 13-year-old thoroughbred/trakehner-cross.

“My horse is good in the rain, and he was quite settled and obedient in the dressage,” said Hepp. “I was very happy that he stayed settled, allowing me to ride more forward and show off his movement.”

The remaining 19 competitors in the Bayer Modified Four Star division will perform their dressage test on Friday morning before tackling the cross country course designed by Michael Etherington-Smith of Great Britain on Saturday afternoon and completing the three-phase event on Sunday with stadium jumping.

NBC-TV will present a 90-minute telecast of the 2004 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bayer, on Sunday, May 2, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In addition, the Cross Country portion of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event will air on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) on May 9 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. EDT and will re-air on Friday, May 14 from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. EDT. The Stadium Jumping portion of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, which will include a Cross-Country recap, will air on OLN on Sunday, May 16 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EDT and will re-air on Friday, May 21 from 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. EDT. The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event also will be broadcast in Europe on CNBC Europe, which will air coverage on Sunday, May 2 at 10:00 pm (Central European Time).

The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is one of only four CCI**** events held in the world. The three other events are the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Burghley Horse Trials in Great Britain and Adelaide in Australia. The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is also part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing that awards $250,000 to any rider who can win Rolex Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley in succession.

Along with the exciting equestrian action, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event features an international trade fair with more than 125 merchants, the United States Pony Clubs Prince Philip Cup and a variety of other fun family activities and entertaining attractions.

Tickets for the 2004 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event may be purchased at the Rolex Kentucky Ticket Booths at the Kentucky Horse Park. For full information on the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, presented by Bayer, please visit the official Rolex Kentucky website at


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.