Rolex Kentucky Won by Aussie

A press release from the International Sports Movement stated that Australian Clayton Fredericks won the 2007 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam. U.S. riders Phillip Dutton and Karen O'Connor finish second and third, respectively.

Riding for the first time under the U.S. flag, former Australian rider Phillip Dutton finished second at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, for the fifth time. But, this year, it was former Aussie teammate, Clayton Fredericks, aboard Ben Along Time, who put in the best score to take the Rolex Kentucky four-star championship on a score of 54.0. Dutton, as the highest-placed U.S. rider aboard Bruce Duchossois' Connaught, took the Rolex/United States Equestrian Federation's Pinnacle Cup Trophy, an award celebrating its 10th year, finishing on a score of 59.1. Connaught, a 14-year-old Irish Thoroughbred, picked up his best finish to date adding just 8.4 time faults on the cross-country and two time penalties in show jumping to his dressage score.

"It was a great weekend for him. He did just about his best dressage," said Dutton. "The cross-country was good. I went a little conservatively … going early on in the day.  I could have gone a little quicker, but I'm very pleased with the way he ran. I underestimated his fitness a little bit. I was worried about him getting tired, and I thought all the horses would feel the course at the end, but they actually came home very well. If I could have it again, I would have set out a bit quicker. But, having said that, he jumped very well, and he's had a very short preparation. He's only run once between the World Championships and here. So, I couldn't have asked much more from him, and I think he jumped really well today."

After placing fourth here last year, Dutton rode Connaught at the World Equestrian Games last summer, but picked up a run-out on cross-country. A very careful jumper, Dutton has found him very dependable on the third day.

"The only times I've had rails down is usually when I've over ridden him, and am too strong with my leg at the jump, which is a little bit the opposite of what I work on," said Dutton.

Dutton was also 10th on Truluck. Owned by Annie Jones and Shannon Stimson, Dutton was pleased with the 10-year-old Thoroughbred's effort in his first four-star.

"I'm really pleased," said Dutton. "He handled it all well. It was a tough show jumping track, and he didn't embarrass us. Hopefully, he's going to come out of it a better horse."

Dutton is considering the Pan American Games as an option for either horse this summer, if he gets the opportunity to represent the U.S. for the first time.

"It's nice to feel a part of it," said Dutton. "I entered them both for the Pan Ams, so we'll see how it all works out."

Fredericks rode his partner from the 2005 World Cup Final who was also the Silver medalist from the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games. Ben Along Time put in a very classy performance over the weekend, and added one time fault in show jumping. A 12-year-old Irish-bred by Cavalier Royale, Ben Along Time was one of five horses by the renowned Holsteiner sire in the competition this weekend. A record crowd of 96,478 were in attendance over the four-day competition. Those packing the show jumping arena today watched the pair win the four-star in their first attempt.

"After watching the first few riders go, I thought I would be one of the ones that took a couple of rails," said Fredericks. "But, he felt brilliant today. I jumped very few fences before I went in. He's got a fantastic temperament. He has that star quality, and he tried his guts out."

Fredericks' win came at the direct expense of overnight leaders Kristin Bachman and Gryffindor. Bachman went off-course in show jumping, eliminating herself in the process.  She had already used up the rail she had in-hand when she went off-course. Fredericks will head to Badminton next week, where he has two rides, Nullabor and WP In Limbo. He will try to pick up the second leg of the Rolex Triple Crown.

Karen O'Connor aboard Theodore O'Connor ("the pony" as he was referred to all weekend long) put in an unbelievable performance in show jumping to leap from ninth place after cross-country to third overall and the runner-up position for the USEF Pinnacle Cup Trophy. The 12-year-old "Teddy" paid no mind to his 14.1-hand stature, easily covering the ground and making up the distance throughout the weekend. The pair's final score was 60.1, and "the pony" was awarded the Best Conditioned Horse Trophy.

"Never in my wildest dreams," said the rider after show jumping. "It's been like a fairy tale. I've never had more fun than I had this weekend with this pony. He feels like a giant out there."

There were plenty of people that were skeptical, and at times, O'Connor included herself in that group. But, Theodore O'Connor proved the mettle of his Thoroughbred/Arabian/Shetland breeding after romping around the cross-country on Saturday. He never got near a rail in show jumping to the wild delight of the enthusiastic and appreciative audience. Ever a crowd pleaser, Theodore O'Connor relished in the atmosphere. O'Connor already has her eye on bigger things for the pony.

"I'd love to take him to the Pan Ams," she said. "He's only just getting started."

Heidi White-Carty, and her own Northern Spy, took their time around the show jumping track, adding a rail and seven time faults. They put in a commendable effort all weekend and ended up in fourth place on a score of 63.0. Carty-White was awarded the trophy for the highest-placed owner-rider.

Twenty-year-old Sara Mittleider had three rails in show jumping with El Primero, but held on to the top Young Rider's honors and went home with the J.D. Reeves Trophy for the third time in as many years.

The Zeppa International Trophy, which is awarded to the best turned out pair at the horse inspections, was awarded to the stylish combination of Kristin Schmolze and Cavaldi.

Highlights from the event will be broadcast by NBC Sports in a one-hour special on Sunday, May 6, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. EDT.

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