Dutton Captures First Rolex Event Win

With a completely faultless show jumping round on Connaught, Phillip Dutton, of West Grove, Pa., scored his first victory in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam.

Becky Holder, of Mendota Heights, Minn., lowered two rails with Courageous Comet to surrender the lead she'd narrowly held since Thursday. Dutton's final score was 41.7 penalties; Holder's was 47.3.

Missy Ransehousen, of Unionville, Pa., urged her Critical Decision to a four-fault score (one rail down) to climb from fourth to third place (57.3).

Phillip Dutton on Connaught wins 2008 Rolex

Phillip Dutton on Connaught.

Stephen Bradley, of Leesburg, Va., surrendered second place on From by adding 20 jumping penalties, to finish eighth, but a faultless round on Brandenburg's Joshua catapulted him from 10th to fourth. Three-time winner Kim Severson, of Keene, Va., finished fifth, with 8 jumping faults on Tipperary Liadhnan. Dutton also claimed 10th on Woodburn.

Dutton, 44, had finished second at Rolex Kentucky five times previously. Connaught, owned by Bruce Duchossois, was making his fourth start at Rolex Kentucky, with a previous best finish of fourth place in 2006.

"It feels a lot better to win than to be second," said Dutton. "But, really, everybody else seemed more worried about it than I was."

Rolex Kentucky is a U.S. Equestrian Federation selection trial for eventing this year. With their performances, Dutton and Holder put themselves into strong contention to make the U.S. Olympic eventing team. (Ransehousen did not apply to the USEF to be an Olympic candidate.) But Dutton wouldn't speculate as to whether Connaught might be his Olympic mount, especially since he has three other horses who are candidates. This would be Dutton's first U.S. Olympic team, although he's ridden on three Olympic teams for his native Australia, winning team gold medals in 1996 and 2000.

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