Fredericks Tops Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

By adding no penalties to their stellar dressage score of 32.3, Lucinda Fredericks of Australia and Headley Britannia earned the $80,000 first prize at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event yesterday.

Bettina Hoy of Germany and Ringwood Cockatoo, who lost their dressage lead by adding 9.6 time penalties on cross-country yesterday, also jumped faultlessly today to take home $37,000 for second place.

Buck Davidson, of Riegelsville, Pa., rode My Boy Bobby to third place and collected $30,000 and the Pinnacle Cup as the highest-placed U.S. rider. Davidson, 33, has competed in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event ever since it became a CCI4* in 1998, but this is the first time he's finished in the top five. He also finished 15th on Ballynoe Castle RM.

Lucinda Fredericks

2009 Rolex Champion Lucinda Fredericks and Headley Britannia compete in stadium jumping.
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Phillip Dutton and Connaught, the 2008 Rolex Kentucky winners, finished seventh overall and second among U.S. riders. Dutton said that he plans to retire Connaught, 16, after this competition. Stephen Bradley finished 10th on Brandenburg's Joshua, the third-best U.S. rider. A record 22 foreign horses started the event this year.

This year's event drew 80,599 spectators and millions more via worldwide telecasts, including a one-hour special that is slated to air in the United States on NBC on Sunday, May 3.

Some 19,090 spectators enjoyed the show jumping competition in the brand-new main arena, built to prepare the Kentucky Horse Park for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

In front of the dark green stadium, riders negotiated the course of 16 jumping efforts designed by Richard Jeffery of Great Britain. Jeffery uses fences featuring the logos and colors of classic Kentucky landmarks, starting with replicas of the famous Churchill Downs spires and finishing over the Calumet Farm triple combination. He also added a jump commemorating the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Fifteen horses jumped faultlessly.

The $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing is awarded to any rider who wins the Rolex Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton and Land Rover Burghley Four-Star Events in succession. In 2003, Pippa Funnell of Great Britain became the first, and to date only, rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Fredericks, 43, and Headley Britannia, 16, have won all three events, but not in succession. They won Burghley in September 2006 and Badminton in May 2007, one week after her husband, Clayton Fredericks, won Rolex Kentucky.

Lucinda said that she and Clayton are both aiming to be members of the Australian team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. "We're definitely going to be trying for the gold medal," she said.

As the only four-star event in the Western Hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is the premier competition for the top horses and riders in eventing. Past winners include U.S. Olympic Medalists David and Karen O'Connor, Kim Severson and Phillip Dutton, New Zealand's Blyth Tait and Nick Larkin, Pippa Funnell of Great Britain, and Andrew Hoy and Clayton Fredericks of Australia.

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