William Fox-Pitt Wins Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

William Fox-Pitt put in a foot-perfect show jumping round to complete a weekend during which Cool Mountain exceeded expectation and made his first CCI4* a winning one at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone.

Riding for Great Britain, Fox-Pitt was the man to catch all weekend and finished on his dressage score of 42.8. But Rolex Kentucky had always eluded him so his flawless round in the Johnson Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park made the win that much sweeter as he added a Rolex watch to his accolades as one of the most decorated eventing riders in history.

"I know my chap tries to jump the jumps," said Fox-Pitt. "He tried his heart out."

Cool Mountain, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, owned by Teresa Stopford Sackville, is royally bred for eventing - by the fantastic stallion Primitive Rising, he lived up to the hype and fulfilled Fox-Pitt's hope that he would materialize into a serious contender.

"When you come in to these things, you never really know what is going to happen," said Fox-Pitt. "I'm impressed and surprised, he didn't do anything wrong. But I didn't expect it. He's come out of this a better horse."

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA), was runner-up again (for the sixth time) but was crowned USEF National CCI4* Champion for the third time despite only riding for the US since 2007. The Australian expatriate was thrilled with the performance of Woodburn, the 14-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred (owned by Ann Jones, Maurdie Faucette and Acorn Hill Farm) added to a sparkling resume. Rerouted from the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials because of the travel disruptions with the volcano in Iceland, Woodburn made his trip to Kentucky worth the last minute shuffle.

"I'm pleased I made the decision to come here and I'm thankful to the organizers for getting him in at the last minute," said Dutton.

Becky Holder (Wadesboro, NC) laid to rest her demons in the show jumping. She had been in the top spot twice going into the show jumping with Courageous Comet (in 2006 and 2008) but couldn't produce a winning result.

2010 brought a different confidence for Holder in the final phase. Her one rail kept her in third place after Kim Severson (who was second after the cross-country) had a bit of a disappointment on Tipperary Liadhnan and dropped down the placings. Holder and Courageous Comet finished on a final score of 49.2.

Fox-Pitt was impressed with both the competition itself and the pressure from the Americans. "To be on Cool Mountain sitting on top of Woodburn and Courageous Comet - they are fantastic horses so to pip them to the post was a real thrill," said Fox-Pitt.

This press release originally appeared on USEF.org.

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