Australia's Andrew Hoy Wins the 2006 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event
Lexington, KY, USA
Photos: Anthony Trollope/RedBayStock.com
Going into the show jumping phase, American Becky Holder knew she would have to control her nerves. And it was a series of downed rails that cost her 16 penalties plus 8 time penalties on the 90-second course that left her sliding down the final standings, just as she and her partner Courageous Comet slid about during the final test. She ended her Rolex campaign on a score of 67.7 in 13th place.
Taking the reserve champion title and the highest-placed American combination was South Carolina's Heidi White and her 13-year-old bay Thoroughbred, Northern Spy. The pair had clawed their way from 10th place after dressage to sit at third after their cross-country challenge, where they kept their earlier dressage score of 49.4 intact. She inched her way up a spot to end her work by adding eight penalty points (with no time penalties).
"It's all a bit overwhelming," said White. "I'd like to thank my horse, who yesterday, without a doubt, was absolutely brilliant."
As the highest-placed American rider, White does not leave without a championship title. She is the proud recipient of the 9th Annual Rolex/2006 United States Equestrian Federation CCI**** National Eventing Championship and the Pinnacle Cup.
Coming into the final phase, Britain's Polly Stockton and her 14-year-old bay Thoroughbred Tom Quigley were sitting pretty in second. She had come into the final test as the highest-placed foreign rider, but was overtaken by Hoy and his mount. Four penalty points were accumulated when she and her mount blew out the Kentucky Fence and had to pause their efforts while the clock was stopped and the jump was reset. She continued and cleared the jump perfectly, but downed an additional rail, picking up a total of eight penalties across the course, plus five time penalties. She finished on a respectable score of 61.2, ending up in seventh place.
"It's not too often that you come from 15th place after dressage to actually win a four-star competition," said Hoy. "I thought the cross-country course yesterday was a very good course...it was interesting how yesterday changed the leaderboard so much."
He admitted that he didn't know the horse had pulled a brick out of Fence 11, adding another four penalties.
Hoy said that he had potentially five different horses that he could campaign at the four-star level, and he was certainly glad that he had chosen Master Monarch as one of them.
American Stephen Bradley and his Brandenburg's Joshua ended their effort at third place with a score of 59.7. Posting 2.8 time penalties from their cross-country effort to their dressage score led them into the show jumping round with 59.7 points. Even their clean and clear show jumping round couldn't raise their final standings.
Another Australian, Phillip Dutton aboard Connaught, rounded out their 2006 Rolex effort on a score of 59.8 in fourth place.
Amy Tryon and Woodstock - one of two mounts brought to compete, the other being her 2004 Athens Olympic partner Poggio II - ended up in fifth place on a score of 60.1. She had elected to pull Poggio II after the dressage phase to save the horse, saying tongue-in-cheek that he "owed her nothing, and he was very angry in his stall right now." It is hoped that she will be competing Poggio II at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in August.
As the defending Gold medal team from the 2002 Jerez World Equestrian Games (WEG), the American contingent has much to live up to at the upcoming August World Equestrian Games in Germany. The final results of this year's Rolex will have a hand as an important qualifier for the U.S. to determine who will be representing Team U.S.A. at the 2006 WEG.
Rounding out the top 10 placings were: Will Faudree and Antigua (sixth on 60.2); Nathalie Bouckaert-Pollard (eighth on 63.0); Andrew Hoy on Yoeman's Point and John Williams on Sloopy finished together on a score of 63.8 for ninth and tenth places.
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