Lexington, KY—April 25, 2007— With less than 1 point separating the top five horses in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, tomorrow’s cross-country course will be decisive.
Amy Tryon, of Duvall, Wash., grabbed the narrowest of leads today on Le Samurai, scoring 47.0 penalties from the three-judge panel. But Polly Stockton of Great Britain rode Tangleman to a score of 47.2 penalties to move into second place, while Clayton Fredericks of New Zealand and Becky Holder, of Mendota Heights, Minn., rode Ben Along Time and Courageous Comet to scores of 47.4 to tie for third.
Missy Ransehousen, the Thursday leader, is fifth (47.8), while Thursday’s runner-up, Kristin Bachman on Gryffindor, is sixth (48.2). And today Bonnie Mosser, of Unionville, Pa., slipped in to seventh place by scoring 48.3 on Jenga.
With eighth-placed Phillip Dutton scoring 48.7 on Connaught and ninth-placed Tiana Coudray scoring 49.3 on King Street, it means the difference between fist and ninth place is only 2.3 penalties, or 6 seconds on the cross-country course. In addition, another 13 horses are close behind after receiving dressage scores of between 52.0 and 59.8.
Tryon, the individual bronze medalist in the 2006 World Championships, accomplished her winning performance after coaxing Le Samurai through an exciting warm-up session. She said the crowds and the noise made him very anxious.
“He likes to leap mid-stride, and he kind of doesn’t care where he goes or what he crashes in to,” said Tryon with a grimace. “I tried to pat him to calm him, and that didn’t work. So I tried yelling at him, because I was too afraid to kick him.”
But she was pleased that Le Samurai’s mind settled a bit as she began her test before the 19,394 spectators here today. Thursday’s attendance was 10,441.
“I only think I had about 40 percent of his attention,” Tryon said, adding, “I do feel like there is a lot more to come from him.”
Stockton rode Tangleman to a top-three placing at Rolex Kentucky in 2002, and she said she had returned “because it’s an amazing event.”
And Fredericks, who finished just ahead of Tryon at the 2006 World Championships and claimed the silver medal, said that one reason he’d come to Kentucky was that “Polly had given it such a good review,” particularly of the footing on the cross-country course and of the event management. “It’s certainly a relaxed and friendly atmosphere,” he said.
The cross-country competition begins on Saturday at 10 a.m. and continues through approximately 11:50 before breaking for lunch. Competition resumes at 2 p.m. and will end at approximately 4 p.m.
The only Four Star Event in the Western Hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, is the premier competition for the top horses and riders in Eventing. The competition features this country’s best horses and riders and international stars vying for their share of $200,000 in prize money and a chance at the $250,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. The winning owner will be awarded $65,000 and the winning rider will receive a Rolex timepiece. The classic Kentucky Julep Cup is presented to each as a reminder of their singular accomplishment.
Live webcasts of all three phases (Thursday and Friday Dressage, Saturday Cross-Country and Sunday Show Jumping) are available online at www.NBCSports.com for a low cost of just $7.99 for all four days!
The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event will be broadcast on NBC television as a one-hour special on Sunday, May 6, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. EDT. To accommodate those fans of the sport who want to see the action live as it happens, NBC, in conjunction with Equestrian Events, Inc., the producer of the event, and the United States Equestrian Federation, is presenting these unprecedented live webcasts.
Complete unedited coverage of the 2007 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, are available on a set of DVDs that are being produced daily during the competition. DVDs are available for sale on site during the event or at the event’s website.
Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event organizer, Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), is a non-profit charitable corporation created in 1975 to stage the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships, the first time those championships had been held outside of Europe. Following the success of those World Championships, the U.S. Equestrian Federation asked EEI to organize an annual Three-Day Event in the spring and the Kentucky Three-Day Event was born. Rolex Watch U.S.A. became title sponsor in 1981.