Clayton Fredericks and Ben A Long Time during Cross-Country Portion
Photo By Linda Shier / Sports Image Times
Lexington, KY—April 29, 2007—Clayton Fredericks of Australia rode Ben Along Time to victory in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day event, presented by Farnam. Fredericks claimed his first Four Star win with a three-phase score of 54.0 penalties.
Fredericks entered the culminating show jumping phase in third place behind U.S. riders Kristin Bachman and Heidi White Carty. He and his 12-year-old Irish gelding completed the jumping course with no jumping and one time penalty to put the pressure on the two leaders.
Clayton Fredericks on Ben A Long Time showing off his new Rolex watch
Photo by Linda Shier / Sports Image Times
Carty and Northern Spy, last year’s Reserve Champions, incurred 11 penalties to drop to a final fourth place finish with 63.0 penalties. That left it up to Bachman, the overnight leader with a score of 48.2 penalties on Gryffindor. Bachman, who had taken the lead with one of only eight faultless rounds on cross country, could afford one rail down but wound up being eliminating after going off course by mistakenly turning left instead of right after the eighth of 13 fences.
Kristin Bachman and Gryffindor prior to going off-course
“All of us have been there said U.S. Olympic veteran Karen O’Connor of Bachman’s mishap. “If you’re in this sport long enough it will happen to you. Kristin is a great rider on a great horse and she will be back in the top position before long.”
Clayton Fredericks during the Dressage portion of the contest
Photo by Linda Shier/ Sports Image Times
O’Connor made history with her performance on the popular Theodore O’Connor, the first pony ever to ride in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. O’Connor, a three-time Rolex champion, placed third with a score of 60.1.
Placing second and winning the Rolex/U.S. Equestrian Federation Four Star Championship as the highest placing American was Phillip Dutton. Dutton, a two-time Olympic team Gold Medalist when he rode for his native Australia, finished with a score of 59.1 on Connaught.
“I really can’t say enough about my horse,” said an elated Fredericks. “I never expected this but he tries his heart out and has real star quality. I am quite fortunate to be able to ride him.”
Sara Mittleider, one of a record four Young Riders in the CCI****, was honored with the Reeves Trophy as the top finishing Young Rider. Mittleider, who also won the award last year, finished an impressive 12th with 74.4 penalties on El Primero.
Prior to the start of the jumping phase, longtime British veteran Ian Stark was honored in a ceremony where he officially retired from the sport. Stark then rode his mount Full Circle II for the final time, finishing with no jumping and only one time penalty for a final score of 74.1 and an 11th place finish.
The only Four Star Event in the Western Hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, attracted a record attendance of 96,478 over its four days including a record 46,922 on cross country day. 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 is awarded $65,000 and the winning rider receives a Rolex timepiece. The classic Kentucky Julep Cup is presented to each as a reminder of their singular accomplishment.
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.
Complete unedited coverage of the 2007 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is available on a set of DVDs for sale on 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.
We at Sports Image Times will be posting a number of follow-up articles about this great Event and those involved over the next week.