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Safety Issues Need to Be Addressed Within Eventing

Editorial: May 21, 2008 by: Linda Shier/SIT

Photo by Linda Shier: Laine Ashker and Frodo Baggins Immediately after the fall

Excitement was in the air when we rolled in to Kentucky Horse Park to cover the 2008 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. As you well know, this is the only four star event in the U.S. and as such is of great importance to the competitors since this is the event that will determine the makeup of the Olympic team for this Summer. Since this great event is the pinnacle for our U.S. competitors (even though there is great international participation) everyone expects to see nothing but the best of the best.

On that Thursday April 24th we began to photograph and witness the start of the dressage competition. But as always, the excitement began on Saturday with the start of the Cross-Country competition. The morning passed by with some great rides and no major mishaps. After lunch at the media tent, we went back out to continue our coverage. At approximately 1:30 that afternoon while standing next to jump #5, (the floral basket) the reality of how dangerous this portion of the competition could be sat in on this observer. As I was watching Laine Ashker approach on the twelve year old thoroughbred Frodo Baggins a sense of something gone wrong began to overcome my psyche. Everything began occurring in slow motion as it happened. Frodo Baggins began a refusal upon approach and all of a sudden the collision between horse, rider, and the floral basket occurred. The thoroughbred hit one of the upright supports and did a somersault through the jump throwing Laine against the upright as well and both came tumbling down on the ground. The sound of the crash is one I will never forget. There was a hush over the crowd and you could have heard a pin drop. Then after what seemed to be the longest time the officials, vets, and crowd began stirring and shouting in response to this tragedy.

Photo by Linda Shier: Frodo Baggins attempting to stand after the accident

Laine was on the ground not moving at all. Poor Frodo was struggling to get up and it was apparent that this brave horse was in pain as well as disoriented. My heart was beating in panic as I witnessed another beautiful animal in pain and a poor unfortunate rider obviously injured seriously. Frodo managed to get upright despite those next to the horse attempting to keep him calm and on the ground. Frodo managed to get up, but struggled for about five seconds and then went back down on the ground. I was in tears with the trauma I was witnessing for both animal and rider. Contrary to all reports, this witness did not see the rider move at all and then the tarps went up around the crippled horse. Since I have witnessed far too many times the tarps or curtains go up, it was apparent what was going to happen next. All of us involved with the Equine scene know that when the curtains go up, the animal is put down in spite of what anyone may say.

Photo by Linda Shier: The Vets and Emergency Personell attending to Frodo Baggins after collapsing

After 1 ½ hours of delay as many riders endured the wait, the “spin-doctors” began parceling out inadequate information stating that Laine Ashker was moving and communicating with paramedics and that Frodo Baggins had been taken across the road to Hagyard Equine Medical Institute where supposedly they were working to examine the injured horse. The truth of the matter was that Laine Ashker had been taken to University of Kentucky Medical Center and was immediately put on a respirator in intensive care with serious injuries. As for poor Frodo, we were not told of anything other than the vets were working on the horse. All of the facts concerning the injuries of both horse and rider did not come out until that Monday well after the event concluded. This was done apparently to quell the witnesses’ reports of what they had seen and knew to be true. Another horse was injured and put down, as well as a rider seriously injured and in intensive care.

Photo by Linda Shier: Finally the Curtain goes up so the crowd could not see the trauma

In a separate incident, Sarah Hansel’s horse The Quiet Man sustained a serious shoulder injury as a result of a fall. The Quiet Man was euthanized Sunday morning as a result of the fall. Sarah sustained minor injuries and didn’t require hospitalization. The absence of this lovely horse is a tremendous loss to the entire sport of eventing as well. Two horses in one event are tragically euthanized.

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence and also not the only time that Laine Ashker had been involved in an injurious situation for her ride. Within the last year Laine Ashker lost not only this horse, but also her horse Eight Saint James Place staggered and then fell over and died almost instantly while being vetted after completing XC at Jersey Fresh last year under very hot and humid conditions.

To add to the support for a safer cross-country environment, Jerome and Rebecca Broussard’s gelding, La Samurai (Sparky), who sustained an injury to his near fore suspensory ligament while riden by Amy Tryon on the cross-country course at the 2007 Rolex, Kentucky Three Day Event was euthanized on May 4, 2007.

These are just four examples of injuries that resulted in the untimely deaths of gracious and noble animals in cross-country eventing. After witnessing such tragedies, one must ask if there is something that can be done to prevent such occurrences. Ask yourself, if NASCAR can implement safety features in the cars and create soft-walls at the tracks then why can’t USEF and FEI Eventing become safer?

When I showed in 3-day events some 20 years ago they had a rule that in practice all riders must wear helmets. However, for the shows they ruled no helmets should be worn with safe chin straps. I can remember a fall I took where my helmet went flying and I saw the horse’s hoof over my head. I was lucky and only sustained a broken clavicle. Since that time they enforced the helmet with chin straps for shows as well as practice. But since that time the FEI and USEF took the stance that safer is better. Well in this writer’s opinion, the FEI and USEF need to take the lead and set up better standards for the implementation of safer jumps for the horse and rider alike. It’s time that the needless injuries followed by euthanasia ceases since we all take great pride in this noble sport. It’s time that our sport takes the higher road and begins to make self-improvement where needed.

We can all show our support for changes in Eventing, especially the cross-country events by sending our comments either via letter, phone, or email to both the USEF and the FEI. We need to make changes much like other sports so that we can be more humane in the handling and treatment of such noble animals.

Please show your support for making safer changes within Eventing by sending your communications directly to:

United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.

4047 Iron Works Parkway

Lexington, KY 40511

Phone: (859) 258-2472

Fax: (859) 231-6662

David O’ConnorPresident doconnor@usef.org

Or to the FEI:

H.R.H. Princess Haya BINT AL HUSSEIN 2006 – 2010

President

Fédération Equestre Internationale

Avenue Mon-Repos 24

1005 LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND

Tel.: office (971 4) 329 2333

Fax: office (971 4) 329 2555

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NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 1, 2008 – Nominations for horses to run in the 2008 Iroquois SteeplechaseSM have closed and Dwight Hall, director of racing, says Good Night Shirt is this year’s clear favorite.

“Good Night Shirt is by far the favorite to win,” said Hall. “Last year, he got his first win of the season at the Iroquois. He then went on to break the National Steeplechase Association single-season earnings record and win the 2007 Eclipse Award. He is back in the same form, if not better, this year.

“Good Night Shirt won the Georgia Cup in Atlanta, which is the only race he has run this season. He landed two lengths behind Hip Hop after the final jump, but finished strong to win by a length and a half. That performance shows why Good Night Shirt is considered to be the best horse on the circuit,” Hall added.

Good Night Shirt and Hip Hop could meet again at the Iroquois on May 10.

“Hip Hop is running well with two wins this season at Little Everglades and the Queens Cup. However, he is cross-entered in both the Iroquois and Marcellus Frost, the second race of the day. His trainer will determine the race that Hip Hop has the best chance of winning and run him there,” said Hall. “In past years Hip Hop has been a favorite, but defeating Good Night Shirt in a weight-for-age race might prove difficult.”

Good Night Shirt beat Hip Hop in the Georgia Cup with 16 pounds added to him as a handicap. The Iroquois is a weight-for-age race with no handicaps.

“If you’re looking for an upset, you might want to watch for Sweet Shani, owned by Calvin Houghland of Nashville. This tough, second-year mare from Australia placed second at Keeneland on April 17. She also placed second at the 2007 Breeders Cup at Fair Hills to McDynamo, three-time Eclipse winner and NSA career earnings record holder. I consider her to be a contender,” Hall said

Other nominations include Bow Strada, winner of the $25,000 hurdle at the Atlanta Steeplechase; Best Attack, who placed third at Keeneland; Orison, who placed fourth at Keeneland and won the 2007 Carolina Cup; and Mon Villez, a Houghland-owned horse with three consecutive victories in the Noel Laing stakes at Montpelier. Three solid allowance horses – Fra Diavolo, Kilbride Rd and Motel Affair – round out the field.

Horses nominated for the 2008 Iroquois Steeplechase (trainers in parentheses):

1. BEST ATTACK (F. Bruce Miller)

2. BOW STRADA (F. Bruce Miller)

3. FRA DIAVOLO (Jonathan Sheppard)

4. GOOD NIGHT SHIRT (Jack Fisher)

5. HIP HOP (John K. Griggs)

6. KILBRIDE RD (Doug Fout)

7. MON VILLEZ (F. Bruce Miller)

8. MOTEL AFFAIR (Thomas H. Voss)

9. ORISON (Doug Fout)

10. SWEET SHANI (Jonathan Sheppard)

Although pointed toward the 2008 Iroquois, Sur La Tete, a two-time Iroquois winner and runner up to Good Night Shirt in the 2007 Iroquois, was retired early this season because of a leg injury.

“We are looking at a solid field that will make for an exciting race,” Hall said. “Anytime you have the best horse on the circuit, it’s going to be fun to watch. But with Good Night Shirt running for a second consecutive Iroquois win, it’s going to be very memorable.”

Additional entries can be made until May 6 and scratches must be made by May 7. The drawing for post positions, which determines the horses’ saddlecloth numbers, will be held May 8 at 9:30 a.m. outside the barn office at the Iroquois grounds in Percy Warner Park.

Presented by Bank of America and benefiting Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, the 67th running of the Iroquois Steeplechase will be held May 10 in Nashville’s Percy Warner Park. The Iroquois’ race day purses and bonuses total $415,000, making it the second highest purse in American steeplechasing. Six races are held throughout the day, including the Bright Hour Amateur Hurdle.

About the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is a leading provider of pediatric healthcare, ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country and among the top 10 in the nation for Emergency Medicine and Neonatology by Child magazine. Constructed in 2004, the freestanding 222-bed children’s hospital is dedicated to high level pediatric and sub-specialty treatment and is also a training and research hospital, training many of the future’s top pediatric physicians. Ranked #6 in the nation for NIH Funding, research being conducted at Vanderbilt Children’s is helping shape the way the nation cares for children. Vanderbilt Children’s is the most comprehensive children’s hospital in the State, offering services from cancer treatments, organ and bone marrow transplants to broken legs and everything in between. Living by the principal of “family-centered care,” Vanderbilt Children’s was planned over the course of five years with the continuous involvement of patients and families to ensure their special needs were addressed and met. For more information, visit http://www.VanderbiltChildrens.com.

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Photo by Jeff Kluss/SIT

Philip Dutton and Connaught aka Simon posing in the arena after their win!

Lexington, KY (April 27, 2008) – Sports Image Times is proud to congratulate Phillip Dutton on winning the 2008 Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, held April 24-27 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. Riding Connaught, this was Dutton’s first win after a record five second place finishes at the show.

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Photo by Jeff Kluss/SIT

Philip Dutton and Connaught jumping the Flower Basket during Cross-Country Event where they scored a 41.3 which placed them in second place

When asked about his win, Dutton had this to say about Connaught aka “Simon really shone all weekend at Rolex.  From the dressage day through the cross country and finally the show jumping, he really couldn’t have gone much better.  I know everyone thinks their own horse is unique, however, for me, Simon has been a real inspiration about work ethic and perserverence.  Over the years that I have been lucky enough to ride Simon, he has had plenty of adveristy, from injuries to jumping problems.  Because of his big jump, the cross county has not been easy for him.  However, he never gave up and always tried.  I couldn’t be more pleased that his name will always be up their having won a major event.”

Dutton manages and trains out of True Prospect Farm, in West Grove, Pennsylvania. There he also spends a great deal of time coaching other riders, including many adult amateurs and a number of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) short listed riders. He resides in Avondale, Pennsylvania with his wife Evie, 13-year-old daughter Lee Lee, and six-year-old, twin daughters, Mary and Olivia.


Spectacular May 10th Event – The 67th Annual – Is A Chance To Experience Horse Racing As It Was Meant To Be

A Grand Reprise of Tennessee’s Historic Central Role in U.S. Horse Racing

“Sports Image Times Highly Recommends this Great Event!

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2007 Iroquois Steeplechase-Photo by: Jeff Kluss

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 13, 2008 — Long before the first running of the Kentucky Derby, Tennessee – not Kentucky – was regarded as the center of horse breeding and racing in the United States. In keeping with Tennessee’s long and storied equine culture, the Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville remains one of the best horse races in the country – attracting top horses and the crème de la crème of Southern society.

Presented by Bank of America and benefiting Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, the Iroquois Steeplechase occurs the second Saturday of every May – the week after another popular horse race: the Kentucky Derby. The story of how Kentucky’s race became more well known than Tennessee’s is a long tale involving another popular Southern sport: politics. Worldwide popularity does have its consequences, however, and those seeking a pure, non-commercialized horse racing experience make it a point to be in Nashville’s Percy Warner Park, the site of the Iroquois, on race day. This year, the 67th running of the Iroquois Steeplechase will be May 10, 2008.

“If you want to see what horse racing was meant to be, and why Tennessee was the first center of America’s horse racing industry, come to the Iroquois,” said Henry Hooker, Iroquois Steeplechase Race Committee chairman. “If not for the nefarious wranglings of our state politicians at the turn of the 20th Century, the Iroquois Steeplechase would be one example – admittedly, a very fine example – of a booming horse racing industry in our state. Because it is the last surviving, and thriving, example of what horse racing could have been in Tennessee, it is all the more special. There is nothing like it. It’s the real thing in all of its unadulterated, charming glory.”

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Bells of the Iroquois-Photo by: Jeff Kluss

The Iroquois’ race day purses and bonuses total $415,000, the second highest purse in American steeplechasing. While the large purses attract the best horses and jockeys on the National Steeplechase Association circuit, it is the tradition and pageantry of the Iroquois that draw a who’s who list of Southern society. Private box seats are filled with seersucker suits and mint juleps, and a rainbow of infield tents provides shade to young, jovial spectators celebrating as the pack rounds the final turn.

“The Iroquois Steeplechase has long been a major part of Nashville and Tennessee’s heritage – it is our traditional rite of spring,” Hooker said. “The excitement and prestige that were part of its first running are not only still present today, but seem to increase each year.”

Tennessee’s renown as the center for thoroughbred horses and horse racing reached its pinnacle during the 19th century. Andrew Jackson ran a horse in Tennessee’s first official race in 1804 and soon became known as the leading breeder and racer in the state prior to becoming president in 1829. During this time, the Tennessee thoroughbred had no superior in the United States. After becoming president, Jackson took three horses to Washington, D.C. to race and was the last president to race horses in the nation’s capital.

By 1839, there were at least 10 established racetracks in Tennessee and more than 20 organized jockey clubs. The same year, William Giles Harding placed the Belle Meade horse farm in Nashville at the center of the horse racing region. Belle Meade remained a famous stud farm from the 1830’s until the turn of the century.

In 1906, the Tennessee General Assembly passed an anti-betting law, bringing an end to horse racing in Tennessee for many years. However, the void was filled in 1941 with the first running of the Iroquois Steeplechase – named for Pierre Lorillard’s Iroquois, the first American-bred horse to win the English Derby. Iroquois’s victory was such a big event that Wall Street closed temporarily to celebrate. After his racing career, Iroquois was brought back to Belle Meade to stand at stud. The Iroquois Steeplechase has run continuously since 1941, except for 1945 when it was suspended because of World War II.

“Through the years, the greatest steeplechase horses in America have competed in the Iroquois. Past winners include four Eclipse Award winners – Flatterer, Lonesome Glory, Correggio and All Gong. The Eclipse Award is the highest award bestowed on a race horse by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association,” said Hooker. “This year is no different. With some of the top horses on today’s circuit returning, we can expect another historic race.”

Good Night Shirt – 2007 Iroquois winner, National Steeplechase Association single-season earnings record holder and leading candidate for the 2007 Eclipse Award – is anticipated to return for a chance at his second consecutive Iroquois win.

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Photo by: Jeff Kluss

Should Good Night Shirt, jockeyed by Willie Dowling, reprise his performance in 2008, he would be the 13th horse in history to win the Iroquois two years in a row. His Iroquois win last year was his first of the 2007 season and acted as a springboard toward breaking the National Steeplechase Association single-season earnings record with $314,163.

While two-time Iroquois winner Sur La Tete and recently retired, three-time Eclipse winner and National Steeplechase Association career earnings record holder McDynamo were heavy favorites in the 2007 Iroquois, Good Night Shirt surprised the Nashville crowd by taking an early lead and maintaining it throughout the race. Sur La Tete, jockeyed by Christopher Read, and Chivite, jockeyed by Paddy Young, placed second and third.

Six races are held throughout the day, including the Bright Hour Amateur Hurdle. The Iroquois course, regarded as one of the best racing surfaces in the country, is maintained year-round with a computer-controlled, golf course style irrigation system. Below the course turf is 640 tons of sand that helps the course retain moisture and provides cushion to the horses in an effort to reduce race injuries. The Iroquois was one of the first steeplechase courses to use an irrigation system.

“The Iroquois is one of the best maintained steeplechase courses, which allows the best horses on the NSA circuit to perform to their highest ability,” said Dwight Hall, clerk of the course for the Iroquois Steeplechase. “Ultimately, this means more exciting races and a better race day experience for spectators.“

Recent improvements to the Iroquois include an increased purse size, a new tailgating area and an additional jumbotron for live viewing on race day. So the Iroquois has soft courses, big purses, fast horses and thrilling finishes. For information on advance ticket purchases, corporate tents, and tailgating and RV spaces, visit http://www.iroquoissteeplechase.org or call (615) 343-4231.

About the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is a leading provider of pediatric care, ranked 23rd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Living by the principle of “family-centered care,” Children’s Hospital provides top-level care while including the family as an essential element of a child’s treatment plan. Children’s Hospital is a place to hope and a place to heal for patients and their families. Constructed in 2004, the freestanding children’s hospital is filled with state-of-the-art equipment and information systems to provide the best treatment for patients and offers a variety of family accommodations to help fulfill its mission. With 222 beds dedicated to high-level pediatric, subspecialty treatment, and trauma care the hospital is also a teaching and research facility, training many of the future’s top pediatric physicians. In addition, research conducted here is helping to shape the way the nation cares for children. Children’s Hospital features Centers of Excellence for the treatment of diabetes and congenital heart disorders and offers services for cancer care, organ and bone marrow transplants, level 4 neonatal intensive care, level 1 pediatric trauma care, treatment for developmental disorders, healing broken bones and everything in between.

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Nashville, TN 05/12/2007
Story by: Jeff Kluss/Sports Image Times

Photography by: Jeff Kluss / Sports Image Times

Okay, the second weekend in May for the past 66 years has held a special place in the hearts of many residents of Nashville, Tennessee and tons of visitors to this great spectacle of Horses, Hats, and Hounds. It may not be as notable as Kentucky’s Derby Week at Churchill Downs, but it certainly is every bit as much fun and additionally has contributed over $8 million to the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in the last 26 years.

 

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The 66th Annual Iroquois SteeplechaseSM, was presented by Bank of America. It was an afternoon of pageantry, competition and festivities that featured six exciting horse races with purses and bonuses totaling $415,000. The Iroquois Steeplechase is the richest race on the National Steeplechase Association Spring Circuit.

 

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This great event is put on by Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation and The Friends of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. More than 100 committee chairs and 600 volunteers make the event possible. By our estimates we witnessed almost 40,000 souls having the time of their lives and one of the largest tail-gaiting affairs in Tennessee. The infield was the largest party in the State, revelers were not disappointed.

Okay, now for a little history on Steeplechasing itself. American steeplechasing traces its lineage to Ireland, but owes its life to nine men from New York. August Belmont, H. DeCourcy Forbes, Samuel S. Howland, James O. Green, Frederick Gebhard, A.J. Cassatt, Foxhall P. Keene, John G. Follansbee and Frederick H. Prince founded the National Steeplechase Association. The purposes of the organization, according to the original charter dated February 15, 1895, have changed little.

Those men created an association to keep records; govern, promote and hold races; advance steeplechasing throughout the United States; license individuals and race meetings.

Spawned from the foxhunting field, jump racing had occurred earlier, but never under such sanction. Meets took place on Long Island and in northern New Jersey before spreading south to the Carolinas and Tennessee.

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In Europe, racing started much earlier. The first recorded steeplechase occurred in 1752 in County Cork, Ireland. Cornelius O’Callaghan and Edmund Blake engaged in a match race, covering about 4 1/2 miles from St. John’s Church at Buttevant to St. Mary’s Church in Doneraile. Church steeples were the most prominent, and tallest, landmarks on the landscape. Though history did not record the winner of the O’Callaghan-Blake race, the sport took its name from this simple “chase to the steeple.”

 

Steeplechasing’s backbone from the start was a group of one-day meetings in rural communities. Gradually, the focus shifted to major tracks like New York’s Belmont and Aqueduct and New Jersey’s Monmouth Park. That trend reversed itself in the 1970s and 1980s as race meetings run for charity expanded throughout the country.

 

The association today, based in Fair Hill, Md., includes 1,000 dues-paying members and licensees, a 15-member board of directors and a four-person staff. The racing season begins in early March and continues through November, hosting an estimated one million spectators. Participants in American steeplechasing travel the circuit from pockets of steeplechase interest in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

 

As for this great event, the Iroquois is a great time to be had by all. It is a tradition of debutants and genteel ladies in flowing summer dresses and large hats. The men will typically don their seersucker suits with fine straw panama hats, while the younger gentlemen will wear seersucker Bermuda shorts with ties of various bright colors. It is a day filled with picnic lunches and of course cold beverages. But when the first races begins at 1:00 pm the crowd’s focus is on the turf-way of Percy Warner Park. The day consists of six races with the last one ending at approximately 5:00 pm, but the parties continue for a while after that.

 

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The participants are deadly serious about their performances. It’s a day filled with thrills, spills (this time there were no serious injuries), and proud winners. We at Sports Image Times do not consider this as serious a sport as say flat track racing for the Triple Crown, but it is definitely a spectacle worth viewing and a time worth having. With the prevalence of these great events contributing so much to charitable causes we would definitely recommend that you get out and take the family to a day at the races. It may not have the excitement of a $2 window and a stadium hot dog with mustard and a beer, but it is definitely a great way to spend a day for a great cause.

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We would like to thank all the great folks that volunteered so much time and enormous efforts to bringing off a great day at the races, especially the Co-Chairs Donna C. Dalton and Cathy Rowan East. We would also like to thank Jason A. Mackey who is with The Bradford Group and worked to get us everything we as media needed to bring you this article.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.


Lexington, KYApril 25, 2007 With less than 1 point separating the top five horses in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, tomorrows 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.

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Becky Holder and Courageous Comet

Photo by: Linda Shier

Missy Ransehousen, the Thursday leader, is fifth (47.8), while Thursdays 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 doesnt 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 didnt work. So I tried yelling at him, because I was too afraid to kick him.

But she was pleased that Le Samurais mind settled a bit as she began her test before the 19,394 spectators here today. Thursdays 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 its 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 hed 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. Its 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 countrys 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 events 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.

Lexington, KYApril 25, 2007 With less than 1 point separating the top five horses in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, tomorrows 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 Thursdays 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 doesnt 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 didnt work. So I tried yelling at him, because I was too afraid to kick him.

But she was pleased that Le Samurais mind settled a bit as she began her test before the 19,394 spectators here today. Thursdays 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 its 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 hed 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. Its 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 countrys 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 events 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.

            Lexington, KY—April 17, 2007—Equestrian sports fans around the world will be able to watch the 2007 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, as it happens thanks to the world’s first-ever full, live, end-to-end webcast of a Four Star Three-Day Event. 

This year’s Rolex Kentucky CCI****, an FEI Qualifying Competition and U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Selection Trial for the 2008 Olympic Games, returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, April 26-29.  Live webcasts of all three phases (Thursday and Friday Dressage, Saturday Cross-Country and Sunday Show Jumping) will be 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.

            Carr-Hughes Productions, producer of the NBC and international telecasts of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, will generate the programming for the webcasts.  Kerry Millikin, the 1996 Olympic Individual Bronze Medalist and winner of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 1987, will serve as the analyst for the webcasts.

            “Last year, thanks to the initiative of our webmaster, Evan Haller, we presented our first-ever live webcast on the event website featuring our most popular Cross-Country location, the Head of the Lake,” said Jane Atkinson, Event Director and Executive Vice President of Equestrian Events, Inc.  “We received incredible response and are very excited to work with NBC, Carr-Hughes Productions and the U.S. Equestrian Federation to bring all four days of this year’s competition to fans around the world.  For those who can’t make it to Kentucky, this is the perfect opportunity to see the action as it is happening!”

            “The NBC.com webcast helps promote horse sports to fans all over the world while extending the investment in the production of the NBC telecast into another medium,” said John Long, CEO of the USEF.  “We are excited that NBC is expanding their coverage of our sport with Rolex Kentucky as their first equestrian web cast.”

The 2007 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, will run a CCI4* without Steeplechase (short format) and the 10th championship for the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation Pinnacle Trophy, signifying the zenith in Eventing competition in the United States.

            Last year’s Rolex Kentucky, a competition testing some of the world’s most athletic horses in dressage, cross-country and show jumping, attracted a record 90,748 people over the four days of the competition.

            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.  Past winners include a bevy of Olympic Medalists: Bruce Davidson, David and Karen O’Connor and Kim Severson of the United States, New Zealand’s Blyth Tait, Pippa Funnell of Great Britain and Andrew Hoy of Australia. 

            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.

Due in part to the success and proven organization of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Kentucky Horse Park was chosen as the site for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010.  This will mark the first time the Games, which feature World Championships in eight equestrian disciplines, are being held outside of Europe.

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.

For more information on the 2007 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, please visit the Rolex Kentucky website at www.rk3de.org.   To order the live webcasts, please go to www.NBCSports.com.

 

 

      

            Lexington, KY—April 10, 2007—As always, Eventing fans can expect to see some of the sport’s biggest names in action at this year’s Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam.  Entries from five countries include several past champions and Olympic and World Championship medalists.

            This year’s Rolex Kentucky CCI****, an FEI Qualifying Competition and U.S. Equestrian Federation Selection Trial for the 2008 Olympic Games, returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, April 26-29.  The Event will host many of the world’s best horse-and-rider pairs as they compete for one of the most coveted purses in equestrian sports and one of the most prestigious championships in the sport of Eventing.

Five-time Olympian and six-time Kentucky Three-Day Event champion Bruce Davidson, Sr. of Unionville, PA, on his 2006 U.S. Eventing Association Mare of the Year, Jam, and three-time Olympian Karen O’Connor of The Plains, VA, another Rolex Kentucky champion, with perennial Kentucky top 10 finisher Upstage and the 14.2 hand crowd-pleasing Theodore O’Connor, return for this year’s event. 

Individual Bronze Medalist from the 2006 World Equestrian Games, Amy Tryon of Duvall, WA, on a new ride, Le Samurai, along with two-time Olympic Team Gold Medalist Phillip Dutton (when he rode for Australia), now an American citizen, Pan American and World Championship Team Medalist Jan Byyny, and her fellow World Champion Team member John Williams bring lots of metal and mettle to Rolex Kentucky 2007.  

Chief among the International stars are Australian Clayton Fredericks and Ben Along Time, Individual Silver Medal winners in the Eventing Championship of the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. Also coming to test the site of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 are Olympic veterans Mary King of Great Britain, Ian Stark of Scotland, Karin Donckers of Belgium and Wendy Schaeffer and Heath Ryan of Australia.

            The 2007 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Farnam, will run a CCI4* without Steeplechase (short format) and the 10th championship for the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation Pinnacle Trophy, signifying the zenith in Eventing competition in the United States.

            Last year’s Rolex Kentucky, a competition testing some of the world’s most athletic horses in dressage, cross-country and show jumping, attracted a record 90,748 people over the four days of the competition.

            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.

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