America’s Phillip Dutton has been forced to withdraw Mr Medicott from the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** this morning.

The chestnut, who negotiated the cross-country clear yesterday within the optimum time for a 3rd placing at that point, looked unlevel at the finish and his withdrawal was announced at the final horse inspection this morning.

Phillip stated on his Facebook page: “I decided to withdraw Mr Medicott from Rolex as he didn’t feel good enough for me to jump him today unfortunately. He will be evaluated by our vet team later today. Hopefully there will be many more Rolexes for ‘Cave’ in the future.”

It is the 2nd blow for the leading US eventer in the contest. He had originally entered 3 horses, but had to withdraw Mighty Nice before the cross-country as he had twisted a shoe on Thursday.

The British horses, who trotted first — overseas and America horses are kept separate throughout the competition — all passed the scrutiny of the ground jury, including the competition leader Bay My Hero.

The first horse sent to the holding box was Marilyn Little’s grey RF Smoke On The Water, lying 9th, but he was passed on reinspection.

Colleen Rutledge’s Shiraz was the only horse who didn’t go through this morning’s proceedings as he was withdrawn from the holding box. He had been in 23rd position.

There are now 37 horses from an original field of 60 left to go through to this afternoon’s showjumping phase.

William Fox-Pitt, on target for his 3rd victory here, has no fence in hand between his ride Bay My Hero and Lauren Kieffer and Veronica, who are a mere 2.7 penalties behind. There is, however, a cushion of one fence between William and Marilyn Little, now 3rd with RF Demeter, and 4th-placed Michael Pollard and Mensa G.

Don’t miss our post-showjumping report later on on HorseandHound.co.uk, plus H&H’s full magazine report from Rolex Kentucky, on sale Thursday 1 May