Double European Champion Pippa Funnell, aboard Primmore’s Pride (pictured), led throughout the 25th anniversary of the Rolex-Kentucky three-day event, despite a close call in the show jumping that nearly cost her the $60,000 first prize.
Needing to avoid a knockdown around Richard Jeffrey’s challenging course, Pippa concentrated on getting a steady clear. Although all the fences remained intact, six potentially expensive time-faults saw her tie with Polly Stockton on Tangleman on 44.6 penalties.
Officials went to the cross-country time tobreak the tie. Pippa had finished Mike Etherington-Smith’s route in exactly the 11min 3sec time allowed, while Polly accumulated 1.2 time-penalties after making a mistake in the Head of the Lake, the event’s signature water complex.
Worldnumber one William Fox-Pitt was ideally positioned to take the win, sitting second on Moon Man after the cross-country, just four penalties behind Pippa, but a rail down gave him a total of 46.6, putting him third.
Leslie Law narrowly missed fourth place, coming from equal 20th after dressage to eighth after cross-country on Shear L’Eau. However, he tipped the middle element of the triple combination to wind up fifth on 55.2 penalties.
Leslie’s other horse, Diamond Hall Red, was 14th. He had a disastrous dressage, coming in 47th, but moved up after a clear cross-country.
The highest-placed American was Buck Davidson, son of two-time World Champion Bruce Davidson. Buck achieved one of only three double clears to finish fourth on 54.2 aboard Mystic Mike.
The only British rider to miss the ribbons in the Lottery-funded group was Rodney Powell, 12th on Colour Coded II after the cross-country. Unfortunately, he was spun by the ground jury on the final day.
Read the full report in this week’s Horse & Hound (1 May), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.