US riders triumph in Kentucky

  • Catch up with all the latest news from the world of horse trials in our weekly column from Eventing magazine editor Kate Green

    The Rolex CCI**** three-day event in Kentucky, USA, has been won by 28-year-old Kimberley Vinoski on Winsome Adante, a nine-year-old English Thoroughbred by Saunter.

    Kimberley, who won Blenheim on this horse last year, had luck on her side when foul weather turned the scoreboard upside down on cross-country day. She ran across country before the weather deteriorated, rising from 10th place after dressage to hold the lead.

    Then, three mistakes in the final phase by second-placed William Fox-Pitt on Stunning, allowed her to have two rails down and still claim the $60,000 first prize.

    Despite the rails down, William’s result on George and Jayne Apter’s 16-year-old Stunning, one of only three horses to complete thecross-country inside the optimum time, was a triumph. Stunning, who has also won Blenheim, had previously failed to complete a four-star event.

    John Williams, riding the Canadian Sport Horse Carrick, who was placed at Burghley last year, finished second by just 0.4 of a penalty. Amy Tryon, a full-time firefighter who flies over to contest her first Badminton this week, rode one of a handful of clear show jumping rounds to rise a place to third.

    Bruce Davidson was fifth on a new ride, the Irish stallion High Scope, who represented Ireland at Sydney and is technically still under Irish ownership.

    British rider Leslie Law was seventh on Jeremy Lawton’s up-and-coming Shear L’Eau, who has proved a useful back-up to his team horse Shear H20, and his compatriot Claire Phillips was 10th on Capuchin, who was balloted out of Badminton.

    Ian Stark had a run-out across country on Jaybee, on whom he led the first day’s dressage, and withdrew Saucy Brown.

    The only “import” was Australian Olivia Bunn, who decided to come to Kentucky instead of Badminton and finished ninth on GV Braveheart.

    Eight horses were withdrawn before cross-country, owing to the conditions, including the dressage leaders, William Fox-Pitt and Springleaze Macaroo, and the Olympic champions David O’Connor and Custom Made.

    A further 17 either retired or were eliminated across country. Karen O’Connor, who rode a record four horses, only completed on two of them, but 52-year-old Bruce Davidson, the most senior rider, got three round.

    For full results, visit: www.rk3de.com

    The best at Badminton

    The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton horse trials starts this week, with the first horse inspection taking place at 4pm on Wednesday. Ninety-two horses are still in at this stage, making it one of the biggest fields ever, although Andrew Nicholson will have to withdraw one of his three horses .

    The most high profile withdrawal to date is British squad member Caroline Pratt’s PrimitiveControl. Both Pippa Funnell and Karen Dixon, who injured themselves a fortnight ago at Belton, are planning to ride.

    For more information about Badminton visit www.badminton-horse.co.uk

    Keep up to date with HHO’s daily online coverage from Badminton Horse Trials, from Thursday 2 May to Sunday 5 May.

    Make a beeline to the Horse & Hound stand at this year’s Badminton Horse Trials for a chance to win a Honda ATK and competition clothing from Musto.

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