Remarkable final horse inspection at Kentucky: 31 progress to showjumping phase

Every horse which finished the cross-country yesterday at the Land Rover Kentucky Horse Trials was presented and passed the final horse inspection today. No horses were sent to the holding box.

It is extremely unusual for every horse which completes the cross-country to progress to the showjumping at the top level in eventing, as usually some suffer injuries which mean they are not fit to continue. The excellent going yesterday in the Kentucky Horse Park will have helped to keep horses comfortable.

Thirty-one horses were inspected by the ground jury — Christina Klingspor of Sweden (president), Martin Plewa of Germany and the USA’s Mark Weissbecker — and now progress to the final showjumping phase, which starts at 1pm local time (6pm British time).

British rider Oliver Townend holds the overnight lead and so will be the last to jump, defending the title he won last year with Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class.

Piggy French lies fifth with the horse she partnered on the gold medal-winning British team at the World Equestrian Games last year, Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo.

The third British competitor, US-based Leslie Law, sits 14th with Tre Book’s Voltaire De Tre’.

As the scores currently stand, Oliver does not have a fence in hand over the rider in second, the home side’s Boyd Martin with Christine Turner’s Tsetserleg.

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Third place is held by Tim Price and Xavier Faer, who belongs to Trisha Rickards, Nigella Hall and his rider. Tim is the live contender in the Rolex Grand Slam — the big money bonus which goes to any rider who can win Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton consecutively — after his Burghley win last September.

Check back for a final update from Kentucky later today. Full report in Horse & Hound magazine next week (issue dated 2 May 2019).