William Fox-Pitt and Andrew Nicholson set for Rolex Kentucky showdown [PICS]

  • Eventing’s great rivals — William Fox-Pitt and Andrew Nicholson — look set to battle it out again at this year’s Rolex Kentucky 3-day event, which starts tomorrow (Thursday 24 April).

    Last year’s winner Andrew now only has 1 ride at the event — 2012 Burghley winner Avebury — after withdrawing reigning champion Quimbo.

    Twice winner William has 2 rides with Catherine Witt’s Seacookie TSF and Bay My Hero.

    Andrew could also potentially be in line to secure the second leg of eventing’s most lucrative prize — the Rolex Grand Slam. This is a $350,000 (£229,275) payout given to any rider who can win the world’s leading 4-stars, Mitsubishi Badminton, Land Rover Burghley and Kentucky, consecutively.

    Andrew finished 2nd at Burghley last September behind Jock Paget who has subsequently been suspended from competition — pending an FEI tribunal — after his horse Clifton Promise tested positive for banned substance reserpine.

    Andrew has not hidden the fact that he believes he will be declared the 2013 Burghley winner.

    I can’t see how I can’t win Burghley,” he told H&H in March. “It has been proved that the horse was competing on an illegal substance. So I will be targeting Kentucky and Badminton.”

    Quimbo is still entered for Badminton at the moment (7-11 May) along with Andrew’s Olympic ride Nereo.

    William is joined by 3 other British riders. Sarah Bullimore with Reve Du Rouet and Alice Dunsdon on Fernhill Present are both making their Kentucky debuts. James Alliston, who is originally from Gloucestershire but is now based in America, is also competing with Parker.

    H&H columnist Sir Mark Todd will also have his eye on the top spot with Oloa. The combination finished 7th at Burghley, despite Mark having only taken on the ride a couple of months before. They have not had a single jumping fault this season.

    There will be news and photos as the action unfolds across the weekend on the H&H website and a full report in next week’s magazine (1 May) — Don’t miss it!

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