Nicholson Stands One-Two At Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Land Rover

April 27th, 2013 7:10 PM | Comments Off on Nicholson Stands One-Two At Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Land Rover

Press Release

Apr 27th, 13
Andrew Nicholson of New Zealand is holding all the cards at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Land Rover: He’s standing in first place on Quimbo (38.0 penalties) and in second place on Calico Joe (40.8). Nicholson, a six-time Olympian, rode both horses to faultless rounds over the cross-country course designed by Derek di Grazia.

April 27, 2013 — Andrew Nicholson of New Zealand is holding all the cards at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Land Rover: He’s standing in first place on Quimbo (38.0 penalties) and in second place on Calico Joe (40.8). Nicholson, a six-time Olympian, rode both horses to faultless rounds over the cross-country course designed by Derek di Grazia.

Buck Davidson also guided Ballynoe Castle RM to a faultless performance that moved him up from eighth to third place (45.2), and William Fox-Pitt rode Seacookie TSF to a faultless performance that moved him up from 10th to fourth (46.2).

That means Nicholson will have a one-rail margin of error when he rides Sunday’s show jumping course. “You can never have too much of a cushion in the show jumping,” said Nicholson, 51, who’s lost more events in the final phase than he’s won. “I’ll make the most I can of my rounds today and worry about the show jumping tomorrow.”

Davidson, who rode three horses around the course with no jumping penalties, earned a special prize today—the Land Rover Best Ride of the Day for being the U.S. rider finishing closest to the optimum time. Presenting sponsor Land Rover presented him with a two-year free lease on a 2013 Range Rover Evoque. He earned the car for his ride aboard Mar De Amor.

“The Land Rover award was certainly in my head this morning, but I had lots of other things to think about, so it wasn’t really a priority when I was riding around the course,” said Davidson. “This award is great, because I’d been thinking that I’d like to have a Land Rover like this. I’d told my girlfriend that, and she’d asked me ‘Why do you need to have another car?’ Well, now I have one.”

The day brought another landmark for Davidson—a clear and fast round on Ballynoe Castle RM, 13, his mount at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park. It was there that Ballynoe Castle had a refusal at what this year was fence 13, the Sunken Road. That memory haunted Davidson all day, even after his first two rounds on Park Trader and Mar De Amor.

Ballynoe Castle underwent wind surgery a year ago, and Davidson said it’s made a tremendous difference in the horse’s endurance and his attitude.

“It’s a shame that his entire career has been plagued by that stop at the Sunken Road, because he’s such a great horse and everybody loves him,” said Davidson. “I just about gave up and stopped after he was so perfect through the Sunken Road—I was so happy.”

Davidson, of Ocala, Fla., happily drove his new car away at the presentation, after saying, “I’m the luckiest guy in the world today.”

Fox-Pitt, the Rolex Kentucky winner in 2010 and 2012, had a day of mixed results on the cross-country course. He rode Seacookie to a perfect round as the first rider on the course at 10:00 a.m., but at 2:45 he retired overnight leader Chilli Morning after an unexpected refusal at fence 7ABC, the HSBC Water Park.

Fox-Pitt said he had no explanation for Chilli Morning’s mistake. “Who knows? There will be lots of time to reflect on it. Maybe he just over-jumped the fence before and shut down there,” said Fox-Pitt. “Whatever the reason, there was no point in carrying on—he’s 13 years old, and he’s not here for the experience. We’ll try again another day.”

If Nicholson holds his lead on Sunday, victory at Rolex Kentucky would put him two-thirds of the way to the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, having won Burghley (England) last September. He would need to win at Badminton (England) next weekend to become the second rider to claim the prize.

But Fox-Pitt could also win the Rolex Grand Slam at Badminton. That’s because he won Burghley in 2011 and Rolex Kentucky in 2012, but Badminton had to be cancelled because of rain in 2012. So Rolex officials have determined that, if he wins this year’s Badminton event, they will consider it winning the three events in succession.

Nicholson was guardedly optimistic about his chances in show jumping. “It would be unusual for Calico Joe to have a clear round, but Quimbo is a very nice show jumper and should go well,” he predicted.

The total Saturday attendance was 26,872.

The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover, is the Western Hemisphere’s only Four-Star Three-Day Event.  It is part of the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM and features the world’s best horses and riders vying for their share of $250,000 in prize money as well as a shot at the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, which is awarded to any rider who wins the Rolex Kentucky, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton and Land Rover Burghley Four-Star Events in succession.

Rolex Kentucky draws more than 50,000 spectators to the Kentucky Horse Park and is seen by millions more on worldwide telecasts.  This year’s event features Olympic and World Equestrian Games medalists from Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States and will crown the 16th Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Champion.

The event will be televised as the Rolex Equestrian Championships, presented by Land Rover, on NBC on Sunday, April 28, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. EDT.  Leading up to the NBC telecast, USEFNetwork.com, presented by SmartPak, is offering live, wall-to-wall coverage of the dressage, cross-country, and show jumping phases. This coverage can be seen on computers, tablets, and smart TV/Google TV devices in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Google TV users can go to http://www.usefnetwork.com/googletv for an enhanced experience.

Throughout the rest of the world, FEI TV will air LIVE coverage of Saturday’s cross-country and Sunday’s show jumping competitions. To sign up for FEI TV, please visit www.feitv.org.

The full broadcast schedule is listed below and is available under the Live Broadcast Schedule tab at USEFNetwork.com. Times are subject to change.
April 27: LIVE Cross-Country on USEFNetwork.com, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT
April 28: LIVE Show Jumping on USEFNetwork.com, 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. EDT
Awards Ceremony on USEFNetwork.com, 3:00 p.m. ET
Rolex Equestrian Championships presented by Land Rover on
NBC, 4:00 to 5 p.m. EDT

The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is produced by Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), a non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation that was established initially to produce the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the success of those championships, EEI established an annual event that quickly evolved into what is today the only four-star three-day event in the western hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. EEI started producing the Kentucky Reining Cup in 2011.

Full results and further information on the 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover is available at the Rolex Kentucky website at www.rk3de.org.

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