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April 27, 2014

Fox-Pitt Completes A Rolex Kentucky Hat Trick

William Fox-Pitt finishes on his dressage score with Bay My Hero to capture the win.

Lexington, Ky.—April 27    

William Fox-Pitt already has a Rolex watch from his 2010 Kentucky win, and his wife Alice has one too, from his 2012 win. Now he says one of his sons may be looking rather dapper as well, since Bay My Hero jumped a perfect round to take the title and earn him a spare. Fox-Pitt now ties Kim Severson as the only three-time winners of the event.

“Each win is special for its own merits, and I still can’t believe it happened,” said Fox-Pitt of his 13th four-star win. “The odds are always so stacked against you in our sport. I came in with two lovely horses that I hoped would go well, and to come out on top is fantastic.”

After Lauren Kieffer laid down a clear round with Veronica, the 22,388 fans in the Rolex Stadium went wild, and Bay My Hero tried to backpedal up the ramp leading into the arena. “I kind of felt the same, and thought for a second I’d settle for second,” Fox-Pitt joked.

But it was just a brief blip in an otherwise perfect day for the pair. “He felt fantastic today,” said Fox-Pitt. “He’s a real little fighter. He came out and thought he was the kingpin. He loved the trot-up; he’d love to do that again.”

There were 10 clear rounds over Richard Jeffery’s course, including second-placed Kieffer, winner of the Rolex USEF CCI**** Championship.

“She felt great,” said Kieffer of the 12-year-old Dutch mare who produced a gorgeous clear. “It took a lot of mental focus to try to stay cool. I tried to ride it like it was anything else. I worked with Scott Keach all winter, and it paid off hugely.”

Buck Davidson finished on his dressage score on both Ballynoe Castle RM and Park Trader, taking third and 12th, respectively.

He’s especially proud of “Reggie,” who had pneumonia earlier this year and fought back to improve on last year’s fourth-placed finish here. “You basically tell him it’s Kentucky, and he’ll go,” he said of his experienced partner who’s benefitted from jumping work with new U.S. eventing jumping coach Silvio Mazzoni.

Severson earned the Bank One trophy for the top owner-rider with her Fernhill Fearless. 

Heartbreaks And Hope

Andrew Nicholson dropped from sixth to 21st after taking out six rails on Avebury. He took down fences 8 and 10, then punched out all three elements of the triple combination at fence 11 and had the final fence at 13 down as well.

Michael Pollard could almost taste the biggest finish of his career, but Mensa G had the first and third fences down, as well as the final fence at 13 to drop from fourth to 14th.

Tom Bombadill stopped suddenly at the first element of the triple, 11A, losing Brazil’s Ruy Fonseca on the other side of the fence for an elimination just four show jumps from home.

Phillip Dutton explained on his Facebook page the withdrawal of Mr. Medicott before the final horse inspection this morning: “He didn't feel good enough for me to jump him today, unfortunately. He will be evaluated by our vet team later today, and we will post an update when we have more information. Hopefully there will be many more Rolexes for ‘Cave’ in the future. Thank you to the syndicate owners for their support and to everyone who came out to see Cave at Rolex.”

Yesterday’s bad news about Expedience sounded better today, after hearing that she’d undergone surgery to put four screws in her pastern and is doing well. The 17-year-old mare will be retired as a broodmare and will be well cared for by Kaitlin Spurlock’s parents, who are both veterinarians.

Get full results from Rolex Kentucky on the RK3DE.org website.

Check out the photo gallery to see photos from today's show jumping.

Click to see all the Chronicle's Rolex coverage.

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