USA USA USA! Allison Springer and Arthur rose to the occasion on a windy, chilly afternoon here at the Kentucky Horse Park to put in an incredible performance as the only pair to crack the 30s to lead the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event on a score of 39.5 at the conclusion of dressage. The wind only continued to pick up as temperatures dropped in Lexington, creating a challenging atmosphere for the horses as spectators packed the stands, providing plenty for the horses to look at. But Arthur, whose antics at this event in years past are somewhat legendary, didn’t bat an eye. He was all business from the moment he set foot in the stadium, and sans one snarling moment where he took a particular disliking to a flower pot, this was perfect. Bravo, Allison!
William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero also went in this final group and took the lead on a 44.0 initially before Allison and Arthur streamrolled their score. This was also a very good test, though scored fairly when taking the bobbles into consideration. Like Seacookie yesterday, the changes weren’t perfect in this test, though they got better as they went, and the last two were very nice. Lauren Kieffer and Veronica, who led through the lunch break, will sit in third place overnight on their score of 46.7. Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM also had a lovely test in this final group, scoring 51.7 to sit in equal 11th place going into the cross country. Reggie was a perfect gentleman, and while I know Buck would have liked to crack the 40s, they’re in a good place for tomorrow.
Mighty Nice looked a bit wild eyed coming into the buzzing stadium with Phillip Dutton, but he settled nicely for a score of 51.8 for 14th place. That puts all three of Phillip’s rides in the top 20. Unfortunately, not all the horses were able to overcome the tense atmosphere this afternoon. Poor Wundermaske melted down late in the test, and Sharon White had to go into self preservation mode just to get through the rest of the movements. It’s a real shame, as this horse has been putting in some really lovely tests lately and definitely could have been competitive had he held it together. I have to give a shout out to Libby Head in her Rolex debut, as her little powerhouse Sir Rockstar is notoriously spooky. Libby handled him beautifully, and Rocky was a champ. We’ve just wrapped up the press conference with Allison, William and Lauren, and I have much more to bring you from Rolex. Stay tuned.