Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Four Canadians Finish in the Top 10 at CCI 4* Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event

Four Canadian riders, Stephanie Rhodes-Bosh, Selena O’Hanlon, Hawley Bennett-Awad and Michele Mueller finished in the top 10 at the 2010 edition of the CCI 4* Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, held April 22-25, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, USA, the site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Competing in her first four star three day event, Rhodes-Bosh, 21, of Summerland, BC, sat in 15th place following dressage with a score of 52.0 riding Port Authority, her Canadian bred 12-year-old Selle Français/Thoroughbred gelding. The pair then tackled Michael Etherington-Smith’s (GBR) cross country course where none of the obstacles proved to be a problem. They crossed the finish line with no jumping or time faults, moving them up the leaderboard and into ninth place. Rhodes-Bosh’s success continued as she and Port Authority also had a fault free jumping round to finish on her dressage score for fifth place overall, only one of four riders out of 53 starters to do so. In addition to her fifth place finish, Rhodes-Bosh was also awarded The Best Conditioned Horse Trophy, a prestigious award determined by the Ground Jury and Veterinary officials , and The J.D. Reeves Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the highest-placed young rider (18¬–21 years of age).  She also received an HSBC Training Bursary for being the best placed first time 4-star competitor.

“I am glad that I went to Rolex as a spectator last year, because I knew what to expect,” said Rhodes-Bosh. “It was the most fun I have ever had, and I was so excited and grateful to be there. David O’Connor (the Canadian Eventing International Technical Advisor) said that I was ready, so I believed him and he was right.”

O’Hanlon, 29, of Elgin, ON, riding her 2008 Olympic mount Colombo, the 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, owned by Elaine and Michael Davies, also performed an a solid dressage test, scoring 52.7 which was good for 17th place. A fault free on the cross country course moved them up to 10th spot heading in to the show jumping. They finished in eighth place overall after incurring four jumping faults for a final score of 56.7 overall, which is a personal best for O’Hanlon at Rolex.

Canadian Olympian Hawley Bennett-Awad, 32, of Langley, BC and Gin & Juice, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred mare owned by Bennett-Awad & Linda Paine, were in 21st spot following dressage with 53.8. After posting another flawless cross country ride, the duo added four jumping penalties to finish in ninth place with a score of 57.8.

Rounding out the top ten was Michele Mueller of Port Perry, ON, and Amistad, Julie Pring’s, 10-year-old Thoroughbred Belgian cross gelding. Also competing their first Rolex, Mueller and Amistad were 16th following dressage and added only 6.4 time penalties on cross country, moving them up to 13th place. They had one rail, for four faults, in the jumping round to finish in 10th with 62.9.

2008 Olympic Team member Kyle Carter, of Calgary, AB, and now based in Sparr, FL, rode Madison Park, 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Carter and his wife Jennifer Cater, to a 13th place finish, with a score of 63.7. With penalty points of 59.7 after dressage, Carter posted another Canadian fault-free cross-country run, and added only four faults in show jumping to his final score.

Athens Olympian, Ian Roberts of Port Perry, ON rode Napalm, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the rider, his wife Kelly Plitz and Tracey Newman, to a 19th place finish. The pair was in 30th spot following dressage with 57.5, and added 11.2 cross country time and four jumping test penalties to finish on a score of 72.7.

Finishing in 21st place was Diana Burnett, 29, and Manny, Burnett’s and Eventing Canada’s 10-year-old Canadian Thoroughbred gelding. Burnett, 28, of Blackstock, ON, stood 11th after dressage on a score of 52.7. Adding 10.4 time penalties on cross-country and 12 jumping faults in the show jumping round, Burnett finished in with a score of 76.7.

Also competing at Rolex was Chelan Kozak of South Surrey, BC, riding her own 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, finished in 34th place. Jessica Hampf, 25, and her own High Society III, a 14-year-old gelding, rounded out the Canadian entries in 35th place.

“All the Canadian entries rode well and their horses were excellent,” said O’Connor. “The nice thing is this is not a one off—everyone performed exactly how they should have. This bodes well for when we return to Kentucky in September for the World Equestrian Games.”

The winner of the 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event was Olympic medalist William Fox-Pitt, representing Great Britain, riding Cool Mountain, with a score of 42.8. American Olympic riders Phillip Dutton and Woodburn finished in second place and Becky Holder and Courageous Commet finished in second and third place respectively 

The CCI 4* Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event is part of the newly formed HSBC FEI Classics™, a series uniting the top end international Eventing circuit—namely the five 4–star eventing competitions currently held in the world. Full results are available on the official Rolex Kentucky Event web site www.rk3de.org.

About Canadian Eventing

Canadian Eventing is the committee of Equine Canada responsible for the sport of eventing in Canada from the grassroots to the international level. The Canadian Eventing Committee is comprised of 12 members, including two rider representatives elected by the Elite Riders Association. Directed by the Strategic Plan for Eventing, all Eventing activities are administered by this committee via six sub-committees with the support of an eventing manager based at the Equine Canada office in Ottawa. For more information about Canadian Eventing, visit www.equinecanda.ca and select disciplines then Eventing.

About Equine Canada

Equine Canada is Canada’s national governing body for equestrianism.  A member-driven, charitable institution, it is the executive branch of the Canadian Equestrian Team, and the national authority for equestrian competition; the national voice for recreational riders; and the national association for equine welfare, breeding, and industry.  Equine Canada is recognised by the Government of Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the national organisation representing equestrian sport and equine interests. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit www.equinecanada.ca.