Funnell Win Highlighted 2003 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day
Event, Presented by Bayer CCI ****
KYApril 29, 2003In her first visit to the Rolex Kentucky
Three-Day Event, Presented by Bayer, April 24-27 at the Kentucky
Horse Park in Lexington, KY, Great Britains Pippa Funnell
enjoyed a victory she will never forget.
33, took the lead following the conclusion of the opening phase
of dressage, when the two-time European Champion and her mount,
Primmores Pride, topped the 55-horse starting field with
a score of 38.6 penalty points. Funnell and her mount, a 10-year-old
English thoroughbred gelding whom she has developed since his
owners, Roger and Denise Lincoln, purchased him as a yearling,
never slipped from the top of the leader board for the remainder
of the event; although a slow, cautious ride in the concluding
jumping phase nearly cost them the win!
posting one of 16 clear cross-country rounds over the course set
by Michael Etherington-Smith, Funnell added no penalty points
to her dressage score in the second phase of the three-day event.
Sitting on top of the standings going into the final phase of
competition, Funnell rode last in the order. She jumped all of
the obstacles cleanly, but incurred six time faults to post a
final score of 44.6 penalty points, the exact same score turned
in by her countryman Polly Stockton on Tangleman. As the crowd
of over 22,000 and a live television audience in Europe held its
collective breath, announcer Nigel Casserly announced that Funnel
had held on for the win based on her having a better score than
Stockton in the cross country phase.
goodness I had a good day yesterday because I have never been
so embarrassed by a show jumping ride in my life, Funnell
said after realizing she had exceeded the time allowed for the
jumping phase by such a large margin. I was trying to do
everything to leave the jumps up and I failed to pay attention
to the clock! Somehow, the gods were with me!
victory earned her $60,000 in prize money in addition to a Rolex
timepiece. She also took the first step toward winning the $250,000
Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, awarded to any rider who wins the
Rolex Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley Four Star events in succession.
29, moved from third place into second place after the jumping
round to take the runner-up position with her 10-year-old English-bred
gelding. My horse went clear and put the pressure onit
was a miracle, really, said Stockton. I just wanted
Pippa to do the best that she could do, we are all in it together
and we all help each other.
British rider, William Fox-Pitt, 34, ended his second visit to
the Kentucky Horse Park by finishing in third position with the
Irish-bred Moon Man, one place better than his fourth place finish
in 2002 with Stunning. One downed rail in show jumping dropped
him out of contention, bringing his three-day total to 46.6 penalty
Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI****, the only three-day event
in America held at the Olympic level, serves as the U.S. Equestrian
Team (USET) Four-Star Championship. Bruce Buck Davidson,
Jr. finished in fourth place aboard Mystic Mike, a 10-year-old
American Thoroughbred gelding, owned by Janis Smith. As the top
American finisher, Davidson captured the USET Four Star Championship
and the USET Four Star Pinnacle Trophy.
an exciting time, said Davidson. Every time I go into
the start box with Mikey, I think about starting him
as a two-year-old. To have him do this well is a dream come true.
a penalty-free jumping round, Davidson catapulted from eleventh
position into fourth. A true competitor, Davidson commented, Did
I think that one day this would happen? Of course I did. Did I
think that it would happen today? Last night, it didnt occur
to me to even think about it! I just hope that I will not only
have my name on this trophy a few times, but on the big one at
the end of the day, too!
father, Bruce, the five time Olympian and two time World Champion
who has the distinction of winning the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day
Event on six occasions, including the 1978 World Championships,
finished in eighth position overall with Little Tricky.
the four days of competition at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event,
Presented by Bayer, a total of 72,892 spectators enjoyed ideal
conditions at the Kentucky Horse Park, as well as more than 125
merchants, the Priefert Six-Horse Percheron Hitch, the United
States Pony Club Prince Phillip Cup and a variety of other family
activities and entertaining attractions. HRH Princess Anne, The
Princess Royal, was among those who came to Kentucky to enjoy
the event and she gave the Pony Clubbers a thrill by officially
opening the competition for the Prince Phillip Cup.
results and other interactive features, including how to order
a copy of the new book Kentucky Three Day Event: A 25 Year
Retrospective, are available on the official Rolex Kentucky
Three-Day Event web site, www.rk3de.org