Thursday, April 8, 2010

Top Riders From Around the World Set to Compete at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Bridgestone

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY-- Once again, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, this year Presented by Bridgestone, will host a truly international event at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, April 22-25. The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, part of the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM Series, attracts many of the world's best horses and riders as they vie for their share of $250,000 in prize money.

Enhancing this year's schedule will be the official Kentucky Cup Dressage and Jumping Test Events for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). The Games will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park, September 25-October 10, marking the first time that equestrian sport's biggest event is being held outside Europe.

Riders and horses from eight countries in addition to the U.S., the largest foreign contingent since the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships, will be tested at Rolex Kentucky in the Kentucky Cup Eventing Test Event of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

As always, spectators at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event can look forward to rooting on their favorite horse-and-rider combinations from around the globe. In addition this year, thousands of people will be cheering for Oliver Townend of Great Britain, as he attempts to do what only one other event rider in the world has ever done: claim the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing.

Boyd is taking three horses to Kentucky this year: Rock on Rose, Neville Bardos and Remington XXV. He will have some stiff competition that includes:

• 2008 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Champion, four-time Olympic veteran and 2009 U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Leading Rider of the Year Phillip Dutton of the United States.
• William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain, a member of the 2004 Olympic Silver Medal Team and 2008 Olympic Bronze Medal Team, and winner of the 2008 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI**** and the inaugural HSBC FEI ClassicTM Series.
• Three-time Olympian and 1999 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI**** winner and two-time Rolex CCI*** winner Karen O'Connor of the United States.
• Three-time Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI**** Champion and 2004 Olympic Team Bronze and Individual Silver Medalist, Kim Severson of the United States.
• Members of the 2008 US Olympic Team, Becky Holder and Amy Tryon.

"With the excitement of Oliver Townend and the WEG Test Events all surrounding this year's Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, this is bound to be one of our most exciting years in recent memory," said Jane Atkinson, Executive Vice President of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the event. "The level of competition at Rolex is at an all-time high, and I hope everybody will come out and experience it with us in Kentucky!"

For those who can't make it to Kentucky, there will be an expanded 90-minute broadcast on NBC on Saturday, May 15, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. EDT, just prior to the telecast of the 135th Preakness Stakes, the second leg of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.

The only Four Star Event in the Western Hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is the premier competition for the top horses and riders in the Olympic discipline of Eventing. For more information please visit the Rolex Kentucky website at

Monday, April 5, 2010

Photos from The Fork CIC

Photo of Boyd and Neville Bardos courtesy of Amber Heintzberger, not for reproduction without permission.

Photos of Boyd and his three horses competing at The Fork have been posted on my website. Please click here to go to the galleries.

Happy browsing!

-Amber Heintzberger

Rock on Rose in Top 3 at The Fork

Amber Heintzberger Photo

The Fork CIC*** and Horse Trials was a fantastic lead-up to the Kentucky three-day event for me. All three had strong performances this weekend and I feel like they had a little bit left in the tank to improve when we go to Kentucky in three weeks’ time.

In the CIC*** I rode Neville Bardos who put in a good dressage test which would have been a score of 49 except I made a course error in the canter work near the end of the test, adding a penalty of two marks to finish not far off the pace on a score of 51. He cruised around the cross-country, I held him back and didn’t put the hammer down and he jumped brilliantly. We had one nasty fence at the first water but he managed to bail me out on that one. I felt he’s plenty fit enough and I was pretty happy with the way he ran cross-country. He show jumped better than he did at Southern Pines; I was bit unlucky to have the back rail of the triple bar down. I enjoyed being warmed up by American show jumping coach Katie Prudent for the first time.

Rock on Rose, better known around the barn as Lusty, had the best weekend that she’s had this year. I finally figured out how to get a relaxed dressage test out of her and it’s definitely not pushing her and forcing her through moments of tension. This time I went completely the opposite way and when she got tense and nervous I simply hopped off, loosened the girth and gave her a bit of grass to eat until she completely calmed down.

She felt very strong and confident in the cross-country and show jumping phases and it was a nice feeling to finally give Bruce Davidson a ring to tell him how successful his homebred mare had gone, especially as he’s recovering from back surgery right now.

I feel like this mare’s primed for Kentucky. She feels a million dollars and more importantly I feel her attitude and personality is upbeat and happy.

It was great to be back on my old mate Remington after the depression and worry of thinking he might have to have some time off. We had concerns over the past couple of weeks that he had sustained an injury but for one of the first times in my life it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. It was not an ideal preparation for The Fork advanced, not riding or jumping the horse much in the last fortnight but he taught me a good lesson on the weekend: that he actually competes better without me over training him. He was fantastic in all three phases and I was most impressed by the way he show jumped. I had a rail which I can blame to myself right at the end of the course, for not giving him an ideal approach to the fence.

The big relief is the way the horses all jogged up on Monday morning. All of them look fit and sound, their legs are nice and tight, and my gut feeling is that I have three good rides for Kentucky in a fortnight.

For the next couple weeks I’ll be fine-tuning their dressage tests, will probably be able to fit in three or four more gallops, and basically will be priming them up for the biggest event of their lives.

I was really impressed with my working pupil Lillian Heard who competed in and completed her first CIC*** on Share Option. She rode beautifully all weekend and this is definitely a horse and rider for the future. I was most relieved that I managed to beat her by one point to keep the upper hand.