Congratulations to Australia's Clayton Fredericks and "Ben Along Time", who won the 2007 Rolex (Kentucky) Three-Day Event this afternoon when leader-before-jumping Kristin Bachman erred and went off course. The crowd groaned for Kristin, who rode last, then cheered for Fredericks.
Philip Dutton and Connaught, another Irish-bred, were second. Dutton recently abandoned his Australian citizenship and is now competing for ratings as US rider.
Karen O'Connor and her popular TBxArabianxShetland "pony" Theodore O'Connor turned in a clear round to take third place; they also won the Best Conditioned Horse Trophy.
"Never in my wildest dreams," said the human O'Connor after show jumping. "It's been like a fairy tale. I've never had more fun than I had this weekend with this pony. He feels like a giant out there.
"I'd love to take him to the Pan Ams," she said. "He's only just getting started."
Clayton Fredericks and his wife Lucinda may not be household names in American eventing, but they are at the top of the world leader boards. Clayton and Ben won the Individual Silver medal in eventing at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany last August, along with Team Bronze. Ben Along Time is an Irish-bred gelding owned by the rider.
Fredericks has two horses entered in next week's Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucestershire, England.
His wife, Lucinda, won the Burghley Three-Day Event in England last year with Headley Brittania, with whom she will attempt to win at Badminton next week.
If either Fredericks rider wins at Badminton, they will have achieved a spousal sweep of eventing's "Grand Slam"--Burghley, Rolex Kentucky, and Badminton.
To learn more about the dynamic Britsh-based Fredericks team, visit www.teamfredericks.com
Rolex photo of Clayton and Ben emerging from the water obstacle at the Kentucky Horse Park by Michelle C. Dunn.