Michael Jung (GER) and Fischerrocana FST currently stand in first place after the first day of dressage at the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.
The first day of competition at the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event got off to a stunning start as returning champion Michael Jung of Germany laid down a phenomenal score of 34.4–nearly five points better than his winning mark last year. The intense sun at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., seemed to agree with Jung and the mare Fischerrocana FST.
Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) and Fernhill By Night
Fischerrocana FST, a somewhat newer mount, is already off to quite a start after winning individual silver with Jung at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, and of course winning at Rolex last year.
“She traveled very well and felt very happy in the stable, [which] all together makes for good score in the dressage,” said Jung. After her win last year, he decided to take her again instead of bringing Sam. Of course, there is still cross-country and show jumping to tackle, but Jung has been so unstoppable in his world domination of eventing over the last six years that few would dare hope to beat him.
Boyd Martin (USA) and Shamwari 4
Sitting in second place after the first day of dressage is Liz Halliday-Sharp with Fernhill by Night. Originally from California, Halliday-Sharp moved to England for a working student position in 2000 and ended up staying there for 15 years while building her business. Over the winter of 2014/2015, she moved to Ocala, Fla., to establish a winter base called Horsepower Equestrian. She still travels back to England for the summer and fall, but has found re-integrating herself into U.S. eventing helps with team selection and rider development–with the hopes of possibly representing the U.S. in future Olympic games.
“Blackie [Fernhill by Night] is one of the nicest horses,” said Halliday-Sharp. “He’s like a black Lab. He can be a bit lazy. He tried really hard today; he’s 17.1 [hands] and can get away from me, but he was with me today. I think he enjoyed it.”
Maya Black (USA) and Doesn’t Play Fair
Rounding out the top three is another Olympic gold medalist and past Rolex winner, Phillip Dutton. Originally from Australia but now riding for the U.S., Dutton has three horses competing at Rolex this year. Fernhill Fugitive is currently sitting in third, while Fernhill Cubalawn sits in seventh. His final horse, Mighty Nice, performs dressage on Friday.
“[Fernhill Fugitive] is quite good natured and easy to teach,” said Dutton. “I was pleased with the way he went. That was his best four star score.” He also revealed his secret weapon, Grand Prix dressage rider Silva Martin, who has worked the horse on the flat for the past few weeks.
Stay tuned for the final day of dressage on Friday, followed by cross-country on Saturday and show jumping on Sunday. With more than $370,000 worth of cash and prizes up for grabs, Rolex offers the biggest purse in U.S. eventing.
For complete scores and ride times, go to www.rk3de.org.
Top 10 after day one:
- Fischerrocana FST / Michael Jung (GER) 34.4
- Fernhill by Night / Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) 43.0
- Fernhill Fugitive / Phillip Dutton (USA) 43.1
- Shamwari 4 / Boyd Martin (USA) 44.6
- Doesn’t Play Fair / Maya Black (USA) 45.5
- Clifton Signature / Jonathan Paget (NZL) 47.5
- Fernhill Cubalawn / Phillip Dutton (USA) 48.2
- Houdini / Katie Ruppel (USA) 48.3
- Bango / Tim Price (NZL) 48.3
- Revitavet Capato / Jordan Linstedt (USA) 49.2
Jock Paget (NZL) and Clifton Signature
Phillip Dutton (USA) and Fernhill Cubalawn
Katie Ruppel (USA) and Houdini
Tim Price (NZL) and Bango
Jordan Linstedt (USA) and Rivitavet Capato
Colleen Rutledge (USA) and Escot 6
Courtney Cooper (USA) and Who’s a Star
Holly Payne Caravella (USA) and Never Outfoxed
Jessica Phoenix (CAN) and Abbey GS
Kyle Carter (CAN) and Madison Park
Lauren Kieffer (USA) and Landmark’s Monte Carlo
Lillian Heard (USA) and Share Option
Mackenna Shea (USA) and Landioso
Nilson Moreira da Silva (BRA) and Muggle
Ryan Wood (AUS) and Frankie