50/ MAY 2021 THE RIDER

Oliver Townend Wins Third Consecutive Title at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Equestrian™

Highest Placed Americans Boyd Martin and On Cue Win Land Rover/USEF

CCI5*-L Eventing National Championship Presented by MARS Equestrian™

Lexington, Kentucky – April 25, 2021 – Before now, in the 43-year history of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Equestrian™ (LRK3DE), only Michael Jung had won three times in a row. On Sunday, world #1 Oliver Townend (GBR) made his mark when the two-time defending cham- pion jumped clear under pressure to add to his record a third consecutive CCI5*-L victory at the Kentucky Horse Park and sixth career Five Star win. It was also the second Five Star victory for Ballaghmor Class, owned by Karyn Shuter, An- gela Hislop and Val Ryan. The scores were in-

credibly close before show jumping, with the top eight all within a rail of the lead. Townend’s day had an un- happy start, when eighth place Cooley Master Class was spun from the final horse inspection. By the time Townend entered the Rolex Arena for his show jumping round aboard Bal- laghmor Class, he was faced with needing a fault-free round to win. A successful effort and finishing score of 27.3 earned Townend a $50,000 pay day and one- year lease on a 2021 Land Rover Discovery. “I had a plan and just

went in and did it,” Tow- nend said. “[Ballaghmor Class] was jumping excep- tionally which makes my job very, very easy. My biggest concern is, I find it easy to have time penalties with him. He’s a big jumper and actually quite slow in the way he does things. It’s very easy to get stuck in gear. My biggest thing was to have a good strong pace, don’t be caught on time, and just try and get him in the position to clear the fences.” Typically, the Rolex

Arena is packed with fans on the final day of competi- tion. Spectators were absent this year, but Townend felt there was still an atmos- phere to contend with. “The stadium itself is

the most special stadium in the world for eventing. When you go in that sta- dium, whether it’s full to the brim or it’s completely empty, for me there is still a very strong aura because this place is so special to us,” Townend said. “Going down that chute when there are thousands of people watching or no one watch- ing, when the pressure is on it will feel very much like the place we want to be. The pressure is still on. Of course we love a big crowd, we love to perform in front of the crowd, and we miss

sure,” Phillips said. “I went out to the warm-up and my trainer Jennie Brannigan told me, ‘You know your horse, ride the plan, be ag- gressive.’ That’s how I went out of the start box. I wasn’t looking at my watch. I was focused on getting to the next jump and seeing the distance because the rain was in my eyes. He jumped fantastic and got home quick.”

Their cross-country

the crowd, but at the same time it took nothing away from the competition.” Boyd Martin (USA)

was sitting second after cross-country with his and the Turner family’s On Cue and needed a clear round to hold his placing. A rail at the first element of a double combination off a tight turn dashed his hopes of putting

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. Photo by you.”

spectators: “When I first came to Kentucky in 2006, I couldn’t believe the crowds. You’re galloping around the cross-country and there are seas of people cheering. As you get more experience you learn to focus in, but I would say this weekend I was just as nervous and ter- rified and there was just as much pressure. Being at the

Jonelle had three

horses in the competition and finished with two in the top ten. She placed third on 30.7 with Grovine de Reve, adding just 0.4 time penal- ties in show jumping. She and her longtime partner Classic Moet finished on their dressage score of 35.2 for seventh place. “I’ve had him two

Bill Moroney, USEF CEO (left), presents the National Championship trophy to Boyd Martin and On Cue. Photo by

the pressure on Townend for the win, but with a fourth place finish on a final score of 31.8, Martin won the Land Rover/USEF CCI5*-L Eventing National Champi- onship Presented by MARS Equestrian™ for the second time in a row. In 2019 he won the National Champi- onship with Tsetserleg TSF. This year he piloted the 15- year-old mare On Cue to a National Champion title in her Five Star debut. “I’m


thrilled with On Cue. When you bring a horse to this level for the first time you don’t know quite what to expect,” Martin said. “She’s unbelievable though. She gave everything she had this weekend and exceeded my expectations. I thought it would be my other horse Tsetserleg that would have done better, but she really stepped up and tried her ab- solute guts out. I would have loved to jump clear today but having one pole down with this company here is still respectable.” Martin also com-

mented on the absence of

Horse Park here and the big jumps and stadium, I don’t think it was any easier not having people watching.” The New Zealand

power couple Tim and Jonelle Price placed second and third, respectively. They were also the only individu- als in the competition to fin- ish on their dressage scores with two out of five horses entered between them. Tim and Xavier Faer

moved up from equal 11th after dressage to finish sec- ond on 28.2 with no jump- ing or time penalties to add all week. “I thought it was a

very difficult show jumping course. It had all sorts of el- ements. The time wasn’t just a gimme. You had to work for the clock,” Tim said. “I thought there was an oppor- tunity in there to jump a clear round, but I thought it was going to be difficult to manage today. I didn’t man- age it on [Bango] … I man- aged to get it done with [Xavier Faer]. It’s not the same as being in the lead, so you can focus on your job and see where that leaves

years. He had mileage with Dan Jocelyn prior to me get- ting him. I haven’t been given the ride on a lot of older, more experienced horses,” Jonelle said. “It took me a year to change him a little bit and adjust him to the way I wanted him to go. That was the first year really. The next year has been fine tuning him more and more. He’s got a lot in there. He’s not the most out- ward horse — we’ve had to coax it out of him — but he’s got an immense amount of talent. While he’s not the fanciest, he’s a real jumper and is giving me more and more as time goes on. I was really impressed with him this week.”

Alyssa Phillips and Oskar Win the Kentucky CCI4*-S The last time Alyssa

Phillips won at the Ken- tucky Horse Park, she won the 2011 FEI North Ameri- can Junior/Young Rider Championship at age 14. That was one year before her dad passed away. On Sunday, Phillips won at Kentucky again, this time taking home the Kentucky CCI4*-S title riding her and Julie Phillips’ Holsteiner gelding Oskar. “My dad was defi-

nitely here in the stadium today, just like he was in 2011,” Phillips said. Phillips and Oskar

were tied for 15th after dres- sage on a score of 32.3. They added 5.6 time penal- ties but no jumping penal- ties

on a testing

cross-country track Satur- day.

“I was getting nerv-

ous [watching the cross- country live stream] but I ride a lot better under pres-

performance put them sec- ond going into the final phase on a score of 37.9. They produced one of only five fault-free show jumping rounds to put the pressure on the leader, who ulti- mately pulled a rail, giving Phillips her first Four Star win.

“The season I’ve had

Jonelle Price and Grovine de Reve. Photo by

great and sound and good in their bodies. Every event she keeps getting better and better.”

Visit the Virtual Ex-

perience Webpage to find all the information you need for the 2021 LRK3DE.

has been pretty amazing,” About The Land Rover

MARS Equestrian™ and Rolex and many other val- ued event sponsors, plus the collective efforts of the many individuals who do- nated, ensured that the na- tion’s premier equestrian event would be held with its traditional CCI5*-L and a new CCI4*-S. The event was held without spectators, and can be seen on demand on the USEF Network, free of charge with a USEF Fan Membership, which is avail- able at no cost using the code LRK3DE21. The Land Rover Ken-

tucky Three-Day Event Pre- sented


Equestrian™ is indebted to all of its sponsors for their support, without which the event could not be possible.

Tim Price and Xavier Faer. Photo by

she said. “The win this weekend really topped everything off.” Tamie Smith and

Ruth Bley’s EnVogue were leading the way after the first two phases, but an un- lucky rail plus 1.2 time penalties saw them finish second on 40.2.

Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Eques- trian™

Known as “The Best

Weekend All Year,” the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Equestrian™ (LRK3DE) hosts one of only seven annual Five Star

About Equestrian Events, Inc.

Equestrian Events,

Inc. (EEI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable Ken- tucky corporation that was established initially to pro- duce the World Three-Day Event Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in 1978. Following the suc- cess of

those champi-

Alyssa Phillips and Oskar. Photo by “She jumped really

amazing and had a great round,” Smith said. “I barely ticked it behind. It’s part of the sport. I was really proud of how she jumped. It’s the best she’s jumped in that kind of atmosphere.” At 16 years old, En-

Vogue isn’t ready to start slowing down. She moved up to Advanced with Smith two years ago but otherwise hasn’t had a particularly in- tense career. “She’s a very sound

and strong horse,” Smith said. “Honestly age is just a number if they’re feeling

onships, EEI established an annual event that evolved into the world-renowned Kentucky Three-Day Event which draws more than 80,000 spectators to the Kentucky Horse Park each year. EEI also produces other events and supports several local and equine charities. EEI has donated more than $725,000 to vari- ous charities since 2011. Further information about EEI and the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is available at www.ken-

three-day events in the world and served as a U.S. selection trial for this sum- mer’s Tokyo Olympic Games. As the United States’ premier three-day event, LRK3DE serves as the Land Rover/USEF CCI- 5*-L Eventing National Championship Presented by MARS Equestrian™ for U.S. athletes. A new partnership be-

tween EEI and the Ken- tucky

Horse Park

Foundation combined with the support of US Eques- trian (USEF), longstanding sponsors Land Rover,

About the Kentucky

Horse Park Foundation Since its inception in

1985, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation has pro- vided over $25 million worth of improvements, helping make the Kentucky Horse Park the leading equestrian facility of its kind in the world. The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organiza- tion dedicated to enhancing, expanding, and improving the Kentucky Horse Park. Further information is avail- able at www.khpfounda-

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