Defending champions, Oliver Townend (GBR) and Cooley Master Class, produced a stunning dressage test to finish top of the leaderboard with 24.1 on the second day of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Townend was clearly pleased with his performance finishing with a beaming smile across his face, whilst he waved to the enthusiastic crowd. Shaving three penalties off the previous leader, FEI World Equestrian GamesTM team gold medallist Piggy French (GBR), the score of 24.1 is a personal best for the partnership and proved why Townend is the current World No.1.
“I have had him (Cooley Master Class) since he was a four-year-old, he knows me, and I know him very well. He loved it here last year, he thrived, his ears were pricked every step of the way, so why not bring him back to somewhere he loves.”
“The course is a proper 5*, I am a huge fan of Derek di Grazia’s courses, I think he is an exceptional Course Designer and one of the very best in the world, so I always enjoy coming here to see what challenges he sets. This course is huge, one of the toughest in the world, technical and narrow so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens tomorrow”
USA’s Boyd Martin with the striking black gelding, Tsetserleg, finished as the highest placed US athlete with a score of 27.9 placing third. Great Britain’s Piggy French remains just ahead with a score of 27.1 on 12-year-old chestnut gelding, Quarrycrest Echo.
Tomorrow’s cross-country course set by Derek di Grazia has been described as ‘challenging’ by those who have walked it and will certainly ask some questions to the world-class horse and rider combinations that will be navigating through it in tomorrow’s competition. With many experienced athletes all vying for the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event title this weekend, they will be hoping to not only finish clear, but also inside the optimum time of 11 min 20 sec. The leaderboard remains close with only 8.6 penalties separating the top 10, so there will be no room for mistakes from those currently in the prime positions.
DRESSAGE DAY TWO, FRIDAY 26 APRIL
OLIVER TOWNEND, COOLEY MASTER CLASS - 24.1
PIGGY FRENCH, QUARRYCREST ECHO - 27.4
BOYD MARTIN, TSETSERLEG - 27.9