Articles: Press Release
Great Britain's Pippa Funnell Wins at Rolex
Kentucky Three-Day Event
Contact: Marty Bauman or Jennifer Ward, (508) 698-6810
Lexington, KY-April 27, 2003-In her first visit to the Rolex Kentucky
Three-Day Event, Presented by Bayer, Great Britain's Pippa Funnell
enjoyed a victory she will never forget.
Riding last in the order in stadium jumping, the third and final phase
of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Funnell jumped all of the
obstacles cleanly, but incurred six time faults to post the same score,
44.6 penalty points, as fellow Brit Polly Stockton.
In the case of a tie at an International Equestrian Federation (FEI)
sanctioned Three-Day Event, the rider whose time on the cross-country
portion is the closest to the optimum time is awarded the win. A clear
cross-country round for Funnell tipped the scales in her favor over
Stockton, who incurred 1.2 time penalties during the cross-country
"Thank goodness I had a good day yesterday because I have never been so
embarrassed by a show jumping ride in my life," said Funnell after
realizing she had exceeded the time allowed for the stadium jumping
phase by such a large margin. "I was trying to do everything to leave
the jumps up that I forgot to think about the clock! Somehow, the gods
were with me!"
Over the three phases of competition, Funnell, a two-time European
Champion, led the 56-horse starting field from start to finish riding
Primmore's Pride, a 10-year-old English thoroughbred gelding owned by
Roger and Denise Lincoln. The victory earned her $60,000 in prize money
in addition to a Rolex timepiece.
Stockton, 29, had one of only three clear stadium rounds to move into
the runner-up position with Tangleman, a 10-year-old English-bred
"My horse went clear and put the pressure on - it was a miracle,
really," said Stockton. "I just wanted Pippa to do the best that she
could do, we are all in it together and we all help each other."
Countryman William Fox-Pitt, 34, ended his second visit to the Kentucky
Horse Park in Lexington, KY, by finishing in third position with the
Irish-bred Moon Man, one better than his fourth place finish in 2002
with Stunning. One knocked rail in stadium dropped him out of
contention, bringing his three-day total to 46.6 penalty points.
The British had a stranglehold on the event from the beginning, never
relinquishing the top two spots throughout the competition.
"I would like to say how grateful the British riders are for coming here
and being made to feel so welcome," said Funnell.
With the win, Funnell took the first step towards being the first rider
to claim the $250,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, awarded to any rider
who wins the Rolex Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley Four Star events in
The CCI**** Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the only three-day event in
America to be held at the Olympic level, serves as the U.S. Equestrian
Team (USET) Four-Star Championship. As the top American, fourth-placed
Bruce 'Buck' Davidson, Jr., won his first Championship title aboard
Mystic Mike, a 10-year-old American thoroughbred gelding bred by owner
"It's an exciting time," said Davidson, Jr. "Every time I go into the
start box with 'Mikey', I think about breaking him as a two-year-old.
To have him do this well is a dream come true."
With a penalty-free stadium jumping round, Davidson, Jr. catapulted from
eleventh position into fourth to win the USET Four-Star Championship. A
true competitor, Davidson, Jr. commented, "Did I think that one day this
would happen? Of course I did. Did I think that it would happen today?
Last night, it didn't occur to me to even think about it! I just hope
that I will not only have my name on this trophy a few times, but on the
big one at the end of the day, too!"
Davidson's father, Bruce, who has the distinction of winning the Rolex
Kentucky Three-Day Event on six occasions, including the 1978 World
Championships, finished in eighth position with Little Tricky.
Over the four days of competition at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event,
Presented by Bayer, 72,892 spectators enjoyed ideal conditions at the
Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, as well as more than 125
merchants, the Priefert Six-Horse Percheron Hitch, the USPC Prince
Philip Cup and a variety of other fun family activities and entertaining
Complete results and other interactive features are available on the
official Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event web site,
www.rk3de.org . For additional
information, please contact
Equestrian Events, Inc. at (859) 254-8123 or by faxing (859) 254-5116.