Michael Jung ended the first day of Dressage in first place on Fischerrocana FST. Photo © Ben Radvanyi
by Leah Oliveto
Competition began today at the 37th Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover at the Kentucky Horse Park. Day one of dressage saw thirty-eight of the 75 starters enter Rolex Stadium to perform the 2009 FEI CCI4* Test A in front of the ground jury of Dr. Ernst Topp (GER), Angela Tucker (GBR), and Wayne Quarles (USA).
Going into the overall lead early in the day were Michael Jung of Germany and Fischerrocana FST. The Team Gold medalists from 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games set a score that could not be topped with a 39.3. The U.S. contingent landed seven combinations in the top ten, including Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch in second and Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive in third.
Ashker and her own Anthony Patch proved the strength of their 13-year partnership with a consistent and expressive test. Currently leading the Rolex/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship and lying in second overall, the pair will head into Saturday’s cross-country phase on a 44.2.
Phillip Dutton, a seasoned veteran of Rolex Kentucky competition, rode two horses into the top ten with Fernhill Fugitive, owned by Thomas Tierney and Ann Jones, and Fernhill Cubalawn, owned by Thomas Tierney and Simon Roosevelt. Second to go this morning, Fernhill Fugitive was in textbook form, scoring a 47.5 to place third after day one of dressage. During the last session of the afternoon, Dutton brought Fernhill Cubalawn into Rolex Stadium where the pair scored a 50.9 and currently sit in seventh.
Rounding out the current top five for the U.S. is Jolie Wentworth and Goodknight, in fifth place on a 50.6, and Elisa Wallace and Simply Priceless in sixth place on a 50.8.
Day two of the dressage phase includes multiple Olympic and World Equestrian Games medalists as well as past Rolex Kentucky Champions.