Two American riders broke into the top 10 in dressage scores Friday, but it wasn't enough to hold off an international onslaught after the first event of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.
Germany's Bettina Hoy took the day's top score on Ringwood Cockatoo, an 18-year-old gray Irish sport horse with a 28.8, several points ahead of Australia's Lucinda Fredericks, who rode Headley Britannia to a 32.3. Hoy called her test the best one Ringwood Cockatoo has ever done at a four-star event.
"It feels like an old married couple now," she said. "He seems to be getting better with getting older."
Buck Davidson was the first American to make a dent in the standings on My Boy Bobby, coming in third place.
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The only other American was Phillip Dutton on Connaught, the pair that won Rolex in such a compelling fashion last year. They are now in 10th place heading into Saturday's cross-country phase.
Yesterday's results were a bit of a family affair. Rolex officials pointed out that Hoy's husband, Andrew Hoy, Fredericks' husband, Clayton Fredericks, and Davidson's father, Bruce Davidson, have all won Rolex before.