Horses

Rolex Kentucky clears 57 horses to compete

Inspectors, background, watched Lucy Jackson, New Zealand, trot Kilcoltrim Ambassador (cq) on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 during The First Horse Inspection at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, prior to Thursday's dressage competition.  Riders trotted their horses for veterinarians to inspect for soundness and approve for competition.  The Rolex concludes Sunday with stadium jumping.  Photo by David Perry | Staff
Inspectors, background, watched Lucy Jackson, New Zealand, trot Kilcoltrim Ambassador (cq) on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 during The First Horse Inspection at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, prior to Thursday's dressage competition. Riders trotted their horses for veterinarians to inspect for soundness and approve for competition. The Rolex concludes Sunday with stadium jumping. Photo by David Perry | Staff HERALD-LEADER

A field of 57 horses were cleared by vets to compete in this year's Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, which begins at the Kentucky Horse Park on Thursday with dressage at 9:30 a.m.

Dressage will kick off with American rider Buck Davidson on Absolute Liberty. Other top competitors scheduled to ride Thursday include Andrew Nicholson of New Zealand, and U.S. riders Karen O'Connor, Becky Holder, Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin.

One horse, Llewellyn, ridden by Brittany Kart of the United States, was not accepted.

The international field will be chasing William Fox-Pitt, the 2010 Rolex Kentucky winner and 2011 Burghley champion. Based on his win last fall at Burghley, Fox-Pitt will be going for the second leg in the Rolex Grand Slam, which awards $350,000 to any rider who can win the Rolex Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley four-star or Olympic-level competitions consecutively.

Only one rider, Pippa Funnell of Great Britain in 2003, has ever done it.

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